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.