Several States Considering Legislation To Legalize Adult Cannabis Consumption

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 31, 2013

    Several States Considering Legislation To Legalize Adult Cannabis ConsumptionWashington, DC: Lawmakers in several states are anticipated to debate legislative measures this year that seek to legalize and regulate the adult use and retail distribution of marijuana.

    To date, lawmakers in six states – Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont – have either pre-filed or introduced legislation to legalize marijuana consumption for adults.

    On Friday, members of Hawaii’s House Judiciary Committee will hear testimony regarding House Bill 699, which seeks to tax and regulate the commercial production, sale, and use of cannabis by those persons age 21 or older. House Chairman, Rep. Joseph Souki, is sponsoring the measure. Nearly six out of ten Hawaii voters believe that cannabis should be "taxed, regulated, and legalized for adults," according to a statewide poll published earlier this month. Only 39 percent of respondents opposed the idea. You can read NORML’s written testimony to the committee here.

    According to a January 2013 New Hampshire poll conducted by the firm Public Policy Polling, 53 percent of respondents favor "changing (state) law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol." Only 37 percent of respondents opposed the plan.

    In Vermont, a 2012 survey of respondents in 148 Vermont cities throughout the state reported that one out of two Vermonters support legalization.

    On Election Day, 55 percent of voters in Colorado and Washington approved citizens’ ballot initiatives legalizing the adult consumption of marijuana and authorizing the state to license individuals to commercially produce and sell it.

    Nationally, nearly six out of ten Americans support legalizing cannabis, according to a just released Public Policy Polling automated telephone survey of 1,325 voters, commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project.

    "Calling for an end to marijuana prohibition is no longer a political liability; it is a political opportunity," said NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano. "Never in modern history has there been greater public support for ending the nation’s nearly century-long experiment with cannabis prohibition and replacing it with a system of legalization and regulation. Politicians who are seeking to amend this failed policy are aligning themselves with the majority. Those who do not are siding with an ever decreasing minority of their constituents."

    50 Responses to “Several States Considering Legislation To Legalize Adult Cannabis Consumption”

    1. Leon says:

      6 out of 10 people want it legalized and 8 out of 10 smoke it. I’m sure the fast food industry is all for pot being legal. Every medical prescription issued will equal 3 happy meals. Can you say “super size me… and I want large fries with that please”.

    2. With the medical prescription it can be done, but the process to it is really a huge process, thanks for information.

    3. Tyler says:

      All I have to say is UTAH better change soon! OR I’ll be forced into moving to COLORADO. I have Many Medical diseases and problems which would qualify me for Medical Marijuana in a state where Medical Marijuana is Legal. But I’m tired of Waiting, and I have tried pleading with UTAH officials, But NO Luck!!!

    4. Sean says:

      Bhonze: New Orleans would be awesome if they did legalize marijuana in the city limits. I’m sick of all the boozers in the French Quarter. New Orleans needs mellower people who want to chill out. To Mayor Landrieu’s credit, he downgraded marijuana to be a municipal non-arrestable offense. But he can go much further. New Orleans s a beacon for progress in medieval Louisiana.

    5. dan says:

      How can the feds hold the only patent on canabanoids and then deam it illegal? U.S. Patent # 6630507 Now how can you steal money and property prosacuting americans for something you hold the patent for?? they don’t have the patent on Cocaine and Heroin do they??

    6. Jordan says:

      By god it is time people we need to end this fail war it is totally based on false and mis-informed data. This is the best medicine for me and I have tried everything else, nothing comes even close, i know there is others like myself out there, this is a matter of choice and freedom.

    7. lockedoutofthefriggenshed says:

      it just kills me that their are people who think this legalization issue is obamas fault. he is but a pawn in all of this. its big buisness that has the most influence. the ‘crystal palace’ i call it. these , buisness elite, stand to loose money and power over cannabis and hemp. their buisnesses have shaped this country and their money has influenced much. i could vison obama getting in office and being coached on how to handle these things…i didnt vote for him, i didnt agree he belonged in that position. money and greed…THATS what keeps cannabis illegal. damm shame too.. money making and people pleasing are two of the best terms i can think of. how happy many would be if they had the choice to reap the benefits of consuming cannabis…who needs drugs?….how many people that did consume cannabis thru their life and have been forced to quit are feeling as healthy as they did while consuming?? be friggen honest!!!

    8. Patriot1 says:

      Rick D – I really feel for you man. This is why all drug testing should be outlawed, it is oppressive. I take it that you’re in a situation where you’re suffering chronic pain, but because you have a job that does random drug testing, you cannot smoke weed to help alleviate your pain, and so you are forced to take liver-damaging chemical medication. If that ain’t being oppressed I don’t know what is. I had a job some years back where two people I worked with were migraine headache sufferers. I used to toke with them outside of work. They both told me that weed works way better for their migraines than the chemical meds they were prescribed. Fortunately, the place where we worked didn’t drug test, so we were free to do whatever we wanted on our own time. This is the way it should be everywhere, this is AMERICA, not Amerika! We need to go back to being the land of the free and home of the brave, not the land of the fee and home of the slave! Therefore, if we legalize weed everywhere, we should be able to put the parasitic drug testing profiteers out of business once and for all.

    9. Rick D says:

      First off,I want to thank everybody for thier contributions and concern and committment to the cause.Very informative and entertaining read.I have been diagnosed with chronic pain from a neck injury in 1984. I fractured C3 vertabrae.Reconstructed vertebrae and C2,3,4 vertabrae have been fused together. I have been taking hydrocodone 5mg 500 acteminophen for the winter months when its cold and damp.I am sure my liver is damaged and the addiction and withdrawls are very serious and a path I don’t want to gdown.It’s proven that MMJ i very effective for relief of chronic pain. Iam a hard workni.g taax paying parent that obeys the law and with random Drug testing,smoki is not an.option for me.Decriminalize the use and user is the first step towards maki.g change and progress. Education and awareness is what I strive to do. Take action and make things happen. I emailed our congressmen today in North Carolina. You have to do your part

    10. Patriot1 says:

      I agree with a lot of what Freedom says, especially the part about needing a functional government. The problem we have is we have a largely schizophrenic/split personality government. Take Colorado for instance. It’s great that they made weed legal, but then they turn around and try and pass commie gun control laws. Supposedly Cuomo in NY wants to make weed legal but yet him and the dem-o-rat legislature just passed a very draconian gun control law. The problem we have is that the democrats support weed legalization but attack the 2nd Amendment, while the republicans support the 2nd Amendment while attacking cannabis users. Both of them are guilty in one way or another of attacking our freedoms. We need to be pro-gun AND pro-weed. At least now there are some republicans who are starting to come on board in support of medical marijuana and commercial hemp, so that’s good. Now they just need to support legalization of recreational use, while the democrats need to pull their heads out of their asses and stop attacking gun owners. It’s as though the democrats are paranoid about gun owners and the republicans are paranoid about pot smokers. Both are irrational fears with no evidence to back them up. Anybody who has ever purchased a firearm knows that when you do, you have to fill out a form at the gun shop you are buying it from. One of the questions it asks is “Are you a habitual user of marijuana?” It doesn’t ask anything about hard drugs or prescription meds, just marijuana. Do I sense maybe a little hostility towards pot smokers? It’s as though they think that anyone who smokes weed can’t be trusted with a gun, which is a total load of crap. Most pot smokers I know are really mellow, they’re ordinary everyday people who work, pay their taxes, and raise their families. When you look at all these mass school shootings, such as Columbine, etc. you will find that pretty much every single shooter was taking chemical anti-depressants, which ARE very dangerous. Weed had nothing to do with it, but rather legal pharmaceutical drugs. I find this very interesting. So I say legalize weed, legailze guns, legalize FREEDOM!

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