NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 26, 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.

    Virginia: Members of the Virginia House Courts of Justice, Criminal Subcommittee are scheduled to hear testimony on Wednesday in favor of House Bill 1134, which seeks to dramatically reduce the state’s marijuana possession and cultivation penalties. Representatives from NORML’s national staff and state affiliate will be in attendance and testifying in support of this measure. You can read NORML’s written testimony to the subcommittee here; NORML’s letter in yesterday’s Washington Post appears here.

    Virginia residents are urged to contact their House delegates today. If your delegate is one of the members of the House Courts of Justice, Criminal Subcommittee, then it is especially important that he or she hears from you today. Phone and e-mail contact information for these members is available here. A pre-written letter will be e-mailed to your Virginia state House member when you go here. Finally, those seeking to attend Wednesday’s hearing in Richmond should contact Sabrina at Virginia NORML at: sabrina@norml.org for further information. You can also track the legislative progress of this effort on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/vanorml.

    New Hampshire: Lawmakers on the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee held hearings last week on two pending proposals, HB 1652 (legalization) and HB 1653 (decriminalization). You can read NORML’s written testimony in favor of these measures here, and you can voice your support for these efforts here. You can also watch video highlights (and lowlights) from last week’s hearing, care of our friends at New Hampshire Common Sense, by clicking here.

    Colorado: Members of the Colorado Senate, Health and Human Services Committee are scheduled to hear testimony Wednesday morning regarding proposed state regulations to Colorado’s medical marijuana law. You can read more about these controversial guidelines here, here and here, and you can contact members of the Committee here.

    Washington: House Committee lawmakers rejected a pair of marijuana law reform proposals last week that sought to remove criminal penalties for the adult, personal use of marijuana. You can see how House members voted here. A Senate companion bill to decriminalize marijuana possession, SB 5615, still awaits floor action and can be supported by going here.

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

    [UPDATE!!! For folks interested in the progress of New York’s pending medical marijuana legislation, there’s this report from today’s New York Times.]

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

    1. randy nc says:

      I think ya’ll need to change that caption to: “I’m not a criminal, I’m a cannabis consumer.” The whole pot smoker thing carries a lot of negative connotations with it.

    2. Vladimir M. Ortega says:

      Lets Go VA!!

    3. disvet13 says:

      I’ve said it before, get the petitions for complete legalization going in each state where a ballot initiative can be voted on by the people. it’s the only way to bypass lawyers and politicians getting there fingers in the pie. it’s all about the control. didn’t the legislative from california think his vote counted for more than the majority of californians.his lamentation that the courts ruled in favor of the will of the people should invoke a wake up call. the british are trying to get control.california’s court system had to recognize what the ballot initiatives passage meant.isn’t the legislature in michigan trying to circumvent the 72% majority of the voters by taking away their right to grow their own marijuana. if we wait on legislatures to craft the laws, you will never have the liberty granted by the Constitution. get the petitions, make it for complete legalization, without lawyers and politicians stealing your right to life,liberty, and growing your own medicine for pennies, growing your own clothing, growing your own fuel oil, growing your own tobacco replacement for cigarettes, cleaning your own environment, replacing paper from trees to paper from hemp. all the special interests now have free reign to contribute as much as they want to any candidate. what happens when they flood the ballot with several candidates who they’ve bought and paid for? the wealth of america has been stolen by wall street and corporate lawyers, we are entering a new era in government control, controlled by big alcohol, big pharmacy, big tobacco, big oil,and big government agencies who rely on your tax dollars to enslave you to there interests. the petitions, for complete legalization, now!

    4. TylerT says:

      I strongly disagree with (almost) all the negatives my representatives brought forward in the hearings. Was hoping for a different outcome but expected this one. still supporting decrim SB5615 though(WA).
      @randy nc: ‘pot’ is slang, so I agree in that light, but I also wonder if there’s a way to dissolve said negative connotations.

    5. Pain-fully Stressed says:


    6. Cory says:

      hey man i know this isnt the time or place but i think ohioans should help to make medical marijuana kegal it could help me in so many ways first im epalptic and the cannaboids help with regulating my brainwaves i also hae slight add but i see no difference when im high like right now i just get lost in trance and then im 16 and like 5 11 and ive lost 12 pounds in less than three weeks due to my medication amphetamines and i cant eat while on them its like eating when ur full it just hurts i think thousands of ohioans could also use marijuana for the healing properties i contains so those in ohio please do somethign to make it legal as i cant sorry im high its hard to do this sorry my spelling sucks

    7. Cory says:

      o ya i only weigh 127 now

    8. DarthNole says:

      Change.org is asking for more ideas…. I am asking that Marijuana be removed from a Schedule I substance (I think you would all agree this should happen).

      Please go vote and tell your friends to as well (you have to sign up with change.org first):


      Yeah… I realize this may be glossed over once again, but it doesn’t hurt us to keep pressing the issue!!! The vote gathering will go on until Feb 18th and we need to make sure this idea gets to and stays in the top three. I emplore you to take two minutes and sign up and vote. Pass this around on facebook, myspace, twitter, and any other pro-pot websites so that we can get the most attention as we can.

    9. JeremyVA says:

      Come on VA be active!