NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up: Which State Will Be The Next To Legalize Medicinal Cannabis?

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 22, 2009

    A number of state legislatures are actively vying to join Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington to become the fourteenth state to legalize the physician-supervised use of medicinal marijuana.

    Here’s how you can help make these efforts a reality.

    Illinois: This week the Marijuana Policy Project began running targeted ads in support of House Bill 2514 and Senate Bill 1381, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Acts. Both bills have already passed various legislative committees and are expected to receive floor votes imminently. If you live in Illinois and have not yet contacted your House and Senate members in support of these measures, please do so now by going here.

    Minnesota: A pair of bills (SF 97 and HF 292) seeking to allow for the use and distribution of medicinal cannabis have cleared committee and are expected to be voted on shortly by members of the full House and Senate. UPDATE! THE SENATE TODAY GAVE PRELIMINARY APPROVAL TO THE BILL! One potential hurdle: Governor Tim Pawlenty, who has voiced opposition to the measures. Tell the Governor that “it is unconscionable to deny this effective medicine to sick and dying patients” by going here.

    New Hampshire: UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! The Senate voted TODAY in favor of HB 648. Now only one man stands in the way of legal medical marijuana and that is Gov. John Lynch, who has expressed reservations about the measure. Please write or call him here.

    New Jersey: In February, members of the state Senate approved the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act by a vote of 22 to 16. Yet months later, leadership in the Assembly has still not taken any action on this measure, which has received the support of the Governor and the Attorney General. Please contact your member of the Assembly here, and urge him or her demand that their colleagues hold hearings on medical marijuana.

    New York: Lawmakers in the state Senate and Assembly introduced legislation this week to legalize the state-sanctioned use and distribution of medicinal marijuana. The bills’ sponsors are confident that they have the necessary votes to pass medical marijuana law reform in both chambers. Further, according to news reports, Gov. Patterson is also privately supportive of medical marijuana law reform. If you reside in New York, please consider assisting this campaign by going here and by contacting your elected officials here.

    77 responses to “NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up: Which State Will Be The Next To Legalize Medicinal Cannabis?”

    1. moto DAD 569 says:

      a bit off topic but did anybody here the pres today praise cali in being a leader in clean energy? he said something like “by having good policy in place” and something about using cali as a example the rest of the nation could learn from them. hopefully he will continue to use cali as a example for the rest of the country eh. Lets thin out some prisons and legalize and use home detention for the non violents. I would rather do the 87 months they wanna give me for conspiracy to manu and deliver in my home instead of prison.

    2. Christopher says:

      So is FLORIDA…it was just in the newspaper a few weeks ago. You have got to add us to your list as we are no where to be found.

    3. Anon says:

      The wall is coming down. Weed will be legal much sooner than you think. I expect it to be legal for medicinal purposes nationally before the year’s out.

    4. Lee says:

      Does anyone know how the alabama medical marijuana bill is doing?

    5. You left out North Carolina. H1380 and H1383 made it through the first eading. Now that they work through committee, is the time to contact legislators.


    6. NoStressKid says:

      Sooo happy NY is finally moving forward.

    7. J says:

      I can’t find anything about Alabama either. I doubt that’s a good sign.

    8. paul armentano says:


      NC’s legislative alert is here:

      I feel like I have to explain this week after week, but these posts are NOT INCLUSIVE. There are simply too many bills in play to summarize each one in a blog post. BUT THAT SAID, all state pending bills are UPDATED REGULARLY at NORML’s Take Action Center here:

      If you are curious about the legislative status of a bill and don’t see it mentioned here, then just check the Take Action Center. I update that page daily.

      RE: FL. Florida is NOT a legislative effort. It is a proposed statewide initiative that is in the signature gathering stage. This post and the Take Action Center page focus on legislation only. NORML generally tends not to report extensively on these efforts until after they have qualified for the ballot. A similar initiative petition is also pending in Arizona. A 2009 medical marijuana petition will go before the voters this fall in MAINE. You can read the details tomorrow in NORML’s weekly news release.

    9. Bradley says:

      contact your reps! it actually matters to them what people push for, despite what you might think

    10. Craig says:

      Come on Virginia, you’ve been missing lately and you have democratic majorities. TIME FOR ACTION! I want legal medicine and I don’t want to move.