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. Matthew says:

      I wonder to myself, time and again, if it wouldn’t make sense to take the battle from an offense perspective, not a defense. To push it as far as the very Constitution and to argue on the grounds that the destruction and illegalization of such a plant is detrimental to the overall health of nature. To approach it in the legal arena as a crime against both humanity and nature. If people could do that, I think it would knock the nay sayers for a loop and put them in their place.

    2. Don says:

      #7 – Sorry Cory,
      We just happen to live in the most Fascist State in the U.S., I actually think Ohio will be one of the LAST States to Approve Medical Cannabis, But I am Still holding out Hope that, one day, We will be able to use it without being considered Criminals. At Least it Has been Decriminalized somewhat but DON’T get caught Growing it!!!!! They will Royally Screw you.

    3. wash-voter says:

      We are the swing vote. The last 3 Presidents got into office by admitting to using, knowing we would vote them in with the hopes that they would work toward ending prohibition (because they are like us). Shame on us for falling for this for a 3rd time. We need to vote for them based on their voting history. Not based on false advertising.

    4. Pain-fully Stressed says:

      Lets go New York !

    5. claygooding says:

      Isn’t it funny that although they refuse to allow medical clinical testing of marijuana,a pharmaceutical company can make hemp oil,cut it with a carrier fluid and use it as a spray in your mouth joint in a bottle?
      G&W Pharmaceutical,a division of Bayer,has a medicine in the final stages of clinical testing that is extracted directly from the hemp plant.
      Although the DEA and all the agencies under the ONDCP are required to fight legalization of any schedule 1 drug being legalized as a medicine,in any form,not a word from them and no busts for possession of a controlled substance,which they must have to extract the medicine from. And they are not being required to use the inferior marijuana grown for that purpose by NIDA. Supposedly the marijuana anyone is required to use for any clinical testing.
      It is a blatant attempt to make a medicine from marijuana,while keeping marijuana schedule 1,because if they can extract the medicine from marijuana,so can we. And if marijuana sprayed in your mouth is a medicine,why is ingesting marijuana not. The only difference is with the spray,all you miss out on is the fiber. I guess the fiber in the plant is the dangerous part.

    6. The Oracle says:

      I think we reformers need to keep harping about the $14 billion legalization can haul in. I’d put it bluntly: That’s $14 billion that we didn’t have before to give businesses tax incentives to create more jobs, in addition to the cannabis jobs created that will come above ground and be taxable income. I would just come right out and say it to prohibitionists. Gotta a better idea how to come up with $14 billion we didn’t have before? No. Lead, follow or get out of the way. No. Just stop talking. No. Just shut up.

    7. Tom says:

      Instead of worrying about legalizing cannabis why don’t you people put this much ambition into feeding the poor, sheltering the homeless, and curing the moral ills of this planet. Marijuana is illegal for a reason, I’ve been a Police Officer for 16 years and I have seen it destroy many families lives. Prohibition works people…

      [Editor’s note: Thanks for expressing your naked self-interest as a cop. The law reform movement is blessed by opposition like you. If prohibition works why do children have more access to untaxed and unregulated cannabis than drugs like alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceuticals? If prohibition works why do so many people, notably youth, have ready access to cannabis? If prohibition works, why does such a large segment of society support law reforms? If prohibition works why did someone just get busted while these sentences were being written (i.e., arrest every 38 seconds)?]

    8. packlama says:

      too @1 im a cannibus user from mass.have been for 35 years.

    9. johnny says:

      “The only difference is with the spray,all you miss out on is the fiber. I guess the fiber in the plant is the dangerous part.”

      reply to Clay Gooding

      there is nothing dangerous about cannabis.

      the hemp seed is a gift from god , a full balanced oil
      you could run the entire planet from this plant.

    10. natDietinna says:

      Herbs are considered to be nature’s gift to mankind.
      Thousands of years of progression take made plants the decisive liquid to the form needs of mankind.
      How do you about our ancestors lived their lives so healthy?
      They lived for so large while most of us are struggling nigh the age of 30.

      Most people are uninformed of the benefits of herbs. We don’t lay the blame on them.
      A luck of attention was set up on the treatment provided by chemical medication, that commonplace grief took a backseat.
      Herbal Care has ensured that things difference for the good.
      We at Herbal Trouble oblige developed a chaplet of natural products that take been helping people deal with their conditions in a positive manner.

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