NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up

Marijuana law reform legislation is pending in nearly 30 states this 2012 legislative session. Is your state among them? Find out here.

More importantly, have you taken the time to call or write your state elected officials this year and urged them to support these pending reforms? If not, NORML has provided you with all of the tools to do so via our capwiz ‘Take Action Center’ here. (FYI: NORML’s capwiz page is specific to legislation only, not ballot initiative efforts. A summary pending 2012 ballot initiative campaigns may be found at NORML’s Legalize It 2012 page on Facebook here or on the NORML blog 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!

Connecticut: Lawmakers on Wednesday, March 7, will hear testimony in favor of Raised Bill 5389, to allow for the limited legalization of medical marijuana by qualified patients. State lawmakers previously passed medicinal cannabis reform legislation in 2007, only to have it vetoed by then-Gov. M. Jodi Rell. Present Gov. Dannel Malloy is a supporter of marijuana law reform.

Last year, Connecticut NORML played a key role in the passage of legislation decriminalizing the possession of minor amounts of marijuana. This year, Connecticut NORML is once again leading the charge for marijuana law reform. Our affiliate will be co-hosting a press conference at the State Capitol tomorrow featuring patients, advocates, and doctors. To become involved in this statewide campaign, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here and contact Erik Williams at Connecticut NORML here.

Maryland: Members of the House Judiciary Committee will hear testimony from NORML’s Executive Director Allen St. Pierre and others this Friday, March 9, in support of legislation to allow for the use of cannabis as a medicine. To support this effort, please click here.

Massachusetts: Lawmakers today heard testimony in favor of House Bill 1371, The Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act, which seeks to regulate the commercial production and distribution of marijuana for adults over 21 years of age. You can read more about this legislation here. You can join the campaign to reform Massachusetts’ marijuana laws by contacting Mass/Cann NORML here.

New Hampshire: Members of the Senate Committee on Health will hear testimony on Thursday, March 8, regarding Senate Bill 409, which allows for the limited legalization of medical marijuana by qualified patients. As introduced, qualified patients would be able to possess up to 18 marijuana plants and/or six ounces of marijuana for therapeutic purposes. State lawmakers have previously passed similar legislation. To assure that this year’s measure has enough support to withstand a potential veto by the Governor, it is vital that advocates are in touch with their state elected officials in support of this effort. You can take action here and join the statewide campaign by contact NH Compassion here.

Separate legislation, HB 1526, seeking to decriminalize minor marijuana possession offenses has been endorsed by the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee and now awaits a vote from the full House. You can take action on this measure here.

A third measure, HB 1705, which seeks to establish a regulated cannabis market governing the wholesale production and sale of marijuana, also awaits action from the full House.

14 thoughts

  1. No North Carolina is not among them. Nc is full of asswipes.

    [Paul Armentano responds: False. There is both medicalization and decriminalization bills pending in the NC legislature. Click on the ‘Act’ button on the front page to read the summaries of these bills and take action.]

  2. Ohio PRIMARY still counting
    If i did vote ron paul still been 4 place
    For Delegates-at-Large and Alternates-at-Large to the National Convention, Vote For 1 REPUBLICAN
    Mitt Romney 3,788 46.73% 35,232 49.19% 39,020 48.94%
    Rick Santorum 2,763 34.09% 20,604 28.77% 23,367 29.31%
    Newt Gingrich 982 12.11% 8,940 12.48% 9,922 12.44%
    Ron Paul 474 5.85% 6,268 8.75% 6,742 8.46%
    Jon Huntsman 62 0.76% 346 0.48% 408 0.51%
    Rick Perry 37 0.46% 236 0.33% 273 0.34%

  3. Yes…upon the congress..

    upon the situation

    we have smoked the very best ……we rock baby!!!!!

  4. It was crazy back when.

    I mean we had Colombian..Back in the 1900s .

    It had a Hashish Flavor

    Back in the day

  5. Meanwhile here in Oklahoma we are increasing punishment for marijuana. Last year a new law went into effect making it a felony carrying up to life to turn marijuana in hashish.

  6. Oklahoma is a complete NAZI state,we like to keep our women barefoot and pregnant,like to put obviousley mentally ill people down like rabid dogs,also push every assinine conservitive agenda down our throats,people in this state need to wake up and smeel the bud,until that happens we will never get out of the nineteenth century just continue to be the butt of every late night comedian.NORML keep up the good fight.

  7. how can you get fired for failing a drug test ten days after smoking pot???!!! something has to be done about this type of bullshit test

  8. In this morning’s Baltimore Sun (scroll down for my response):

    Who says medical marijuana is safe and effective?

    “Since the legislature wants to play doctor, a little medical education is required before it can obtain and then defend a DEA license like I have. In their excellent opinion Friday (“Medical marijuana laws make a farce of medicine,” March 7), Drs. Dinah Miller and Antoinette Hansen did not mention that only double blind, randomized controlled trials with hundreds of patients can determine the safety and effectiveness of a medicine. For marijuana, this would have to be vaporized, as any smoke is carcinogenic, and in treatment-naive subjects, since habitual users can figure quality with a single hit.

    Paul Armentano of NORML asks us to respect pot because of its long history (“FDA’smarijuana Catch-22,” March 11), but it deserves none without data to support it. Anecdotal evidence is not good evidence, so it just does not matter how much is presented to legislators in labcoats. FDA has attributed four deaths to THC; marijuana’s active ingredient does have a lethal dose. In my practice, three elderly patients I gave THC for appetite had unpleasant hallucinations. One patient became more paranoid and dependent on pot. A daily pot smoker developed metastatic cancer by age 50. Pot has nothing to offer beyond morphine and Zofran, so why bother?

    Pot is a big industry that wants free reign. That does not make it safe or effective for anyone.

    Dr. Theodore Carl Houk, Baltimore”


    Dear Dr. Ted,

    Aspirin kills upwards of 2,100* people per year. (*According to the NCBI, “Up to one-third of all NSAID/aspirin deaths can be attributed to low-dose aspirin use.”) It is not approved by the FDA and likely would not be if brought before them today.

    My wife has stage IV, metastatic breast cancer that has spread to the bones of her pelvis and back. She has been treated for stage IV disease for over eighteen (18) years and has undergone such treatments as high-dose chemotherapy with autologous bone marrow transplant. She is currently undergoing a phase I clinical trial involving Herceptin with T-dm1 & GDC-941. Last year we were told that her anorexia and nausea must be stopped or she would have to be removed from the trial.

    After all, what’s the sense in treating her with something that will unlimately kill her?

    None of the anti-emetic drugs available work for her. Out of desperation, she tried medical marijuana and the results were nothing short of miraculous! She stopped vommiting within seconds and was able to sit down to dinner within minutes! Needless to say, we don’t need a double blind, randomized, naive trial to tell us whether it is effective or not. Quite litterally, it has saved her life.

    I would suggest that you consider a more compassionate approach before you pontificate to us.

    By the way, have you ever recommended Aspirin to a patient???

  9. Here in Florida, we have pain clinics popping up, getting busted and a new one opens down the street. Had an office across the parking lot from one…what a freaking factory!!!
    Perfect state to stop the prohibition and regulate!

    Check it out, bought a shirt from them “My Best Bud” awesome! Everytime I wear it, somebody strikes up a conversation about freedom to smoke.

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