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: Connecticut NORML co-hosted a press conference at the state capitol last week in support of Raised Bill 5389. You can view media coverage of the event here.

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. An initial vote on Raised Bill 5389 may come as early as next week. You can learn more about this effort, contact your state elected officials, and learn when forthcoming hearings and votes are pending by clicking here and by joining Connecticut NORML here.

Massachusetts: Lawmakers recently heard testimony in support of House Bill 1371, which seeks to regulate the commercial production and distribution of marijuana for adults over 21 years of age. You can contact your state elected officials regarding this legislation here. You can join the campaign to reform Massachusetts’ marijuana laws by contacting Mass/Cann NORML here.

New Hampshire: Statewide legislation that seeks to remove the threat of arrest for minor marijuana possession offenses is moving forward in the New Hampshire legislature. Last Friday, members of the state House of Representatives narrowly passed legislation, House Bill 1526, to decriminalize minor marijuana possession offenses. The measure reduces marijuana possession penalties (up to one half ounce) from a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to one-year in jail and a $2,000 fine to a civil infraction punishable by no more than a $250 fine and no criminal record. The proposal now awaits action from the Senate. You can contact your state Senator regarding the measure here.

Separate legislation — Senate Bill 409, which seeks to authorize qualified patients to grow and possess limited amounts of cannabis for therapeutic purposes — remains pending in the state Senate. Senate Health Committee lawmakers heard testimony regarding this measure last week (Watch the full hearing here.) and are expected to vote on the measure on Thursday, March 22. You can support this measure here and become involved in the campaign here.

Tennessee: House lawmakers on Tuesday, March 20, will hear testimony in favor of legislation — House Bill 294, the “Safe Access to Medical Cannabis Act” — which seeks to allow for the the physician-supervised use of medical marijuana. Its Senate companion bill is SB 251. Tuesday’s hearing is scheduled for 10:30am at the state capitol before the House Health and Human Resources Subcommittee.

In past years, similar legislation has gained significant legislative support. Tennessee NORML (Contact them here.) had previously retained a state lobbyist to work on behalf of the medicinal cannabis issue in the state legislature, and many Tennessee lawmakers have expressed support authorizing patients’ access to marijuana therapy. Now lawmakers need to hear from you. You can contact your members of the state House and Senate in favor of these measures here.

24 thoughts

  1. I am very interested in the fact that a constituent by way of their representative can introduce legislation “by request” where might I find Alabama laws regarding this?

  2. benefits of medical marijuana

    In the USA most people realize that medical marijuana can be used to treat numerous medical conditions, the benefits of using marijuana far outweigh any negatives.

    The main negative in using marijuana as a medicine seems to be the stigma associated with using marijuana. Many people still think that people who use marijuana are drug addicts and use marijuana simply to get high.

    I personally think it is one of the most amazing drugs as it can be used to treat so many conditions and has basically no negative side affects.

    Unfortunately outside the states most people do not realize that marijuana has enormous benefits for medicine.

    Marijuana and Medical Marijuana are illegal in most countries, many people do not realise it can be used for many medical conditions. There is very little media coverage of the topic, so many people are unaware of the huge potential of medical marijuana.

    The other added benefit of marijuana is that it can be used in manufacturing. It also has great potential for clothing, it is easy to grow as it is a weed. In India marijuana is legal and it naturally grows on the side of the road. All countries are not taking full advantage of this wonderful resource.

    The best way to consume medical marijuana is to cook marijuana or to use a vaporizer. You can also smoke marijuana, however smoking is the least healthy option and reduces the medical benefits of marijuana.

    If you know of any benefits we have not listed on our medical conditions page, please contact us.

    Also it would be terrific if you could contribute towards our forum discussion on the benefits of medical marijuana.

  3. All advocates need to be at every political activity for the next few months to press marijuana legalization into the political arena for every elected official,,all politicians must be asked if they believe in our democratic republic form of government and if so,,why are the majority of American citizens being denied the legalization of medical marijuana by the legislature of this country.

    We are at 80% of Americans supporting mmj legalization and we are tired of being ignored. Hold their feet to the fire and make them explain WHY,if they do,support prohibition even when a clear majority are calling for reform.

  4. I read the poll numbers, i see all the research… but sadly..i didn’t realize… it is still a very taboo issue. I just bought 5 pro medical and pro legalization shirts… the looks i get, the whispers..i’ve only had two people respond positively and forward, and they were underage… I bet there are alot of people on here who are the same.. shy… well the word doesn’t get out when your shy.. no one is going to believe you believe in it unless you let them know, remember a closed mouth doesn’t get fed… Be proud of the fact that you either use or support marijuana, otherwise the anti will only see a few stoners, and the children they are trying to “protect” as marijuana users…. come on people grow some balls! Support in real life, not just on the internet..

  5. After looking at the wacky bills that have come up for a vote lately I wonder who (or if) anyone would try to put forth a bill that states alcohol is a “gateway drug” with no medical use and therefore should be considered a schedule 1 drug. (Just food for thought)

  6. Cannabinoid based medicines are next generation ones. We’re talking 20+ years down the road for significant acceptance. Yes, the cannabis sativa plant will play a vital role in understanding the endocannabinoid system in animals as a whole.

  7. I live in the communistwealth of pennsylvania.I have a wife and 2 children. I smoke pot for many reasons 1 yes is pure pleasure but i do have pain issues as well. I would love to stand up and tell everyone that I am a proud mj user however in the state of PA. If you get busted you lose your liscense for 6 months, whether your driving when you get busted or not. My job requires me to hold a valid drivers liscense, if I lose it I lose my job, it is a good job that I do kinda enjoy. If I write my congressman I fear that my name will go on some kind of list and I will eventually be arrested for possession, lose my liscense, my home, my children to child services. How many feel what i’m saying. They got us by our balls, I believe this will be the very last state to accept mj for what it is.

  8. Texas will be the LAST State to even consider any legislation. The only way that it will ever happen here is if the Federal government ever wides up and legalizes this wonderful plant. So, in the mean time all of us Texans will just have to continue to break the law. I just hope that I live long enough to see the day when this country finally wakes up.

  9. I am fairly certain that TN HB 0294 died again and will have to wait til next session. New game, new number….same ole crap.

  10. Two years ago I was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease. After about a year of symptoms I tried MJ……my MG has gone into remission. Maybe MJ does have medical value? Does congress or the president care?

  11. Peaches have a lot of sugar, so they should be illegal… therefore, products with very high sugar content like sucrose should be illegal…sucrose isnt glucose just delta 9 tetrahydrocannibinol isn’t the same as marinol? Was there a misprint on that paper? Was hat man? Prohibition tends to increase the thc content of the buds so people don’t have to carry as much… is all use medical in some way? A medical decision in terms of not using alcohol?

  12. Afghan heroin poppy fields are being protected by our military- oh gee- I wonder why?– THIS spring Hemp should replace poppies. the word needs to get out. Hemp for the world. Hemp for Afghanistan! Snydley Whiplash dissolve in shame!

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