NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 6, 2010

    It’s January 2010, and that means it is time once again for NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up — your one-stop guide to pending marijuana law reform legislation around the country, along with tips for influencing the policies of your state.

    ** A note to first time readers: NORML can not introduce legislation in your state. Nor can any other non-profit advocacy organization. Only your state representatives, or in some cases an individual constituent (by way of their representative; this is known as introducing legislation ‘by request’) can do so.  NORML can — and does — work closely with like-minded politicians and citizens to reform marijuana laws, and lobbies on behalf of these efforts. But ultimately the most effective way — and the only way — to successfully achieve statewide marijuana law reform is for local stakeholders and citizens to become involved in the political process and make the changes they want to see. We can’t do it without you.

    California: Reminder — On Tuesday, January 12, members of the California Assembly will decide on Assembly Bill 390, the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act, which seeks to regulate and control the production, distribution, and personal use of marijuana for adults age 21 and older. Tuesday’s vote will mark the first time since 1913, when California became one of the first states in the nation to enact cannabis prohibition, that lawmakers have reassessed this failed policy. You can read NORML’s prepared testimony here, and if you live in California it is pertinent that you call or fax your Assembly member this week by going here.

    New Hampshire: A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers today introduced the state’s first ever bill to legalize and “regulate the purchase and use of marijuana” for adults. As introduced, House Bill 1652 “allows [for] the purchase and use of marijuana by adults (age 21 or older), regulates the purchase and use of marijuana, and imposes taxes on the wholesale and retail sale of marijuana.” Personal possession of up to one ounce of cannabis and/or non-commercial cultivation of up to three marijuana plants would not be subject to tax and regulation under this act. You can read the full text of the measure here, and you can urge your politicians to support HB 1652 by going here. (FYI: A separate bill seeking to decriminalize minor marijuana possession, HB 1653, is also pending in the New Hampshire legislature.)

    Washington: [UPDATE!!! Members of the House Committee on Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness will hear testimony in favor of both marijuana legalization and decriminalization bills on Wednesday, January 13, at 1:30pm. Please see NORML’s ‘Current Action Alerts page here for more info.] Legislators have pre-filed House Bill 2401, which seeks to “remove all existing civil and criminal penalties for adults 21 years of age or older who cultivate, possess, transport, sell, or use marijuana.” You can read the full text of the proposal here, and you can show your support for the measure by going to NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here. (FYI: Separate decriminalization legislation also remains pending, and may be supported by going here.)

    New Jersey: Time is running out to make New Jersey the fourteenth state to legalize the therapeutic use of marijuana for qualified patients. Lawmakers are scheduled to vote on the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act on Monday, January 11. This is the final day that lawmakers will be voting on issues from the 2008-2009 legislative session. This means that the bill must pass the Assembly floor, and then be rectified with the Senate version of the bill, before it can be sent to outgoing Gov. John Corzine for his approval. If you reside in New Jersey then it is vital that you take action this week by going here.

    For information on additional state and federal marijuana law reform legislation, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

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

    1. Rob says:

      Okay this makes no sense about NJ.

      They passed the law through the Senate already…. why isn’t it at the Governor’s desk?

      They passed a more restrictive bill to vote on in the assembly later…

      What the fuck is going on?!
      Now that Corzine is on his way out we won’t get the medical care we need from that fat republican prick Christie.

      [Paul Armentano responds: Legislation has to pass both chambers, not just one, to go to the Governor’s desk. In this case the bill passed the Senate and then went to the Assembly. An Assembly Committee amended the Senate’s version of the bill and voted on it. The amended version still needs to be passed by the full Assembly, and then the Senate and Assembly have to agree on one version of the bill. It may sound frustrating, and it is, but it these are standard procedures in lawmaking. This is why passing legislation is difficult, and why passing marijuana law reform legislation is especially difficult.]

    2. samson says:

      Everybody files taxes about this time of year. And those(your..), tax dollars are spent on Gov’t. Programs; such as cannabis Prohibition.

      Now I don’t think for a moment that the 20 million + Americans that use cannabis for Medical, recreational, or spiritual reasons like having their own tax money used against them. I know I’m not cozy with the notion of working hard to earn money that in turn is taken by the Gov’t. to fund programs that infringe upon my right to free-will in the privacy of my own home!.

      So I got to thinkin’….what if every year your W2 form or whatever tax-papers you(I..), fill out came attached with a checklist of gov’t programs (perhaps both state and Federal) which the Tax-payer could select which programs their taxes would be devided between.

      IF the Government is FOR the people,….then it(gov.) should be decided BY and OF the people…..sound reasonable???

    3. Taff says:

      Come on GA and FL!!!

    4. CannabisTV says:

      And in Oregon:

      The Coalition for Patients’ Rights (CPR) has collected over 69,000 signatures for Initiative 28, the Regulated Medical Marijuana Supply System. CPR needs 82,769 valid signatures by July 2, 2010. We can make it on the ballot, but we need your help. OCTA is the bill for controlled and regulated legalization. OCTA2010.org

      Visit CannabisTV.org for more information.

    5. jim says:

      Any news on new york? (added by Mobile using Mippin)

    6. HighMtnSkier says:

      Get the word out NJ! Lets become #14!

    7. Freedom says:

      For anyone that wants to help fight prohibition even more.


      This is Howard Wooldridge’s new site. If your not familiar with him, hes the one who rode his horse cross country to bring attention to drug reform…Former member of LEAP.

    8. Vlad says:

      Florida sucks…..

    9. Fireweed says:

      Okay, I”m kind of getting used to the idea of California entertaining the notion of legalizing marijuana for adult use, but my jaw dropped when I saw two more states previously unmentioned that are now talking about full legalizatiion for adults! This is awesome beyond belief. I seriously belief full nationwide legalization is within reach. I foresee a trip to New Hampshire in my near future.

    10. Evan Ravitz says:

      This “note to first time readers” omits the way MOST reforms ACTUALLY happen. Ballot initiatives gave us medical marijuana in 10 of 13 states; only 3 got it by state representatives’ action. http://marijuanacannabis.wordpress.com/2008/11/26/medicinal-cannabis-in-the-usa/ See http://Vote.org/initiatives for more examples and references.

      [Paul Armentano responds: Yes, ballot initiatives are also an effective tool for political reform. But they are typically very expensive, and they are only an option in about half of U.S. states. In addition, some states allow lawmakers to amend or strike ballot measures all together. Bottom line is that reformers, like it or not, must still work within the legislative process. Also, it’s worth noting that only one of the decriminalized states enacted this policy via the initiative process.]