NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 16, 2009

    Below is this week’s summary of pending state legislation and tips on how you can become involved in changing the marijuana laws in your state.

    Washington: A dozen lawmakers introduced legislation (HB 1177) this week to reclassifying (read: decriminalize) the possession of up to forty grams of marijuana to a class 2 civil infraction. Passage of this bill would reduce the penalties on minor marijuana possession offenses from a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine to a monetary penalty of no more than $100. According to data provided by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, enacting this policy would save state taxpayers over $7.5 million annually. Residents in Washington are strongly encouraged to contact their House members in support of HB 1177 via NORML’s online advocacy system.

    Montana: There has been a flurry of legislative activity this week pertaining to the medical use of marijuana. First the good news. House Bill 73, an act to revise the state’s medical marijuana law, has been referred to the House Human Services Committee. If passed, this proposal would benefit Montana patients by expanding the pool of health care providers who may legally recommend marijuana therapy under state law to include physician assistants and nurse practitioners.

    Now the bad news. Senate Bill 212, an act to impose a lifetime ban on qualified medical cannabis patients who commit certain driving indiscretions, has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. If passed, this proposal would sanction patients found to be operating a motor vehicle with even trace levels of THC (above 1 ng/ml) in their blood by disqualifying them for life from the state’s medical marijuana program.

    Both measures will be heard by legislators next week. It is important that lawmakers hear from you. If you live in Montana, you can show your support HB 73 by going here. You can voice your opposition to SB 212 by going here. For more information on attending next week’s hearings, please contact: info@mtmjpatients.org.

    New Jersey: In the coming weeks, the Senate is expected to vote on Senate Bill 119, the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, which seeks to make New Jersey the fourteenth state to allow for the physician-supervised use of medicinal cannabis. Governor Jon Corzine backs the measure, as do many of the state’s largest newspapers. Residents in New Jersey are strongly encouraged to contact their senators in support of SB 119 via NORML’s online advocacy system.

    Missouri: Ten lawmakers have introduced legislation (HB 277) to legalize the medical use of marijuana in Missouri. If passed, this measure would “give medical marijuana patients the same rights as other pharmaceutically medicated individuals.” You can learn more about the measure via NORML’s online advocacy system.

    11 responses to “NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up”

    1. Adenslayer says:

      we have won first place one change.org, now lets win first place on change.gov… go to http://citizensbriefingbook.change.gov/ideas/viewIdea.apexp?id=087800000004lrP to vote

    2. Anonymous says:

      HB1177 is a joke, it doesn’t change a thing. You’ll still have to buy from drug dealers who will always rip you off anyway they can, you STILL go to jail for it. I laugh at HB1177, what about the other one that ACTUALLY legalize Cannabis and treat it like they would Alcohol.
      It should ONLY be treated like it would Alcohol, nothing more nothing less, I’m not fallinng for this BS.

    3. NORML says:

      Anyone else see that Senate Bill 212 would yet again just prevent even more medical users? “certain driving indiscretions”, but yet, Marijuana metabolites are there whether your high or not. “You can get medicated, but now you give up your rights to drive” Another bill made by a ignorant tard, =./

    4. Dizzle says:

      HB 1177,

      *blink blink* Hell yeah! I’m all for this in my state!

    5. Mike says:

      they want to fine people for smoking weed! what is this bullshit?

    6. pedro says:

      florida needs to make a move man!

    7. Mike Cann says:


      Interview with PROSPECT HILL in Methuen, MA about question 2 decrim and the Methuen city hearing to overturn what 65% of MA voters voted for.


      Music: Prospect Hill
      “Break Down” and “4 AM”

      For info on all the local hearings and flyers/posters to bring to them.

      Lawrence Eagle Tribune Agrees With Us! Methuen Mayor William Manzi this is a bad idea.

      Methuen City Council, 7PM, TUESDAY NIGHT!

      Searles Building, Room 308
      41 Pleasant St.
      Methuen, MA 01844

      You can also call the city counsil, please leave them a message! Thanks them for their service and ask they vote with the will of the people and for decrim as it stands and is working…

      Methuen Council Office: 978-983-8510


      City and town officials across the state are scrambling to pass RE-CRIMINALIZATION BY-LAWS that would make pot smokers criminals again.

      Quincy, Framingham, and Milford are already very close to passing these measures. Worcester city counsil was the first to vote on it, we won in Worcester.

      Will your town follow? Check out http://bostonfreedomrally.com and http://www.masscann.org for the latest news!

      Tell your town governments to keep marijuana DECRIMINALIZED and not RECRIMINALIZED!

      Be there with us this Tuesday Night, 7PM on the streets in front of Quincy City Hall and then inside for the city council hearing!

      Quincy City Council:

      1305 Hancock St, Quincy, Massachusetts 02169

      Date: Tuesday, January 20, 2009
      Time: 7:00 – 8:00 pm
      By MBTA: Red Line (Braintree Train) to Quincy Center. City Hall is behind the T Station on Hancock Street.

      Despite the 63% margin of voters who said “yes” to Question 2, Quincy will be looking to RECRIMINALIZE MARIJUANA on Tuesday, January 20, when they meet at 7pm. If they are successful, Quincy will be the first town in Massachusetts to do so since Question 2 passed.

      This could open the door to more towns following suit.

      Last week, the Worcester city council voted 7-4 AGAINST recriminalizing marijuana. If it is defeated in Quincy, it will show lawmakers across the state that decriminalization was the right choice, and that the voters knew what they were doing when they said “YES.” DONT LET YOUR VOICE GET SILENCED BY THE “REEFER MADNESS MENTALITY” OF YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT.

      Come stand with our brothers and sisters in Quincy, and lets end this recriminalization movement now.

      Calling out Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch, Methuen Mayor Manzi and any other paid politician ruling against the vote of the majority who feel like nobody should ever be arrested for using cannabis!

      Patriot Ledger Letter to Editor about Protest/Rally!

    8. Derrick Jordan says:

      So glad to see the Missouri House Bill 277 measure. I suffer from cronic pancreatitis and it causes me much pain and nausia. Lets band together and make Missouri the next Medical Marijuana state. If you are in Missouri please contact all of your elected officials and let’s give deserving people the medicine they need!!!!

    9. crohn's patient says:

      MINNESOTA: Senate Bill SF97 is also currently active and in the Health and Human Services Committee!!!

    10. repo cars says:

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