Several States Considering Legislation To Legalize Adult Cannabis Consumption

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 31, 2013

    Several States Considering Legislation To Legalize Adult Cannabis ConsumptionWashington, DC: Lawmakers in several states are anticipated to debate legislative measures this year that seek to legalize and regulate the adult use and retail distribution of marijuana.

    To date, lawmakers in six states – Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont – have either pre-filed or introduced legislation to legalize marijuana consumption for adults.

    On Friday, members of Hawaii’s House Judiciary Committee will hear testimony regarding House Bill 699, which seeks to tax and regulate the commercial production, sale, and use of cannabis by those persons age 21 or older. House Chairman, Rep. Joseph Souki, is sponsoring the measure. Nearly six out of ten Hawaii voters believe that cannabis should be "taxed, regulated, and legalized for adults," according to a statewide poll published earlier this month. Only 39 percent of respondents opposed the idea. You can read NORML’s written testimony to the committee here.

    According to a January 2013 New Hampshire poll conducted by the firm Public Policy Polling, 53 percent of respondents favor "changing (state) law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol." Only 37 percent of respondents opposed the plan.

    In Vermont, a 2012 survey of respondents in 148 Vermont cities throughout the state reported that one out of two Vermonters support legalization.

    On Election Day, 55 percent of voters in Colorado and Washington approved citizens’ ballot initiatives legalizing the adult consumption of marijuana and authorizing the state to license individuals to commercially produce and sell it.

    Nationally, nearly six out of ten Americans support legalizing cannabis, according to a just released Public Policy Polling automated telephone survey of 1,325 voters, commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project.

    "Calling for an end to marijuana prohibition is no longer a political liability; it is a political opportunity," said NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano. "Never in modern history has there been greater public support for ending the nation’s nearly century-long experiment with cannabis prohibition and replacing it with a system of legalization and regulation. Politicians who are seeking to amend this failed policy are aligning themselves with the majority. Those who do not are siding with an ever decreasing minority of their constituents."

    50 responses to “Several States Considering Legislation To Legalize Adult Cannabis Consumption”

    1. Closet Smoker says:

      This should come to a head at the federal level soon. There is no way WA and CO can set up business from legal grows all the way to retail outlets without a major response from the feds. What a cool time in history to live!

    2. dman99 says:

      NY is one of the most liberal states in the country and is strapped for cash too. Why aren’t they on board? I’m not talking about the bill MM bill pending that just allows for Cancer and MS patience but full on legalization like Colorado and Washington.

    3. skunkyfingers says:

      Canada is more important than Mexico when it come to marijuana. Why? Because most Canadians want marijuana legalized, and they have very little violence problems. They are trying to bring it into reality as I type. When showing a model country, Canada stands far above Mexico. NORML should see what it can do to aid Canada in helping it along in its venture of wanting to legalize marijuana for the entire country. Once Canada approves Legalization, then America will have to move at the Federal Level. If Canada wins, then America Wins. Game over!

    4. Bradson says:

      The Fed will probably fight this to the bitter end, given the institutionalized paranoia about all things cannabis. However, a surprise epiphany could occur and a few strategic swipes of the pen at the federal level could end this harmful, costly, absurd, counter productive and irrational prohibition overnight.

    5. mark says:


      about a month ago Gov Cuomo chastised the NY state legislature. “If you want a raise in pay next year, you will legalize marijuana. Get it done!”

    6. Bhonze says:

      Mississippi has SB 2369 can your senator and rep to support SB2369!!!

    7. Bhonze says:

      I can’t believe New Orleans hasn’t Legalized yet! It would be a little Amsterdam if they did!

    8. StanleyJ says:

      If the epiphany can be construed as politically beneficial to one’s party, you might see movement. Politics is a popularity game. It reminds me of high school in its juvenile nature. Candidates are afraid of straying from their party lines or beliefs and stepping out on a ledge for fear of loosing. If they loose, chances are diminished for their party in the next election. Dem’s tell you they are for it during election cycles only to hem haw over the issue when push comes to shove. Republicans are just f’ing mean. They have no compassion what so ever. Ignoring science and putting their head in the sand, hoping it goes away. Even Right leaning media finds the crappiest stories to run instead of stories of folks that have been helped. Shame on you FOX. They only want to put Cannabis in a negative light. I’m not voting on these party lines next cycle. I’m sick of it.

    9. bhonze says:

      Support SB2369 for MMJ in MS!!!!