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NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 15, 2010

    It’s January 2010, and that means it is time once again for NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up — your one-stop guide to pending marijuana law reform legislation around the country, along with tips for influencing the policies of your state.

    ** 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 make the changes they want to see. We can’t do it without you.

    Washington: Lawmakers on the House House Committee on Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness will vote on Wednesday, January 20, at 1:30pm on two pending proposals, House Bill 1177 and House Bill 2401. House Bill 1177 seeks to reclassify the possession of forty grams or less of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor to a class 2 civil infraction punishable by a $100 fine. House Bill 2401 seeks to “remove all existing civil and criminal penalties for adults 21 years of age or older who cultivate, possess, transport, sell, or use marijuana.” This will be the first time state lawmakers have ever voted on regulating marijuana production, distribution, and use by adults. If you reside in Washington, please contact your House member and urge him or her to support one or both of these measures by going here and here. You can also call the Committee and leave a polite, concise message voicing your support for marijuana law reform at: (360) 786-7131 or toll free at: 1-800-562-6000. You can watched archived footage of Wednesday’s hearing on these measures here.

    New Hampshire: Lawmakers on the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee will hold hearings on Wednesday, January 20, beginning at 1:00pm on two pending proposals, HB 1652 and HB 1653. House Bill 1652 “allows [for] the purchase and use of marijuana by adults (age 21 or older), regulates the purchase and use of marijuana, and imposes taxes on the wholesale and retail sale of marijuana.” Personal possession of up to one ounce of cannabis and/or non-commercial cultivation of up to three marijuana plants would not be subject to tax and regulation under this act. House Bill 1653 seeks to reduce minor marijuana possession penalties from a criminal misdemeanor to a fine-only offense. If you live in New Hampshire, please contact your House members and urge them to support one or both of these measures by going here and here. You can also call the Committee directly by going here.

    Virginia: Lawmakers this week pre-filed legislation, House Bill 1134, seeking to dramatically reduce the state’s marijuana possession and cultivation penalties. You can read all of the bill’s proposed changes here and here. You can contact your state lawmakers in favor of this common sense proposal by going here.

    Tennessee: Lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a pair of bills — Senate Bill 2511 and House Bill 2562, the Safe Access to Medical Cannabis Act seeking to establish a statewide production and distribution program for qualified medical marijuana patients. NORML has retained a state lobbyist to represent the interests of our statewide affiliates as this bill moves forward in the 2010 legislative session. To learn more about this effort, please visit here.

    Wisconsin: Members of Madison NORML and IMMLY are organizing a Medical Marijuana Lobby Day in support of AB554/SB368 the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act. The program will take place on Wednesday, January 20. It will run from 12 to 1pm at the state Capitol, in the first floor rotunda. More information on this event is online here. You can also voice your support for the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act by going here.

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

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

    1. lauren says:

      i’m so glad to see so much change going on around the U.S. with these “new” laws taking place. i live in GA and eventhough GA is not on the same page as other state i still contact other state’s house members to urge for there support (whenever NORML post it). THERE IS POWER IN NUMBERS! that being said. i hope that others will do the same no matter what state you are in. a little bit of weed has ruined my life, so lets work together to change these laws!!!

    2. WHERE THE HECK IS THE REFORM FOR MARIJUANA LAWS IN MINNESOTA??????? WE WERE SOOOOOOOOO CLOSE BUT GOVERNOR TIM PAWLENTY VETOED THE BILL…WHY ISN’T THERE SOMETHING BEING DONE HERE IN MINNESOTA TO GET PATIENTS THEIR PROPER MEDICATIONS…..PLEASE DO SOMETHING HERE IN MINNESOTA TO GET THIS LEGALIZED AND TO GIVE DOCTORS THE RIGHT TO PRESCRIBE THEIR PATIENTS MEDICAL MARIJUANA….IS THIS GOING TO BE ON THE 2010 BALLOT? BECAUSE IF IT IS NOT THEN I AM MOVING OUT OF THIS STATE AND MOVING TO A STATE WHERE IT IS LEGAL!

    3. Anonymous says:

      Regarding the Washington State hearing video which i watched they more than once mentioned marijuana sales at liquor stores . This must never happen . Marijuana ( a gift of God ) & Alcohol are two opposites . Driving under the influence of Alcohol combined with marijuana ( a woman – man made drug ) would not only make for deadly consequences on the road but can adversely effect typical behavior patterns . In other words combining the two would put many out of their minds . Alcohol creates aggression . Marijuana is a peaceful drug . God does not want war , violence , crime & this is why they must never be combined or sold together . One of God’s angel’s ( Whose name is Satan ) turned against God & created wars , murders , crime , lies & deception,.God wants the World at peace . Satan overthrew God & this is why thousands are being executed ,murdered , persecuted , prosecuted and imprisoned for marijuana crimes . Satan has overpowered God .
      This is also why there are wars , violence ,crime , liars , murders . God gave us marijuana because he wanted the world at peace & none of these bad things to occur .

      John 3; 8
      He that commitheth sin is of the devil : for the devil sinneth from the beginning . For this purpose the son of God was manifested , that he might destroy the works of the devil .

      Revelation 21 ; 4

      And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes : and there shall be no more death , neither sorrow , nor crying , neither shall there be any more pain :

    4. Anonymous says:

      Opps , Alcohol is the woman – man made drug not marijuana . Dah ………….

    5. James Crosby says:

      More medical cannabis stuff mostly… Bleh…

    6. disvet13 says:

      one state at a time. unfortunately, my congressman in WV still thinks marijuana is a gateway drug and was dead set on any possibility that marijuana has any medical properties. big tobacco and big alcohol talking, no doubt.

    7. NorCalNative says:

      It’s encouraging to see more and more states working towards “honest” drug policy.

      For those of you out there in states without compassionate use of cannabis just keep putting pressure on your representatives.

      The thing people need to understand, is that most politicians “fear” supporting cannabis because they view it as political suicide. The only way they can support it, is if there is overwhelming public support.

      Here’s a good starter question for your representatives. Ask them if they know about Harry J. Anslinger. If they are unfamiliar with Harry, then they are ignorant of cannabis-prohibition history.

      For the doubters and knee-jerkers, point them to Portugal’s 2001 Decriminalization scheme for all drugs of abuse. Teen drug use in all categories was reduced after decriminalization.

      Ask them why congress passed their bullshit legislation in 1998 which made it a part of the “Drug Czar’s” job to say cannabis had no medicinal value at all!

      Support them if they support cannabis reform. This means letting them know YOU WILL NOT VOTE for them until they work for reform.

      If we live in a Democratic Republic we should have the right to demand that science and evidence be the basis of policy, NOT conservative ideology.

      One other note, writing an actual U.S. Mail letter with a stamp carries more weight than e-mail when writing to an elected official.

    8. Scott says:

      Wow, can’t beleive that bill is here in VA!!! Could you elaborate on what this bill has to go through and the likely hood of it getting passed??? I’ve already sent out the e-mail and will be getting everyone I can to do the same. Also I wasn’t sure what to select as the “issue area” and was wondering what your best suggestion is. Thanks for everything NORML!!

    9. HighMtnSkier says:

      Holy shit January is a busy month for legislation action!

    10. Brian says:

      How many other medications require a medical card/registration? The only way to end marijuana prohibition is through the liberty movement.

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