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NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 23, 2008

    Below is this week’s summary of pending state legislation and tips to help you become involved in changing the laws in your state.

    Ohio: Legislation was introduced this week in the state Senate to legalize the medical use of cannabis to authorized patients. The Ohio Medical Compassion Act is modeled after existing medical cannabis laws in twelve other states.  Tonya Davis of the Ohio Patient Network discusses the new bill on NORML’s Daily Audio Stash here.

    California: Legislation seeking to halt the role of state and local police in assisting in the US Justice Department in carrying out arrests and prosecutions against state-authorized medical marijuana patients and providers is scheduled for a vote by the full Assembly. As amended, Assembly Bill 2743 would prohibit state and local law inforcement personnel from “assisting in federal raids, arrests, investigations, or prosecutions [of] marijuana-related offenses … if the target is … covered under state medical marijuana laws.” A similar resolution is also pending in the Senate. Californians can support both bills via NORML’s online advocacy system.

    New Jersey: The state Health Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee held an informational hearing this week on legislation that seeks to allow for the state-authorized use of medical cannabis. NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano and NORML Legal Committee member Alan Silber both submitted testimony. New Jersey activists are encouraged to contact their state elected officials in favor of this measure by visiting NORML’s online advocacy system.

    Minnesota: Minnesota Representatives adjourned this week without taking action on House File 655, which sought to authorize the medical use of cannabis by qualified patients. A companion measure had previously passed the Senate. House leadership failed to call the bill for a floor vote after promises by Gov. Tim Pawlenty that he would veto the measure. Medical marijuana proponents can contact the Governor here

    2 Responses to “NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up”

    1. lenny says:

      if the usa would legalize this how much money would the government save or lose in court costs? would it be safe to assume that if it is legalized it would produce more money as a legal cash crop? hell yea! how many job opportunities will it create, people that would have some sort of knowledge of the cultivation of it growing it. if we could just think outside the joint and reap the benifits of the most prominent drug on the shadow market. customs can keep it in the usa to prevent international conflict. 50 nanograms of thc is produced readily in our human bodies every day. not to speak down on cigarette smokers, but our bodies dont produce niccotine, it reacts to it. as you all may know marijuana affects each one of us differently, consume it responsibly and dont put any drug before your priorities.

    2. Anonymous says:

      I wonder how many people are actually contacting their elected officials, regularly, frequently, and politely? The bottom line is that Federal law in the U.S. is made by 435 Congressmen and Congresswomen, 100 Senators, and 1 President. Any law of the land can be changed by a majority of Congresspersons (218 ), Senators (51), and the President (1). House Boll 5843 and 5842 are both in front of the Congress for consideration; how many of us are prepared to spend five minutes a day to encourage our own Congressperson, Senators, and President to vote for these laws? We don’t have to travel or organize a rally or spend much money (just a few bucks for stamps). What it’s going to take is a steady stream of letters to your Congressperson, your two Senators, and the President. Here’s a template for a friendly, supportive letter to your Congressperson, Senator, State Representative, etc. This is the kind of letter that will get their attention, because we’re coming across as the friendly, tax-paying citizens that we are. Letters that are rude or too stoney aren’t going to have nearly the impact that a friendly, supportive approach will get (So let’s steer clear of the “Dear Dude, we all have, like, the inalienable right to, you know, do whatever…” approach). Something like the following is a good start:
      1) Go to https://forms.house.gov/wyr/welcome.shtml to get the name and address of your Congressperson. This will take less than a minute. Do it now and you’ll have it out of the way.
      2) Write the letter. You can make it look like the one below or any way you like; this is just a sample. Spend at least five minutes on it, check the spelling, and read it out loud to yourself to see if it makes sense. (Do this while your in a sensible frame of mind,). You don’t have to be a great writer; just stick to the point and keep it short, i.e, not more than one page.
      3) Find friend to write a letter, too. Share this material with him or her at your next get together.
      4) Repeat the process at least once a week. Make it your personal mission to do two things: Get a letter like this into the hands of your Congressperson, each Senator, and the President, every month (that’s four letters a month), and get some friends to do the same. It only takes a dozen letters to create the impression of a public mandate; an elected official getting a dozen letters a week will really feel the public presence.

      Here’s the sample letter.

      Your Name
      Your Address
      Your City State and ZIP

      January 99, 2008

      The Honorable
      Address (get the right address from https://forms.house.gov/wyr/welcome.shtml )

      Dear Congressman/Congresswoman/Senator :

      I am writing to ask you to .

      Thanks for your time, and keep up the great work!

      Sincerely,

      *
      *
      ***Remember: The Prohibitionists say marijuana leads to lack of motivation. Is it true, or will a few interested folks take this on and actually get this river of letters flowing?***

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