NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 6, 2009

    Lots to report on this week, so let’s get right to it.

    If you have not yet gotten active in your state, now is most definitely the time to start.

    Here’s this week’s highlights of actions you can take right now to reform the laws in your state.

    For a complete listing of statewide actions, please visit NORML’s Take Action Center here.

    Decriminalizing Marijuana: In a historic vote, members of the Connecticut Joint Committee on Judiciary last week approved Senate Bill 349, which as amended, would mandate that the possession of up to one-half ounce of marijuana by those over 18 years of age is punishable by a ticket — not criminal charges. The bill now awaits action from he full Senate. Show your support for this effort by logging on here or by getting in touch with Connecticut NORML here.

    In Texas, members of the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence will hear testimony on Wednesday in favor of House Bill 902 — an act to reduce the penalties for the possession of up to ounce of marijuana to fine-only offense. The hearing is scheduled for 2pm in room E-2028 in the State Capitol Building. If you live in Texas you can write your representative in support of HB 902 by going here. You can also leave a message for the Committee by going here. Full details on attending this week’s hearing are available from Texas NORML here.

    Legalizing Medical Marijuana: Minnesota lawmakers continue to show their support for making medical cannabis legal. Senate File 97 is now before the Senate floor, and the House companion bill is also gaining momentum. If you reside in Minnesota and want to see it become the fourteenth state to legalize the physician-supervised use of cannabis, please visit here to contact your elected officials and the Governor’s office.

    In Alabama, members of the House Judiciary Committee are scheduled to hear testimony this Wednesday in favor House Bill 434, The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act. If you live in Alabama you can contact your state officials here, and you can learn more about attending this week’s hearing from Alabamians for Compassionate Care here.

    And since so many of you have asked: yes, medical marijuana legislation is coming to Pennsylvania. Over the past weeks, NORML state affiliates in Pennsylvania and New Jersey have been working closely with Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Cohen (D-Philadelphia) to draft legislation legalizing the authorized use of medical cannabis. Representative Cohen’s bill is anticipated to be formally introduced before the legislature later this month, and mainstream media outlets are already opining for its passage. For more information, or to become involved in this effort, please visit here, or contact the good folks at Philly NORML.

    UPDATE: Montana GOP Kills Marijuana Law Reform:
    On March 23, members of the Montana House Judiciary Committee deadlocked 9 to 9 on House Bill 541, which sought to reclassify the possession of thirty grams or less of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil infraction. Not one Republican voted in favor of the bill. An effort by supporters to raise the measure for reconsideration also failed.

    Days later, members of the House Human Services Committee voted 8 to 8 on Friday, March 27, to table Senate Bill 326, which sought to expand Montana’s medical marijuana program. Once again, no Republicans endorsed the bill. A motion on the House floor to reconsider the bill failed 47 to 51.

    More information on this disappointing news is available here. If you live in Montana, don’t just get angry — get involved!

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

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

    1. Anonymous says:

      I’m still waiting for New York…

    2. Hay New York #1, I’ll trade your NY for TN!!!!

    3. Brian Kerr says:

      “…the Connecticut Joint Committee…”

      Well of course it will pass.

    4. Freedom Forall says:

      What’s up with the TV ads I donated twice and the goal meter has not moved from $14,000 Does anyone know when the ads are starting???

    5. Darrell Kilgore says:

      Mostly Good News.Everyone contact legislators to co-sponsor HR1866,Industrial Hemp Bill.

    6. jd says:

      atleast you aren’t waiting in Louisiana =P

    7. Neil says:

      Every marijuana user must carry
      the 7 leaf cross on their back.
      And accept all persecution by this
      government, which denies a person
      freedom of life and liberty. I am
      ashamed to even live in this country,
      where we contain 5% of the population
      but 25% of the worlds prisoners.
      The 7 leaf cross, as in the holy
      leaf of cannabis is a great sign.
      Please accept the 7 leaf cross.
      And end the persecution.

    8. MikeH says:

      ROCK ON!!! Finally Texas is getting some relief! Me and my hippie friends in Austin are looking forward to this its about time!

    9. Jeff says:

      im waitin on New York…

      The Big Apple

      Needs Sum Green!!!