NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 11, 2009

    Each week, more states are moving forward to reduce or eliminate criminal penalties for marijuana offenses. If you have not yet gotten active in your state, now is most definitely the time to start. Here’s this week’s latest summary of how you can get involved!

    Kentucky: Okay, first the bad news. Kentucky legislators are trying to misuse the state’s traffic safety laws to target adults who use marijuana responsibly in the privacy of their own home. It’s up to us to stop them. Senate Bill 5, an act to criminalize anyone who operates a motor vehicle with any detectable level of marijuana in their blood, was previously approved by the state Senate, but had stalled in the House.

    However, on Tuesday, March 10, proponents attached SB 5 as an amendment to House Bill 369. Because HB 369 already overwhelmingly passed the House, the amended version may enjoy enough support to pass the Senate. That is, unless you write and call your legislators today and urge them to oppose HB 369, Senate Floor Amendment 1. You can contact them here.

    Montana: In more positive news, On Tuesday, March 10, members of the House Judiciary Committee Testimony in support of HB 541, which seeks to reclassify the possession of thirty grams or less of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil infraction payable by a $100 fine. NORML submitted testimony in support of the bill, which you can read here. You can also watch excerpts of the hearing here. Our friends at Montana Patients and Families United inform us that a Committee vote is expected within the next few days, so if you live in Montana please go here to urge your elected officials to vote ‘yes’ on HB 541.

    Connecticut: Senate Bill 349, an act to reclassify the possession of minor amounts of marijuana from a misdemeanor to an infraction, just got a needed boost of support. According to a just-published 2009 Quinnipiac University poll, 58 percent of Connecticut voters believe that minor marijuana offenders should face a fine in lieu of a criminal arrest. Currently, SB 349 is before the Joint Committee on Judiciary, which has yet to schedule a hearing. Tell the Committee and your elected officials to support SB 349 by going here.

    Maryland: On Tuesday, March 24, members of the Maryland House Judiciary will hear testimony in support of House Bill 1339, an act to create a legislative task to “study and recommend whether purchasing marijuana with a recommendation from a health care provider should be (state) law.” You can contact your elected officials and urge them to support House Bill 1339 here, and you can learn more about this effort at the Maryland chapter of Americans for Safe Access.

    To learn about additional pending legislation in Alabama, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Washington, please visit NORML’s Legislative Action Alerts page here.

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

    1. Jeff says:

      Change is coming…
      Are yall Ready??? LoL

    2. David says:

      NORML, Wisconsin needs your help!

      We haven’t seen any action out here.

    3. Bert Pettis says:

      What is the status of AB 390, the legalization bill in California? Is it still pending? Do we know which way support is swinging for it, as in, is it likely to be passed?

    4. 1. Jeff Says:
      March 11th, 2009 at 8:02 pm

      Change is coming…
      Are yall Ready??? LoL

      RE: 😐
      – – I’ll believe it WHEN I see it:
      Sold, (NATIONWIDE), in stores
      like booze and ciggys already are…

      When it is:
      …Allowed to be sold in health-food stores
      and natural-food markets,
      alongside other botanical-supplements.

      — Meanwhile, decriminalization, infractionalization,
      deprioritization, ARE NOT…
      ‘legalization’, ‘licensation’, NOR quality-regulation.

      Favorite NORML 2008 Ad Contest winning video:

    5. Rick says:

      Jeff: I have been ready for 25 years. Change cannot come fast enough.

    6. Brad says:

      Any fellow Kentuckians out there, please use NORML’s tool to send an email to your representatives asking them to vote ‘No’ on the zero-tollerance bill. Just because I smoked a joint last night don’t mean I’m not able to drive to work this morning…. this is a ridiculous law!! I’d like to get medical marijuana legalized here, but we need to stop the BS first.

    7. Jimbo says:

      Hey Norml, you should make your comment section like youtube’s, where you can reply to other’s posted comments ? It would make things alot easier and organized so you can read and reply to others comments and questions.

    8. TONY says:


    9. SAINT RICO says:

      Keep at it NORML. Ya’ll may not have achieved total glory yet. But; small victories are better than no victories. Finally, potheads have a platform from which they can be heard………..

    10. brittany says:

      change really needs to happen alot sooner than later!!!!!