NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up
Wow, things are really heating up! If you have not yet gotten active in your state, now is most definitely the time to start. State legislatures around the country are taking significant strides to reform their marijuana laws, and here’s how you can help!
California: On Monday, state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano introduced AB 390, The Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act — the first bill ever in legislature to legalize and regulate the commercial production and sale of marijuana in California. You can see local, network, and national media coverage of this effort here, here, and here. If you live in California, please go here to contact your state assemblyman and urge him or her to support AB 390.
New Jersey: Lawmakers took a major step on Monday toward making New Jersey the fourteenth state to legalize the medical use of cannabis. Senators voted 22 to 16 in favor of Senate Bill 119, the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. But this battle is only half over. Members of the New Jersey Assembly must also vote on this issue. If you reside in New Jersey, please take a moment to contact your members of the state assembly and urge them to support companion bill, A804. You can further support this effort by contacting the Coalition for Medical Marijuana – New Jersey or NORML New Jersey.
**Note: Additional information and interviews regarding these breaking events in California and New Jersey are available here on the NORML Daily Audio Stash podcast.
Montana: Ready for even more good news? Senate lawmakers in Montana today voted 28 to 22 in favor of SB 326, which seeks to expand the state’s medical marijuana laws. As introduced, SB 326 (1) Expands the number of qualifying conditions for which marijuana may be legally recommended; (2) Increases the amount of marijuana a patient may legally possess; and (3) Prohibits employers and landlords from discriminating against medicinal marijuana patients solely because of their medical status. NORML thanks all of you who took the time to support this important measure, which now moves to the House for consideration. For more information about this and other statewide marijuana law reform efforts in Montana, please contact Montana Patients and Families United or Montana NORML.
Washington: Finally, last week the Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 5615, which seeks to reduce the penalty for minor marijuana possession offenses to a civil fine of no more than $100. You can listen to audio from the hearing and vote here. This proposal now goes before the Senate Rules Committee, which must take action on the bill to put it before the full Senate. Tell them to do so by going here.
To learn about additional pending legislation in Alabama, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Texas, please visit NORML’s Legislative Action Alerts page here. February 24, 2009