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NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director June 9, 2009

    Statewide efforts to enact medical marijuana law reform still remain in play in nearly a dozen states.

    Here are some highlights and ways that you can help.

    New Jersey: Last Thursday, members of the state assembly Health and Senior Services Committee substituted, then approved, Assembly Bill 804: the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. The bill will now go before the full Assembly.

    However, as substituted by the Committee, neither qualified patients nor their caregivers would be authorized to grow cannabis medicinally under the law. Instead, patients will be required to obtain their medicine from yet to be established ‘nonprofit Alternative Treatment Centers.’ (Read all of the changes made to the measure here.)

    A less restrictive version of this proposal, Senate Bill 119, was approved by the Senate in February. If the Assembly ultimately approves A 804, members of the Senate would have to approve the Assembly’s changes.

    Further information about this effort, visit the Coalition for Medical Marijuana – New Jersey or go here.

    New York: Legislation (Assembly Bill 7542) to exempt qualified medical cannabis patients from state arrest and prosecution continues to move through the state Assembly. So far, members of the Committees on Health, Codes, and Ways and Means have all signed off on the proposal, which is now before the Assembly Committee on Rules. A companion bill, Senate Bill 4041-A, remains pending before the Senate Committee on Codes. If you live in New York, you can contact your elected officials and urge them to support this effort by going here or here.

    Delaware: Last week, members of the Senate Health & Social Services Committee approved Senate Bill 94, an act that seeks to allow for the use of medical cannabis by state-authorized patients. The full Senate is expected to take action on the measure in the coming weeks. If you live in Delaware, please urge your state Senator to move expeditiously on SB 94 by going here.

    Illinois: House lawmakers adjourned last week without taking a floor vote on Senate Bill 1381, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. However, this does not mean that SB 1382 is dead! House members may call the bill for a floor vote later this fall. If not, the bill will carry over to January 2010, where lawmakers will once again take up the measure. To get involved in this effort, please visit Illinois NORML or go here.

    New Hampshire: If you live in New Hampshire and you have not yet contacted Governor John Lynch and urged him to protect patients who use marijuana medicinally, you can do so by going here or here. Gov. Lynch is the only hurdle that stands in the way of patients and their medicine in the Granite state, so make your voice heard now.

    For information on additional state and federal marijuana law reform legislation, please visit NORML’s Take Action page here.

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

    1. Jeff says:

      Marijuana 4 Life…

    2. fireweed says:

      Geez, what exactly do people think pot is or does that it’s treated like some highly toxic radioactive substance that can’t be let loose on the community without tough security measures in place? I guess the reefer madness myth still holds true.

    3. I just got off the phone with the secretary for NC Representative P. Harrison, one of the sponsors of H1380, and was informed that the two medical cannabis bills won’t make it to committee this session. If you are a resident of NC, please contact your state reps and urge them to put this bill through committee.

      http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2009&BillID=h1380&submitButton=Go

    4. Andrew 3 says:

      hopefully if/when the bill passes in NJ the law will have a review in a years time to let patients grow for themselves.

    5. Zeriam says:

      Thanks for leaving Florida out again:

      http://www.pufmm.org

      [Editor’s note: The ‘puffmm’ effort is not a legislative endeavor, therefore, not surprisingly, there is no reference to it in the weekly legislative round-up.]

    6. Chrokee Fred Jesus says:

      We are not moving fast enough. We are not raising enough hell! Go to

      http://www.change.org/ideas/116/view_blog/the_marijuana_law_tipping_point

      http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

      and tell them how you feel about going to jail, being on probation for a year paying every month, going to a forced rehab and paying ever visit, paying huge fines and losing you right to drive, vote, raise hell!!

      Why? so you lawmakers can continue to protect the major corporations profits and be paid millions for their vote to continue the war on US (drugs) and enslave Americans for profits…

      Cherokee Fred Jesus

    7. Tennessee is expected to NOT pass a Medical Marijuana approved program this year. Don’t you hate it when that happens!

      NEXT YEAR maybe? : )

    8. THC Soda says:

      I’ll be glad when they try to pass medical marijuana laws here in Kentucky… I know we have Bret Guthrie’s support for marijuana legalization.

    9. In a related subject. This e-mail was sent to me by Sen Kay Hagan, D-NC in response to one of NORML’s Action Alerts pertaining to Sen Webb’s, D-VA S-714 Crime Commissin bill:
      Dear Friend,

      Thank you for contacting me regarding the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009. I greatly appreciate hearing your thoughts on this important issue.

      The National Criminal Justice Commission Act (S. 714) was introduced on March 26, 2009 and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. This bill would create a blue-ribbon commission to conduct a comprehensive, 18-month review of the entire criminal justice system and make recommendations for reforms. I am glad to inform you that I am a cosponsor of this important legislation.

      I believe creating a commission to examine the criminal justice system is a critical step as we work toward comprehensive criminal justice reform. In fact, the International Association of Chiefs of Police called for a national commission to conduct a review of law enforcement and the administration of justice in our country in 2000, and I believe that fulfilling that request is long overdue. In 2007 alone, taxpayers paid more than $26,000 per inmate to incarcerate an offender for a year in North Carolina. Prison rolls are swelling, non-violent offenders are taking up beds that could otherwise be used for violent offenders, and our criminal justice system has become our nation’s de facto mental health system, as mentally ill inmates outnumber patients in mental health hospitals four-to-one. We need to take the necessary steps now to ensure that our criminal justice system is a place to help reform those who are incarcerated, not simply hold them until their sentences are finished and they are ready to go out and commit another crime. For these reasons I am a strong supporter and co-sponsor of the National Criminal Justice Commission Act, and I will work diligently to pass this bill into law.

      Again, thank you for contacting my office. It is truly an honor to represent North Carolina in the United States Senate, and I hope you will not hesitate to contact me in the future should you have any further questions or concerns.

      Sincerely,

      Kay R. Hagan
      United States Senator, North Carolina

      I’d like to urge anyone to get involved in this. Please contact your senators and ask them to support this bill!

    10. After reading this particular article, I focused in on ‘Alternative Treatment Centers…’ Everybody knows that Google is the de facto perferred Search Engine, and looking up ‘Alternative Treatment Centers,’ in Google brings up Rehab bullshit! Not Medical Marijuana approved treatment centers of America.

      It’s probably to late…but I wouldn’t call it that! Hopefully it gets thrown out and re-reviewed.

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