February 14th, 2013
A record number of statewide marijuana law reform measures are pending in 2013. Is your state one of them?
To find out — and to contact your state elected officials in favor of pending legislation — just click here, find the legislative alert applicable to your state, enter your name and zip code, and a pre-written letter of support will be electronically sent to your state House or Senate member. (To contact your member of Congress in support of federal legislative reforms, just follow these same steps.)
Here’s an overview of just some of these pending statewide measures:
Five states are considering legislation to legalize the adult consumption and sale of marijuana.
Nine states are considering legislation to decriminalize minor marijuana possession offenses.
Eight states are considering legislation to legalize the use of marijuana for therapeutic purposes.
If your state is not listed, please continue to check back to the NORML website often as we update legislative alerts daily. Over the coming weeks, several additional measures are expected to be introduced.
If your state is listed, please be sure to use this page to contact your elected officials. They hear from our opponents; they also need to hear from you! Those who sign up to receive NORML’s electronic newsletter here will also receive time-sensitive legislative updates to let you know when hearings and votes are pending on these specific measures.
Get active; get NORML!
Today, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a new marijuana policy for the city during his State of the City address.
Mayor Bloomberg, who previously stood with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in his call for fixing New York’s marijuana laws, reiterated that support, but said his city won’t wait for Albany on this issue.
But we know that there’s more we can do to keep New Yorkers, particularly young men, from ending up with a criminal record. Commissioner Kelly and I support Governor Cuomo’s proposal to make possession of small amounts of marijuana a violation, rather than a misdemeanor and we’ll work to help him pass it this year. But we won’t wait for that to happen.
Right now, those arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana are often held in custody overnight. We’re changing that. Effective next month, anyone presenting an ID and clearing a warrant check will be released directly from the precinct with a desk appearance ticket to return to court. It’s consistent with the law, it’s the right thing to do and it will allow us to target police resources where they’re needed most.
Under current law, possession of marijuana for personal use in private is punishable by a ticket, but possession of marijuana open to public view or being burnt in public is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $250 with a maximum sentence of 90 days.
This initiative could go a long way towards correcting the draconic policy currently in place in the city, which disproportionately effects people of color and costs taxpayers about 75 million dollars a year in enforcement and prosecution costs. New York City is the marijuana arrest capitol of the world, with 50,684 arrests for marijuana offenses in 2011 alone, hopefully this action from the mayor will encourage his fellow New Yorkers in Albany to cease the arrest of marijuana consumers across the state.
You can view the full text of Mayor Bloomberg’s speech here.