NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up

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

    The theme this week: Time to write your Governor!

    Maine: Democrat Gov. John Baldacci signed legislation into law on May 1 expanding the state’s marijuana decriminalization law. As enacted, LD 250 makes the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana a civil violation, punishable by a fine only. (Presently, anyone found possessing more than 1.25 ounces of cannabis is presumed to be engaging in the marijuana sales and faces criminal penalties and potential jail time.) The new law takes effect later this fall. Only one other state, Ohio, treats the possession of more than 2.5 ounces of cannabis as a fine-only (no jail) offense.

    New Hampshire: Only one man has the power to continue the criminalization of seriously ill patients in New Hampshire. That man is Democrat Governor John Lynch. If you live in New Hampshire, he needs to hear from younow! Last week, Gov. Lynch indicated to House leaders that he was likely to veto HB 648, which would legalize the use and cultivation of medicinal cannabis by state-qualified patients. Legislative leaders are trying to revise the bill’s language to address the Governor’s concerns. But even more importantly the Governor needs to hear positive feedback from his constituents. You can contact Gov. Lynch here or by visiting NHCompassion.org.

    Hawaii: Senate Bill 1058, an act to create a medical cannabis task force committee, has been approved by the legislature and now awaits action from Republican Gov. Linda Lingle. The intent of the task force is to address patients’ concerns and criticisms regarding Hawaii’s eight-year-old medical marijuana law. In 2008, Gov. Lingle vetoed a similar task force measure. That is why, if you live in Hawaii, we are asking you to contact the Governor and urge her to support SB 1058. You can do so by going here.

    Rhode Island: House members are expected to vote later this week on House Bill 5359, which would allow for the state to license non-profit “compassion centers” to assist in the production and distribution of medical cannabis to qualified patients. The Senate previously voted 35 to 2 in favor of the legislation. House members will need to approve it by a similar majority — as the measure faces a veto threat from Republican Gov. Don Carcieri. If you live in Rhode Island, you can learn more about this campaign by going here or here.

    Minnesota: Legislation to legalize the medicinal use of cannabis has been approved by the state Senate and now awaits action from the House. At this time, the bill’s primary hurdle appears to be Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has voiced strong opposition to the measure. If you live in Minnesota, please contact your House member and the Governor by going here.

    For information on additional marijuana law reform legislation, please visit NORML’s Take Action page here.

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

    1. Jeff says:


    2. Jeff says:

      New York ShoulD Decriminalize Marijuana To
      No JaiL FoR Less Than 2.5 Onions
      Naw mean?????????????????????????????????????

    3. brian says:

      what happened to maryland studying the use of medical marijuana???

    4. Real Change says:

      I hate my governor Lynch… I thought the democrats were supposed to be the progressive party. Ya right. I only vote for common sense libertarian-esq politicians like Ron Paul. They are the only politicians who consistently support liberty and personal freedom. I have washed my hands of the democratic party.

    5. The Skeptical FLoridian says:

      If you live in Florida and are not a square, vote out Governor Charlie Crist cause he doesn’t comply with what we are about. It’s 2009 and there is to my knowledge no legislation even considered here. What a let down. Florida sucks. Don’t move here. Go out west where the general population aren’t douchbag squares.

      All someone has sometimes is hope. Gotta try for change. Enough of this archaic bullcrap.

      Where’s the change Obama? At least Governor Schwarzenegger had the cohones to say something; figures he would and Obama wouldn’t. Little girly man!

      Legalize to end the suffering!

    6. Vladimir M. Ortega says:

      What about VIrginia!!!

    7. Da Vinci says:

      Heard the Illinois Senate is going to vote on medical cannabis this week. Is this true ? Call/ write your Illionis congressmen and woman and lets get this passed !

    8. matt says:

      NY stand up!! email and call your reps and let them know we support medical science and urge them to aswell!!! or thank them if they already support it to let them reinforce what theyre doing to other senators and reps!!

      come on NY we can pass it this year. It was close in previous years SO close.. but this year we have a majority democratic and we also have some republican support!!! i’ll be putting all my hopes into this one new york. don’t let us down

    9. mike says:

      nice to see more states doing the right thing

    10. MIKE STROUP says:

      It is Unconstitutional and inhumane to deprive people of treatment that works for them. Only a patient with input from a qualified physician can know what is best. Law enforcement should concern themselves only with crimes where there are actual victims, and not try to practice medicine. Prohibitionists should read the Constitution of the United States and mind their own business.