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NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 19, 2012

    January 2012 marks the beginning of a new legislative session in all 50 states. Already, marijuana law reform legislation is pending (or has been pre-filed) in nearly a dozen states. To keep up to date with what’s pending, and how you can support marijuana-friendly reform measures in your state, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

    You can also stay abreast of 2012 statewide ballot initiative efforts, such as those ongoing in Colorado and elsewhere, via NORML’s Legalize 2012 Facebook page here.

    Below is this week’s edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up — where we spotlight specific examples of pending marijuana law reform legislation from around the country.

    ** 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 to make the changes they want to see. Get active; get NORML!

    ARIZONA: Legislation has been reintroduced to defelonize marijuana possession penalties in Arizona. House Bill 2044 amends state law so that the adult possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is reduced from a potential felony (punishable by 1.5 years in prison and a $150,000 fine) to a “petty offense” punishable by no more than a $500 fine. You can contact your state House member in support of this measure here.

    CALIFORNIA: State lawmakers have until January 27 to act on a pair of 2011 marijuana reform measures. Assembly Bill 1017 would reduce penalties for marijuana cultivation from a mandatory felony to a “wobbler” or optional misdemeanor. Senate Bill 129 makes it unlawful “for an employer to discriminate against” persons who are authorized under state law to use medical cannabis. You can learn more about these important measures by visiting the California NORML website here. You can read my testimony in favor of SB 129 here.

    INDIANA: For the first time in recent memory, legislation has been introduced to ‘decriminalize’ marijuana possession penalties in Indiana. Senate Bill 347 amends state law so that the adult possession of up to three ounces of marijuana is reduced from a potential felony (punishable by up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine) to a noncriminal infraction. Senate Bill 347 also amends Indiana’s traffic safety code to halt the prosecution of motorists who test positive for the presence of inactive marijuana metabolites in their urine (so-called zero tolerance per se legislation) but who do not otherwise manifest any other evidence of behavioral impairment. Indianans are strongly encouraged to contact their state Senators in support of SB 347 via NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

    NEW JERSEY: A coalition of lawmakers have pre-filed legislation for introduction in the 2012 session to significantly reduce penalties for those who possess personal use quantities of marijuana. Assembly Bill 1465 removes criminal penalties for the possession of 15 grams or less of marijuana (presently punishable by up to six-months in prison and a $1,000 fine) and replaces them with civil penalties punishable by no more than a $150 fine. Additional information is available from NORML NJ here or via NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

    VIRGINIA: Legislation seeking to establish a joint study committee to investigate the fiscal impact of regulating the production and sale of marijuana to adults 21 and over is before the Virginia House of Delegates. To learn more about House Joint Resolution 140, please visit Virginia NORML or consider contacting your state officials here.

    To be in contact with your state officials regarding these measures and other pending legislation, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

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

    1. Penelope Randall says:

      I would like it if Georgia would legalize marijuana as soon as possible! Can I sign a petition or something?

      [Paul Armentano responds: No. Georgia is not a state that allows for legislation to be passed via initiative. (See: http://www.ballot.org/pages/initiative_process) That means that the ONLY way to enact marijuana reform legislation in your state is to identify supportive legislators, encourage them to introduce said legislation, and then support that legislation as it is sheperded through both legislative chambers and eventually to the Governor’s desk.]

    2. […] NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform Filed Under: Latest News Tagged With: Legislative, NORML’s, Round, Weekly […]

    3. Price Charles says:

      I’m trying my best to put a game changing billboard 14 x 48 using Fed DEA Law Judge Francis Young’s own ruling, and Fed Patent #630507 to describe the need for the Federal Gov to reschedule medical cannabis in the S. Fl area. I’m using the DEA’s own words, statements, and facts to argue against their current stance not to reschedule. People are telling me its a great ad, however I’m running into barriers from the Billboard Companies not wanting to allow such an ad. Any suggestions?

    4. KS says:

      Kansas also has a bill that will go before the House of Rep’s this month. There has been nearly no news about this.

      http://www.kake.com/news/headlines/Kansas_House_To_Consider_Medical_Marijuana_Bill_137526878.html?ref=878

      [Paul Armentano responds: I have been in communication with the primary sponsor of this measure, which is a 2011 bill but is scheduled to be heard before the House Health and Human Services Committee this coming Tuesday.]

    5. disabledvet says:

      bill 3251 for medical marijuana is no longer showing on the West Virgina Legislature. i tried to e-mail norml via yahoo but it wouldn’t go thru, it said no norml@norml.org. can norml inquire into this matter?

      [Paul Armentano responds: The bill in question was from 2011. It died in Committee.]

    6. Sixstring says:

      Alabama will have two medical marijuana bills introduced this year.

    7. To norml, I hope what I did went thru. I sent it to about 18 e-mails in the state of GA. If it did not get thru,please notify me. Peace, Buster Jones Albany,GA.

    8. Smoke n toke says:

      To prohibition and co. STOP creating what you cannot control. Do cannabis , prohibition and WE THE PEOPLE come to mind? Well it sure did when they wrote the Constitution because like a flower it must be tended to correctly for it to benefit all.

    9. […] NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up January 2012 marks the beginning of a new legislative session in all 50 states. Already, marijuana law reform legislation is pending (or has been pre-filed) in nearly a dozen states. To keep up to date with what’s pending, and how you can support marijuana-friendly reform measures in your state, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here. You can also stay abreast of 2012 statewide ballot initiative efforts, such as those ongoing in Colorado and elsewhere, via NORML’s Legalize 2012 Facebook page here. Below is this week’s edition of NORML’s Weekly […] […]

    10. Norml says:

      I think idaho might have something in the works as well

      [Paul Armentano responds: NORML’s alert for Idaho’s medical marijuana proposal is here: http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=23731511. Please check NORML’s Take Action Center for a complete list of pending legislation.]

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