NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 16, 2011

    Marijuana law reform legislation is pending in over twenty states, and liberalization measures have been pre-filed in many more. Below is this week’s edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up — activists’ one-stop guide to the latest statewide votes and happenings relevant to marijuana law reform.

    For a listing of all of the pending marijuana law reform proposals that NORML is tracking, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here. (For a map of pending legislation, please visit here.)

    Connecticut: Lawmakers in the House and Senate heard testimony on Monday in favor of measures seeking to decriminalize and medicalize marijuana. A just-released statewide poll shows that voters overwhelmingly support both proposals, which have also been endorsed by the state’s leading newspaper. You can voice your support for these measures by clicking here and here.

    Hawaii: Senate lawmakers last week approved a series of legislative proposals aimed at amending the state’s marijuana laws. Legislators unanimously approved SB 1460, which reduces the adult possession of up to one ounce of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor (punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine) to a civil violation punishable by a fine of not more than $100. Regarding the medical use of marijuana, the Senate approved SB 1458, which allows for the state licensed production and distribution of medical cannabis and cannabis-infused therapeutic products. Senators also passed SB 58, which increases the quantity of marijuana that authorized patients may legally possess under state law. All three measures are now before House lawmakers for consideration. NORML has separate alerts for all three measures at our ‘Take Action Center’ here.

    Montana: Members of the Senate Judicial Committee on Monday deadlocked 6 to 6 regarding House Bill 161, which sought to repeal that state’s six-year-old, voter-approved medical marijuana law. House representatives had previously voted, largely along party lines, 63 to 37 in favor of the repeal measure. Monday’s Senate vote does not kill the measure outright. Senators may still elect to reconsider the measure, or they may call for a ‘blast motion,’ which is a procedure that allows measures to bypass committee and be debated by the full chamber. NORML will keep you updated if there is an any future action taken regarding this draconian legislation.

    New Hampshire: House lawmakers on Tuesday decided 221 to 96 in favor of legislation, HB 442, that seeks to allow for the state to license facilities to produce and distribute marijuana to qualified patients. The proposal now moves to the Senate. Lawmakers in House and Senate approved similar legislation in 2009, but it was vetoed by Democrat Gov. John Lynch. More information regarding this year’s effort is available from NORML here or from NHCompassion.org.

    New Mexico: A New Mexico lawmaker has withdrawn legislation that sought to repeal the state’s four-year-old medical marijuana law. Newly elected Republican Gov. Susana Martinez said that she would have signed the measure, House Bill 593, had it reached her desk. The bill’s sponsor is now proposing a House Memorial bill that calls on lawmakers to study the state’s medical cannabis program.

    Rhode Island: Lawmakers heard testimony today in favor of measures regarding the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis. You can learn more about both measures via NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here and here. In related news from the Ocean State, state regulators on Tuesday approved applications for the establishment of the state’s first three medical marijuana dispensaries. You can learn more about this story here.

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

    1. Kansas-
      House Bill 2330, the Kansas Cannabis Compassion & Care Act, has been reintroduced in the Kansas Legislature and referred to the House Committee on Health and Human Services. The measure seeks to enact legal protections for authorized medical marijuana patients and is similar to a proposal considered in the 2010 legislative session. House Bill 2330 will help to ensure that medical marijuana patients in Kansas will no longer have to fear arrest or prosecution from state law enforcement. As introduced, this act would allow qualified patients diagnosed with a “debilitating medical condition” to possess up to 12 cannabis plants (not including as many as 12 seedlings) and/or 6 ounces of marijuana for therapeutic purposes. The measure seeks to establish not-for-profit “compassion centers” to provide medical marijuana for patients in a safe, above-ground environment. According to a 2010 statewide poll of Kansas voters, nearly 60 percent of respondents support this measure.

    2. 3141 - Brethren of the Genesist Faith says:


      And that’s because they [prohibitionists] have the “fear” of the lesser number, but the confidence of the police state and the military. We the People have the confidence of the greater number, and hold high “The Constitution of the United States of America [that] guarantees our freedom and protects our rights” – the very same rights that prohibitionists are violating. But hear me now! Their “fear” will cause them to execute drastic measures – claimed required in drastic times – and that – the end justifies the means – at any cost – including death! It will be their “fear of losing control of the masses” that will instigate, and cause, unbelievable inhumanity towards man. The line drawn in the sand [drawn by their own toe] says – “It’s mine and you can’t have it – and – if you step over that line – I will kill you.” Well! Here’s our answer!


      “We accept your dare – and – reject your offer! We regard any law prohibiting our Sacrament Constitutionally invalid, and void [as we do you and your public disservices] – and – our actions will reflect that in the next elections. Until then – as an individual Genesist – I’m more than willing, even anxious, to subject myself to the most horrendous outcomes to denounce [denounce – ya! – that’s the word – denounce] anyone or anything that promotes the assassination of my Constitution and my religious liberty.

      Montana Genesist colonies – God Bless you – our prayers are with you – your brethren stand with you. – all 3,141 Colonies in “OUR SOVEREIGN” United States.

    3. ryan says:

      you hear that? it’s the momentum… it’s building!

    4. Paul Revere says:

      If marijuana becomes “medicalized” in all 50 states, the how will it ever become legalized for recreational use?

      At least if it is total legal and regulated like alchohol everyone over 21 years of age can use it without pre-requisits or reprisal.

      But as it stands now, prscription pain killers are “medicalized” and the DEA still says who can and cant have them.

      I was in a horrible heavy equipment accident a few years ago. I take 1/2 percocet 5/325 when I have my bad days but by no means abuse them, sometimes going days without using one. But according to my doctor he cant prescribe me anymore because the DEA does not want people using it for more then 2 years.

      Who’s to say that once it marijuana is “medicalized” the same restrictions will apply?

      Then it’s back to square one again.

      I fully sympithise with the whole medical MJ plight, and those who use it for comfort, but it really seems like a “be carefull what you wish for” senario.

      I just hope the DEA doesnt use the medical tag as it’s next weapon.

      I really believe norml, mmp, leap, should re evaluate their aproach and consider that they may very well be going in a worse dirrection then what is currently “the norm”.

      What good will medical mj be, if it is only for a select few and even then, those people have to beg for it.

    5. sm0keRR says:

      Does PA not know about the (OVER DUE) sweeping reform of marijuana laws? I have not heard a single thing from them.

      [Paul Armentano responds: There will be medical marijuana legislation reintroduced in Pennsylvania shortly. Please get involved with Philly NORML, who is spearheading this effort.]

    6. TJ says:

      Connecticut and Hawaii will decriminalize this year. I am not worried about Montana repealing the MMJ law because i dont think the governer will sign it. He seems to support MMJ if i remeber right.

    7. Pain-fully Stressed says:

      New york!

    8. richard says:

      There was something going on in the PA legislature and they took testimony. Now it has dropped off the map.

    9. twisted says: