Many States Moving Forward With Medical Marijuana Plans — Despite Recent Federal Warnings

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 6, 2011

    Much has been made in the mainstream media in recent weeks regarding the federal government’s attempts to intimidate states into dropping their medical marijuana programs. But much less media attention has been paid to the reality that in several states, lawmakers are continuing to move forward with medical cannabis legalization efforts despite the Justice Department’s recent rhetorical smack-down.

    Here’s a run down of the latest statewide developments and what you can do to help.

    Connecticut: Members of the Joint Standing Committee on Public Health on Tuesday decided in favor of Governor’s Bill 1015, which amends state law to “authorize an individual to use marijuana for medical purposes as directed by a physician.” Members of the Judiciary had previously endorsed the bill, which is backed by Gov. Dan Malloy, in April. “States have a right to decide this for themselves,” Michael P. Lawlor, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s senior criminal justice adviser told The Connecticut Mirror this week. If enacted, Connecticut will become the sixteenth state since 1996 to authorize the state-sanctioned use of cannabis when recommended by a physician. You can support this effort via NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

    Delaware: Lawmakers are in the final stages of making Delaware the sixteenth state to allow for the physician-authorized use of marijuana. On Thursday, May 5, House lawmakers approved an amended version of Senate Bill 17, The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act. Senate Bill 17 amends state law so that physician-supervised patients with an authorized “debilitating medical condition” can possess and use marijuana for medical purposes. The measure would also provide for the establishment of non-profit “compassion centers” that would be licensed by the state to produce and dispense medical cannabis. Because House lawmakers made amendments to the Senate version of the bill, the measure must return to the Senate for an additional vote. In March, members of the Delaware Senate voted 18 to 3 in favor of the measure. You can learn more about this measure and how to support it via NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

    Ohio: Legislation that seeks to legalize the physician-supervised use of medical marijuana was reintroduced this week in the Ohio Legislature. House Bill 214, the Ohio Medical Compassion Act, amends state law so that physician-supervised patients with an authorized “debilitating medical condition” can possess and grow marijuana for medical purposes. Full text of the measure can be read here. HB 214 would allow qualifying patients to possess up to two hundred grams of usable marijuana and twelve mature cannabis plants. Qualifying patients from other medical marijuana states would be provided legal protection under this measure. HB 214 has been referred to the House Committee on Health and Aging, but has yet to be scheduled for a hearing. You can contact your state lawmakers in support of this measure here.

    Vermont: Vermont lawmakers have cleared the way for the enactment of the state-licensed distribution of medical marijuana. On Thursday, May 5, House lawmakers voted 99-44 in favor of Senate Bill 17, which allows for the state-sanctioned sale of marijuana to qualified patients. Under the bill, four dispensaries may be established to serve up to 1,000 patients. House lawmakers overwhelmingly decided to pass the measure despite warnings from the US Department of Justice claiming that the operation of such facilities could place citizens and state officials in conflict with federal law. Senators previously passed a version of SB 17 in April and are expected to concur with the minor changes made by the House. State Gov. Peter Shumlin supports the measure. Vermont lawmakers legalized the use of marijuana as a medicine in 2004, but the law presently provides no legal source for cannabis aside from home cultivation.

    Currently, both Colorado and New Mexico authorize the state-sanctioned distribution of cannabis.

    49 Responses to “Many States Moving Forward With Medical Marijuana Plans — Despite Recent Federal Warnings”

    1. […] market has grown exponentially since California first introduced medical marijuana back in 1996. America’s states have slowly joined the medical marijuana movement – one by one, each state electing to allow medical marijuana to be used by their pain hating […]

    2. […] and suffering this morning, is whether or not the country’s fourth populous state will follow the rapidly growing list of states that seek to legalize medical marijuana for its ailing […]

    3. Ken M says:

      Government can not tax or regulate cannabis that’s the only reason they won’t legalize pharmacy companies would loss millions.

    4. Ken M says:

      I live in Louisiana a alcohol fueled, conservative. Hot humid, close minded, bigot state ever, I risk it all to have the same rights as everyone who is fucking 18 years old can go with $100 get his card and then get to choose out of cannabis buffet I don’t think that is fair, and no I cannot afford to move and yes I have GAD general anxiety disorder that cannabis helps a whole lot. And I’m sick of hiding free the plant let’s make 2012 the year we end the governmental lies oh yea it’s all about that money . Nothing is free except the the bud off the worlds most perfect plant used over 4000 years that god or nature gave us for the exact reason we do sacred plant that the USA has brainwashed the masses to be evil or wrong or guilty fuck that we know the truth 420 will rise spread and freedom will be legalized :)

    5. David R nestler says:

      mean to say the year is 2011,Thank-you

    6. David R nestler says:

      I need Medical Marijuana in Pa.Myself and billions more, it 3011, not 1933.


    7. Bobby D.Denning says:

      Is it possible that WE THE PEOPLE may have out grown our own govt. The ideas the people have on the issues (when in comparison) seemed far more better. I guess that’s because we are out here,not them. The people without govt is still people, but the govt without the people ? whom shall they govern? Better to be legal than in a dealers hand because they will do whatever it takes( like other things )to put in it to make it seem more potent. Can’t put the dung back into the horse you know!

    8. Jeanne says:

      There is no need for this Federal goverment now! They should be evicted from OUR goverment. What do we need them for, they don’t protect us, they only persecute us. The state, you live in, should decide what is legal and what is not. Actually the people of the state that they live in, should decide what they want, not big brother!!!The whole goverment needs to butt out and that includes the Federal goverment!!

    9. Bobby D.Denning says:

      A right step forward. Dispensaries are sueing federal govt over raids! I say take it to court and let them plead their cause- in truth for their many crimes. The feds are subject to the laws too. Being fed or dea of govt does not give right to ignore or break laws against the USA.

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