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NORML’s Weekly Legislative Update

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 16, 2010

    Lawmakers around the country are debating a record number of marijuana law reform bills in 2010. NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up is your one-stop guide to pending marijuana law reform legislation around the country, along with tips for influencing the policies of your state.

    ** 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: House and Senate lawmakers gave final approval last week to legislation expanding the state’s medical marijuana law. Senate Bill 5798 will allow additional health care professionals – including naturopaths, physician’s assistants, osteopathic physicians, osteopathic physicians assistants, and advanced registered nurse practitioners – to legally recommend marijuana therapy to their patients. Under present law, only licensed physicians may legally recommend medicinal cannabis. Washington lawmakers are the first legislators to codify these expanded recommendation rights into law. The measure now goes before Democrat Governor Christine Gregoire for final approval. Contact information for Gov. Gregoire is available from NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

    New Hampshire: House lawmakers voted 214 to 137 last week in favor of House Bill 1653, which would amend penalties for possession of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil infraction. The vote prompted Democrat Gov. John Lynch to threaten to veto the legislation if it reaches his desk. New Hampshire residents are encouraged to contact their members of the Senator and the Governor in support of this measure by visiting NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

    Hawaii: Members of the House Public Safety Committee and the Public Health Committee last week approved Senate Bill 2213, which would allow for the establishment of licensed ‘compassion centers’ to engage in the controlled production and distribution of cannabis to state-authorized patients. The Senate had previously approved the measure by a 20 to 1 vote. The bill now awaits action from the House Judiciary Committee. You can read NORML’s testimony in favor of the bill here. Senate lawmakers previously approved a separate marijuana decriminalization proposal, SB 2450, which also awaits action from the House.

    Kansas: Members of the House Committee on Health and Human Services will hold an informational hearing tomorrow on House Bill 2610, which seeks to legalize the medical use of marijuana to authorized patients. NORML representatives will be testifying at tomorrow’s hearing and have also provided written testimony to the Committee.

    Tennessee: State lawmakers will be holding a pair of hearings this week and next week regarding the Safe Access to Medical Cannabis Act. NORML has retained a state lobbyist to represent the interests of our statewide affiliates, and will be taking a lead role in the upcoming hearings.

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

    19 Responses to “NORML’s Weekly Legislative Update”

    1. Logan Fettinger says:

      Thank you guys for all that you are doing..that sums it all up.

    2. brian says:

      John Lynch everybody, a democrat. Let this be a reminder to think outside the box.

    3. Alabama’s id on for March 31. 2010/ We need you there. See http://www.alcompassionate-care.com for more info

    4. Dezra says:

      Linda Pafford, The Dempcratic Party Chair from Grant County New Mexico is writting a medical cannabis resolution. We should all contact her with our support, I know that she needs it. She has asked that anyone able to give an “expert” statement in favor of the resolution at the Democratic Convention contact her. If this passes, Medical Cannabis will be an Official part of the Democratic Party Platform.
      She can be reached at:
      .
      Linda Pafford.
      (575) 536-3055.
      ruinrat@gmail.com
      .

    5. A. says:

      We need more advocates to get involved in their respected state. Your worth is valued. Thanks NORML for the support here in the great state of Kansas. Still have a long way to go but it’s a start. Don’t give up. Don’t talk about it, be about it. Change starts and ends with you.

    6. Micah says:

      TN IS HAVING HEARINGS?!?!?!?!?!?!?

      I have little/no hope for TN, this is its last chance or im movin out west!!!!

      Dont let me down TN!!

    7. McNugget O Help says:

      Hey Norml– here’s something for you for the future:

      Republicans in Virginia want to set up state wide exemptions to the Obama health care bill. Meaning that Republicans will be fighting for states rights soon. I would say that could bring our two causes together, but we all know they just hate us on their hyper zealout retardo religious right christian “morals”

    8. deaker says:

      Interesting conclusion I made (not that there’s necessarily any correlation or that I’m correct) but from 2008-2009 the top 3 states to reduce state prison numbers all have at least medical marijuana (if not decriminalized): California, Michigan, Rhode Island.

      Additionally, Indiana (my state) has the highest percent of increase of state prisoners (5.3%) and very strict marijuana laws. “An Indiana prison spokesman, Doug Garrison, said the legislature had enhanced criminal penalties to add prison time to a number of offenses, and the state has not had to release prisoners out of budget constraints or court orders.”

      Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100317/ap_on_re_us/us_fewer_inmates

    9. Robert says:

      thanks NORML for everything you have done for this corrupt nation/goverment it seems as if the states around mine(ohio) and begining to notice the effects of marijuana and the way it helps peopel get througth life it really is a great substance. i just wish ohio would fall under the “peer presure” of the other states we really need this.

      on a side note just a question when you guys get high does anyone get hyper/talkative and twitch or have the feelings of twitching (my friend said i want when i felt like i was then again i was freakin out i was at work yes i know im a perfect example of why its illegal lol)

    10. Res-Ball says:

      thats great more and more work is being done and it’s only going to get better with time.The table is turning.I havent heard much about PA on here.We have a bill introduced and it needs to be on the top of our law makers minds.Everyone has there problems and a lot of them being health ones.People need a safe natural medicine that will help them like NO other.Cancer is a very big problem and from what i’ve seen.CANNABIS is a natural way to fight the cancer, more than just to help with Pain.Our lawmakers know people with cancer or may have it themselves.When shown information on this subject and how safe it is , i dont see how they could not have a heart to support it.By the way a lot of law makers talk,it seems like cannabis as medicine should be just fine.They need to know from the people that there not ashamed of this.This is not somthing to shame upon,it is a pandasia.Lets make good examples out of all of this and get access to all states.We all need it.

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