NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up

January 2012 marks the beginning of a new legislative session in all 50 states. Already, marijuana law reform legislation is pending (or has been pre-filed) in over a dozen states. To keep up to date with what’s pending, and how you can support marijuana-friendly reform measures in your state, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

You can also stay abreast of 2012 statewide ballot initiative efforts, such as those ongoing in Colorado and elsewhere, via NORML’s Legalize 2012 Facebook page here.

Below is this week’s edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up — where we spotlight specific examples of pending marijuana law reform legislation from around the country.

** A note to first time readers: NORML can not introduce legislation in your state. Nor can any other non-profit advocacy organization. Only your state representatives, or in some cases an individual constituent (by way of their representative; this is known as introducing legislation ‘by request’) can do so. NORML can — and does — work closely with like-minded politicians and citizens to reform marijuana laws, and lobbies on behalf of these efforts. But ultimately the most effective way — and the only way — to successfully achieve statewide marijuana law reform is for local stakeholders and citizens to become involved in the political process and to make the changes they want to see. Get active; get NORML!

ALABAMA: The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act (HB 25) which seeks to enact legal protections for authorized medical marijuana patients, has been marked for reintroduction in the Alabama Legislature for the session starting on February 7th. It is currently assigned to the House Committee on Health. A separate medical cannabis bill, House Bill 66, has also been prefiled in the House and is also before to the House Committee on Health, while a third measure that seeks to reduce penalties on adult cannabis possession is anticipated to be introduced shortly. You can learn more about these efforts via NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

INDIANA: Senate lawmakers heard testimony on Tuesday, January 24, in favor of legislation, SB 347, to decriminalize marijuana possession penalties in Indiana. Lawmakers on Senate Committee on Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters did not vote on the measure. Therefore, there is still time for constituents to contact their Senate members and encourage them to support marijuana law reform. You can do so via NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here. A separate House measure, HB 1370, that seeks to legalize the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, is pending before the House Committee on Public Policy.

KANSAS: House Bill 2330, which seeks to enact legal protections for authorized medical marijuana patients, was heard by the House Committee on Health and Human Services on Tuesday, January 24th. You can read media coverage of the hearing here and here. You can track the progress of this measure and contact your state elected officials regarding HB 2330 here.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Members of the House Criminal Justice Committee heard testimony on Thursday, January 25, in favor of House Bill 1705, which seeks to allow adults age 21 or over to use marijuana legally in their home. The measure also seeks to establish a regulated cannabis market governing the wholesale production and sale of marijuana. Non-commercial transactions involving less than one ounce of cannabis would not be subject to state taxation or regulation under the measure. You can watch clips from the hearing here and you can contact your elected officials in support of the measure here.

The House Criminal Justice Committee is also scheduled to hear testimony this Thursday in favor of separate legislation, HB 1526, which seeks reduce the penalties on minor marijuana possession offenses (up to one ounce) from a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine to a nominal monetary penalty of no more than $100.00. To contact your House representative regarding HB 1526, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

VIRGINIA: Legislation seeking to establish a joint study committee to investigate the fiscal impact of regulating the production and sale of marijuana to adults 21 and over is anticipated to be heard by the Virginia House Committee on Rules as soon as this Thursday. You can read NORML’s published op/eds in support of this measure here and here. To learn more about House Joint Resolution 140, please visit Virginia NORML or contact your state officials here.

22 thoughts

  1. It’s about time. The government is finally listening to the people that put them in power and pay their paychecks.

  2. I’d like to be able to use your capitalwiz email finder and sender to email politicians canned letters or my own letter about legalizing cannabis anytime, not just when I get a Take Action letter link. Just check off a box for pols I want to send to. Also, send them a gift, like everybody on Valentine’s Day action to send politicians the message on a heart or in chocolate, whatever is in compliance with sending a gift. Figuratively killing them with kindness.

    How much chocolate would they get? And how much weigh would they have put on over the weeks by the time they got done eating it all.

    I feel the same way about people in Pennsylvania having to register as Nol van Schaik does about people having to register for the wietpas in the Netherlands. It has people come out of the shadows, out of the closet, under the guise that there is no danger, and then the feds swoop in on their prey. There’s a whole concatenation of negative results being in the establishment’s system that can be exercised against you by agencies of the government and by insurance companies, banks. And who knows who else who is out to get you that could and would use it against you? It’s what they’re doing right now to folks in California and Colorado, Montana, you know, letting them think they’ll be left alone and then go in an round em all up.

    It’s a type of exclusion, an Ausschluss, a forced banishment and shunning.

    The feds are just plain sick, politicians worse so to understand the problem and still not legalize cannabis

  3. And what about NEW YORK CITY you ask?

    BEDFORD PARK (WABC) — At 382 East 197th Street, members of a multi-agency drug task force loaded bags full of marijuana plants into a minivan.

    It’s part of a drug investigation that on this day netted 1.5 million dollars worth of marijuana.

    All of it was stashed in two apartments in one building.Literally, neighbors could see a bright light coming from in the two apartments. Authorities say someone had set up a hydroponics lab.

    They were growing the marijuana right here on the 4th and 5th floors of the building with children and families in nearby apartments.

    Law enforcement officials tell us there are more of these marijuana labs in city apartments than you might think.

    Law enforcement says the price of marijuana has gone up and as a result more indoor labs like these are sprouting up in the city.

    So while it is significant, officials say it is only the tip of the iceberg. In this case, members of the NYPD, DEA and New York State Police seized about 200 marijuana plants.

    Now that they have the drugs, they say the arrests are pending.

    (Copyright ©2012 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

  4. Why should we / anyone vote to reelect President Obama it he does Not legalize and end prohibition? That is the question to be asked.

  5. and you ask the stepford wifes…

    Its …very…evil,Bro.

    I love … i still love…You

    Ron Paul….dude you are the man.

  6. This did not make it out of committee today. Delegate Lee Ware used a google search of “dangers of marijuana” as an argument against it. the whole thing was pathetic. not one person in the state came forward in opposition to the bill, and they sat there and tabled it. they are gatekeepers for the drug cartels, what can i say?

  7. legalize it and let the usa make some money . let the people be heard ,pain free , and live long and happy .

  8. In a third world country,what would have more value to a struggling family? a loaf of bread,fresh fruit and vegetables or a native weed that grows in the ditch….? I think most people would make the first two things a higher priority.after all i’ts no fun smoking weed on an empty stomach without adequate nutrition..PRIORITIES

    In this Country everything is in reverse,cannabis prohibition has raised it’s value close to the price of Gold,oh,yeah the government is seizing assets and property creating scarcity that causes a hyper- inflation thus making the top dealers- distributors rich as well… while the average American pot smoker is put in the middle of this mess and has to be vigilent and weary of getting caught up in the Prison-Industrial complex or losing student loans- excetra,

    All for a Hemp Plant that grows wild and should be treated no differently than corn or cotton or any other plant.
    Prohibition has perverted something natural and has created a ‘black market” that is not only dangerous but has continued to be attractive and alluring to teenage sub-culture’s.Prohibition feeds the ‘rebellion not the other way around and encourages clandistine activities.

    otherwise it would be just another plant growing in the ditch.
    Talk to anybody that grew up in the late1920″s or thirties(before prohibition-Ron Paul”s age) it wasn’t a high priority it was just another fing weed.

    thanks for letting me rant NORML!

  9. With all the recent legislative action concerning the end of prohibition, I wonder who is pressing into the Constitutionality of the Drug Control Act? The DEA continues to use unlawful authority to legislate marijuana even though they are en executive power. Should we ask our Congressman to strap on a .38 and police the streets? There is a reason we have three branches of government.

  10. I know of several cancer patients that have to watch their blacks because of the gov. Can we organize a million man marijuana March, we all March to Washington and protest in front of the white house. All the while we can get coverage from all forms of communication

  11. Medical Marijuana Week

    The medical cannabis community is under attack, and we must be heard!

    More than 100 DEA raids, dozens of federal prosecutions, manipulation of the tax code, and threats to landlords and elected officials — the aggressive, anti-medical cannabis efforts of Obama?s Justice Department must stop!

    Join Americans for Safe Access Chapters and Affiliates across the country in celebrating Medical Marijuana Week by standing up for our right to safe access. Take time each day to participate in the week of action outlined below.

    During Medical Marijuana Week (Feb. 13-17), here are some other ways you can get involved and make a difference:

    1. Monday, February 13: Call the White House at 202-456-1111 and tell Pres. Obama to keep his promise to not use Justice Department resources to undermine state laws, stop putting politics before science, and act immediately to reclassify cannabis as medicine.

    2. Tuesday, February 14: Contact Congress, 202-224-3121, and urge your representative to sponsor legislation to reclassify cannabis, end federal interference in state programs, and provide licensed patients and provides a defense in court.

    3. Wednesday, February 15: Ask your Governor to sign the DEA Rescheduling Petition. Find your Governor’s contact information by clicking here.

    4. Thursday, February 16 @ Noon: Make your voice heard at a rally near you! Click here for a full list of rallies.

    5. Friday, February 17: Join the movement and help fund the fight for safe access. Find out how by clicking here.

  12. So Willard favors jar wars for relief! Isn’t it better not to have to be hassled by someone rattling a cup in our face when we exit the interstate or on the subway. Demand our representatives table this excremental legislation!

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