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Federal - US - Congress - Support The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011 Federal > US > Congress: Support The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011 | Texas Republican Ron Paul and a coalition of 25 co-sponsors are once Federal - US - Congress - Support The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011 again seeking to allow for the commercial farming of industrial hemp. House Bill 1831, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011, would exclude low potency varieties of marijuana from federal prohibition. If approved, this measure will grant state legislatures the authority to license and regulate the commercial production of hemp as an industrial and agricultural commodity. Several states -- including North Dakota, Montana, and Vermont -- have enacted regulations to allow for the cultivation of hemp under state law. However, none of these laws can be implemented without federal approval. Passage of HR 1831 would remove existing federal barriers and allow states that wish to regulate commercial hemp production the authority to do so.

"We are pleased to see the re-introduction of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act in Congress. Vote Hemp is currently working with a Democratic Senator who is preparing to introduce companion legislation in the Senate in support of industrial hemp farming," says Vote Hemp President, Eric Steenstra. "It is due time for the Senate as well as President Obama and the Attorney General to prioritize the crop's benefits to farmers and to take action like Rep. Paul and the cosponsors of H.R. 1831 have done. With the U.S. hemp industry valued at over $400 million in annual retail sales and growing, a change in federal policy to allow hemp farming would mean instant job creation, among many other economic and environmental benefits," adds Steenstra. According to a 2010 Congressional Resource Service report, "approximately 30 countries in Europe, Asia, and North and South America currently permit farmers to grow hemp." But the United States does not. As a result, U.S. companies that specialize in hempen goods have no choice but to import hemp material. These added production costs are then passed on to the consumer who must pay artificially high retail prices for hemp products.

Previous versions of The Industrial Hemp Farming Act were introduced, but failed to receive a public hearing or a committee vote. Please write your members of Congress today and tell them to end the federal prohibition of industrial hemp production. For your convenience, a prewritten letter will be e-mailed to your member of Congress when you enter your contact information below.

For more information about industrial hemp, please visit: www.VoteHemp.org.

Thank you for assisting NORML's federal law reform efforts. approximately 30 countries in Europe, Asia, and North and South America currently permit farmers to grow hemp.” But the United States does not. As a result, U.S. companies that specialize in hempen goods have no choice but to import hemp material. These added production costs are then passed on to the consumer who must pay artificially high retail prices for hemp products  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=48009501 - for more on this Action Item.


Third-party candidates to debate Federal > US > Congress: Support the 'States' Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act' | Federal lawmakers have reintroduced legislation to provide for additional and necessary legal protections for state-authorized medical marijuana patients. House Bill 1983, the States' Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act, would ensure that medical cannabis patients in states that have approved its use will no longer have to fear arrest or prosecution from federal law enforcement agencies. It states, “No provision of the Controlled Substances Act shall prohibit or otherwise restrict in a State in which marijuana may be prescribed or recommended by a physician for medical use under applicable State law.”  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=48392511 - for more on this Action Item.


Arizona - Arizona Lawmakers Fail to Act on Bill to Defelonize Marijuana Possession State Legislative and Statewide > Arizona - Arizona Lawmakers Fail to Act on Bill to Defelonize Marijuana Possession | House lawmakers will not debate legislation to defelonize marijuana possession penalties in Arizona this session. House Bill 2228 would have amended state law so that the adult possession of up to two ounces of marijuana would be reduced from a potential felony (punishable by 1.5 years in prison and a $150,000 fine) to a “petty offense” punishable by a $100 fine. Passage of this measure could have amended Arizona law from one of the strictest in the nation to one of the most lenient. The House Rules Committee has failed to take action on the bill before this session's deadline to do so, effectively killing the bill for this year. NORML hopes to see similar legislation introduced again next session and would like to thank the hundreds of activists who contacted their represenatives in support of HB 2228.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=37530511 - for more on this Action Item.


California - Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Marijuana Infraction Measure Into Law State Legislative and Statewide > California - Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Marijuana Infraction Measure Into Law | Yesterday, outgoing California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 1449 — which reduces adult marijuana possession charges from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil infraction. NORML would like to thank the 2,500+ of you who took the time to write the Governor over the past week via NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’, and the many more who called the Governor’s office directly in support of this historic measure. Senate Bill 1449 amends the California Health and Safety Code so that the adult possession of up to 28.5 grams of marijuana is classified as an infraction, punishable by no more than a $100 fine — no court appearance, no court costs, and no criminal record. Passage of this bill will save the state millions of dollars in court costs by keeping minor marijuana offenders out of court. The number of misdemeanor pot arrests has surged in recent years, reaching 61,388 in 2008.

The new law, which takes effect on Jan 1, 2011, will have an effect even if Californians vote to legalize marijuana by passing Prop 19. Proposition 19 leaves misdemeanor possession penalties in place for public use and smoking in the presence of children; under SB 1449, these offenses would be simple infractions.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=16364941 - for more on this Action Item.


California - Assembly Considers Measure to Decriminalize Marijuana Cultivation in California.  Urge Your Representative to Support AB 1017 State Legislative and Statewide > California - Assembly Considers Measure to Decriminalize Marijuana Cultivation in California. Urge Your Representative to Support AB 1017 | The California Assembly is considering legislation, AB 1017, to reduce criminal penalties for marijuana cultivation. The bill seeks to downgrade cultivation from a mandatory felony to a "wobbler" or alternative misdemeanor. This would permit judges and DA's to treat minor cultivation cases as misdemeanors, at considerable cost savings to both users and law enforcement. AB 1017 was approved by the Assembly Public Safety Committee by a 4-3 vote on May 3rd, and is now awaiting a vote by the full Assembly.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=45807521 - for more on this Action Item.


California - Medical Marijuana Anti-Discrimination Bill Introduced In California.  Tell Your State Senator to Support California's Patients! State Legislative and Statewide > California - Medical Marijuana Anti-Discrimination Bill Introduced In California. Tell Your State Senator to Support California's Patients! | Legislation that would make it unlawful “for an employer to discriminate against” persons who are authorized under state law to use medical marijuana is pending in the California Senate. Senate Bill 129 declares it unlawful under state law “for an employer to discriminate against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment or otherwise penalize a person, if the discrimination is based upon the person's status as a qualified patient or a positive drug test for marijuana,” if the drug test result is indicative of previous, off-the-job marijuana use (e.g., a positive test for marijuana metabolites on a urine screen).  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=24959511 - for more on this Action Item.


Colorado - Senate Lawmakers in Colorado Reject Drugged Driving Per Se Proposal State Legislative and Statewide > Colorado - Senate Lawmakers in Colorado Reject Drugged Driving Per Se Proposal | Senate lawmakers on Tuesday, May 10, rejected House Bill 1261, which sought to make it a per se violation of the state’s traffic safety laws for a motorist to operate a vehicle with a detectable quantity of THC in his or her blood above 5ng/ml. Though there is some limited data indicating that THC/blood levels above 5ng/ml is associated with adverse psychomotor performance, there remains a lack of scientific consensus or support for the imposition of per se THC/blood levels. This is because there exists a wide variance regarding cannabis’ effects among individual users — with experienced users typically demonstrating only nominal differences in psychomotor performance after consuming marijuana. Further, some chronic users of cannabis have been shown to have residual THC/blood levels for over 24-hours following use — a phenomenon that may confound law enforcement’s interpretation and inappropriately target subjects who are no longer under the influence of cannabis. Finally, there presently exist no practical way for law enforcement officers to collect blood samples from suspected drivers in a time-sensitive manner, making the predictive validity of such blood draws limited at best.

There is no need for lawmakers to impose this type of unproven, inflexible regulation. According to the U.S. National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, driving fatality rates in Colorado have fallen over 20 percent between 1994 and 2009, and Colorado ranks #30 out of all fifty states in accident crash risk. Law enforcement already have the legal authority to collect THC/blood specimens of suspected DUI drivers and prosecutors presently use these results as evidence in DUI prosecutions. This evidence, along with additional evidence gathered at the scene (e.g., suspect’s performance on field sobriety tests, arresting officer’s observations at the scene, etc.) provide the state with ample tools to effectively deter, prosecute, and convict drivers who engage in DUI marijuana behavior.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=45999531 - for more on this Action Item.


Connecticut - Connecticut Lawmakers Moving Forward With Medical Marijuana Legislation.  Urge Your Lawmakers To Support Governor's Bill 1015 State Legislative and Statewide > Connecticut - Connecticut Lawmakers Moving Forward With Medical Marijuana Legislation. Urge Your Lawmakers To Support Governor's Bill 1015 | Members of the Joint Standing Committee on Public Health on Tuesday, May 3, decided in favor of Governor's Bill 1015, which amends state law to “authorize an individual to use marijuana for medical purposes as directed by a physician.” Members of the Judiciary had previously endorsed the bill, which is backed by Gov. Dan Malloy, in April. Lawmakers passed similar legislation in 2007 only to have the measure vetoed by then-Gov. Jodi Rell. Newly elected Gov. Dan Malloy has been a past supporter of medical marijuana law reform and is backing SB/Governor's Bill 1015.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=45531501 - for more on this Action Item.


Connecticut - Bill To Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties Advances In Connecticut.  Tell Your Lawmakers to Support Governor's Bill 1014 State Legislative and Statewide > Connecticut - Bill To Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties Advances In Connecticut. Tell Your Lawmakers to Support Governor's Bill 1014 | Legislation seeking to reduce marijuana possession penalties has been reintroduced in the Connecticut legislature. Governor's Bill 1014 amends state law so that the adult possession of marijuana is reduced from a misdemeanor (punishable by one year in jail and a $1,000 fine) to an infraction, punishable by a nominal fine, no jail time, and no criminal record. This measure would similarly reduce penalties on the possession of marijuana paraphernalia.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=22593501 - for more on this Action Item.


Delaware - Lawmakers Give Final Approval To Measure to Regulate State-Authorized Use and Distribution Of Medical Marijuana in Delaware State Legislative and Statewide > Delaware - Lawmakers Give Final Approval To Measure to Regulate State-Authorized Use and Distribution Of Medical Marijuana in Delaware | House and Senate lawmakers have given final approval to legislation, Senate Bill 17, which allows for the state-authorized use and distribution of medical cannabis. Senate Bill 17, The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act amends state law so that patients with an authorized “debilitating medical condition” can possess and consume cannabis (up to six ounces) obtained from state-licensed facilities. The measure provides for the establishment of at least one non-profit ‘compassion center’ per county that would be licensed by the state to produce and dispense medical cannabis.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=24183531 - for more on this Action Item.


Florida - Bill To Offer Legal Protection To Medical Marijuana Patients Introduced In Florida.  Urge Your Representative to Support HJR 1407 State Legislative and Statewide > Florida - Bill To Offer Legal Protection To Medical Marijuana Patients Introduced In Florida. Urge Your Representative to Support HJR 1407 | Florida lawmakers have introduced a joint resolution that seeks to enact legal protections for patients who use cannabis under the advice of their physician. House Joint Resolution (HJR) 1407 seeks to authorize the legislature to establish regulations regarding the physician-supervised use of marijuana, and to mandate an affirmative defense from criminal prosecution to select patients. If passed, the HJR 1407 would place the issue on the 2012 ballot, where voters would decide ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the proposal.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=35438521 - for more on this Action Item.


Hawaii - Legislation to Expand Hawaii’s Medical Marijuana Limits Fails to Meet House Deadline State Legislative and Statewide > Hawaii - Legislation to Expand Hawaii’s Medical Marijuana Limits Fails to Meet House Deadline | Senate Bill 58, which sought to “increase the amount of cannabis that constitutes an adequate supply by allowing a qualifying patient to possess 10 cannabis plants and 5 ounces of cannabis at any given time,” and make other favorable changes in law, has failed to meet the deadline for action in the House of Representatives. This essentially kills the bill for this legislative session. In 2010, Senate lawmakers approved a similar measure by a vote of 24 to 1, but this proposal also failed to make it through the House. We would like to thank everyone who contacted their elected officials in support of SB 58 and we will keep you updated on future reform efforts in Hawaii.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=41804501 - for more on this Action Item.


Hawaii - Bill To Reduce Marijuana Penalties Misses Hearing Deadline in Hawaii House State Legislative and Statewide > Hawaii - Bill To Reduce Marijuana Penalties Misses Hearing Deadline in Hawaii House | Senate Bill 1460, which sought to reduce 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, has missed the deadline for action in the Hawaii House of Representatives. This essentially kills the measure for this legislative session. In 2010, Senate lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a similar measure, but this proposal also failed to make it through the House.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=41805501 - for more on this Action Item.


Hawaii - Unduly Restrictive Cannabis Dispensary Measure Dies In Conference Committee State Legislative and Statewide > Hawaii - Unduly Restrictive Cannabis Dispensary Measure Dies In Conference Committee | House and Senate lawmakers could not come to agreement on Senate Bill 1458 before Friday’s legislative deadline, killing the measure for this year. Members of the Hawaii House of Representatives in April approved a heavily amended version of Senate Bill 1458, which — as initially introduced -- sought to allow for the state licensed production and distribution of medical marijuana and cannabis-infused therapeutic products to qualified patients. However, as amended by the House, the measure would have allowed for the establishment of only a single dispensary and would have forbid medical marijuana from being transported outside of the county from which it was obtained. The proposal also sought to establish an excessive 30 percent excise tax upon the sales of medicinal cannabis.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=25633546 - for more on this Action Item.


Illinois - House Vote Rejects Medical Marijuana Measure State Legislative and Statewide > Illinois - House Vote Rejects Medical Marijuana Measure | House members on Thursday, May 5, narrowly rejected House Bill 30, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, which allows qualified patients to possess and consume marijuana for medical purposes. However, the measure is being kept alive through a parliamentary maneuver and may receive a second vote later this legislative session. While NORML finds aspects of the amended version of HB 30 unduly restrictive, particularly its exclusion of home cultivation, its passage will ensure that certain authorized medical marijuana patients will no longer have to fear arrest or prosecution from state law enforcement.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=22584516 - for more on this Action Item.


Illinois - Bill to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties Introduced in Illinois. Tell Your House Member to Support HB 100 State Legislative and Statewide > Illinois - Bill to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties Introduced in Illinois. Tell Your House Member to Support HB 100 | Legislation seeking to reduce marijuana possession penalties has been introduced in the Illinois legislature. House Bill 100 amends state law so that the adult possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is reduced from a criminal misdemeanor (punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine) to a “petty offense” punishable by a fine only. Full text of the bill can be read online here. House Bill 100 has been referred to the House Rules Committee. Contact your state House member and tell them to support HB 100 by entering your zip code below. You can further support this effort by contacting Illinois NORML at - Illinois NORML PMB #446 1321 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, Il 60642 - or visiting - http://www.illinoisnorml.org/  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=22896501 - for more on this Action Item.


Iowa - Iowa Lawmakers Fail to Act on Medical Marijuana Legislation State Legislative and Statewide > Iowa - Iowa Lawmakers Fail to Act on Medical Marijuana Legislation | Legislation that sought to regulate the physician-supervised use of marijuana failed to clear out of committee by a March 4, 2011 session deadline, this killing it for this year. Senate File 266 would have authorized qualified patients to use medical marijuana and it have would allowed licensed facilities to dispense it. The bill received subcommittee approval on Thursday, February 24, but it was not acted on by the Senate Human Resources Committee. NORML would like to thank those of you who took the time to contact your lawmakers in support of this legislation.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=37103501 - for more on this Action Item.


Kansas - Kansas Lawmakers Fail to Act on Medical Marijuana Legislation State Legislative and Statewide > Kansas - Kansas Lawmakers Fail to Act on Medical Marijuana Legislation | Kansas lawmakers will not debate House Bill 2330, the Kansas Cannabis Compassion & Care Act, this legislative session. The measure sought to enact legal protections for authorized medical marijuana patients and was similar to a proposal considered in the 2010 legislative session. House Bill 2330 would have helped ensure that medical marijuana patients in Kansas would no longer have to fear arrest or prosecution from state law enforcement. As introduced, this act would have 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 House Committee on Health and Human Service failed to act on the measure before the deadline to do so, essentially killing the bill for this year. NORML would like to thank the hundreds of activists who contacted their representatives in support of HB 2330. It is our hope to see similar legislation introduced next session.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=37578516 - for more on this Action Item.


Maine - Maine Lawmakers Reject Bills To Expand Marijuana Decriminalization State Legislative and Statewide > Maine - Maine Lawmakers Reject Bills To Expand Marijuana Decriminalization | Members of the Maine Joint Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety will not consider legislation this year that sought to expand the state’s existing marijuana decriminalization law. Under present law, the adult possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana is a non-criminal offense punishable by a fine only. LD 754 sought to amend existing law so that the adult possession of over 2.5 ounces but less than 5 ounces is classified as a civil violation. LD 750 sought to amend existing law so that the cultivation of up to six marijuana plants by an adult is also classified as a civil violation. In 2009, Maine lawmakers increased the amount of marijuana that may be classified as a civil offense from 1.25 ounces to 2.5 ounces. A co-sponsor of both LD 754 and LD 750, Rep. Diane Russell, has announced her intention to introduce legislation to legalize and regulate the adult use and distribution of cannabis later this year.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=39542501 - for more on this Action Item.


Maine - Maine Lawmakers Reject Bill to Tax and Regulate Marijuana State Legislative and Statewide > Maine - Maine Lawmakers Reject Bill to Tax and Regulate Marijuana | On Tuesday, May 10, members of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted 8 to 3 against the passage of LD 1453, which sought to regulate the commercial production and distribution of marijuana for adults over 21 years of age. NORML would like to thank those of you who took the time to contact your state elected officials in support of LD 1453, and we fully expect to see a similar version of this legislation reintroduced next year. NORML would also like to thank the primary sponsor of LD 1453, Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland). You may also contact Rep. Russell and thank her for political leadership on the marijuana law reform issue.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=46028501 - for more on this Action Item.


Maine - 
Lawmakers in Maine Moving Forward With Medical Marijuana Patient Privacy Act State Legislative and Statewide > Maine - Lawmakers in Maine Moving Forward With Medical Marijuana Patient Privacy Act | On Tuesday, May 10, members of the Health and Human Services Committee unanimously approved LD 1296, An Act To Amend the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act To Protect Patient Privacy. LD 1296 seeks to protect the privacy of qualified medical cannabis patients by eliminating the mandate that citizens must be registered with the state in order to receive legal protection under state law. The measure also seeks to expand the number of qualifying conditions eligible for medical marijuana, and increases the amount of cannabis that patients may legally possess under a doctor’s supervision. LD 1296 also limits the ability of law enforcement to seize cannabis from lawful patients, and mandates for the return of any seized property within seven days.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=46064501 - for more on this Action Item.


Maryland - Governor Signs Measure Expanding ‘Affirmative Defense’ Law For Medical Marijuana Patients State Legislative and Statewide > Maryland - Governor Signs Measure Expanding ‘Affirmative Defense’ Law For Medical Marijuana Patients | On Tuesday, May 10, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed legislation, Senate Bill 308, into law expanding the state’s eight-year-old ‘affirmative defense.’ law. Senate Bill 308 removes fines and criminal penalties for citizens who successfully raise an ‘affirmative defense’ in court establishing that they possessed limited amounts of marijuana for medical purposes. Under present law, patients who successfully raise an ‘affirmative defense’ of medical necessity at trial still face a misdemeanor conviction (but no jail time) and a $100 fine. Citizens who cultivate cannabis or who possess larger amounts of marijuana may still raise an ‘affirmative defense’ at trial and, if successful, will have their sentence mitigated. As initially introduced, SB 308 and its House companion bill sought to establish a government regulated program to provide qualified patients with legal access to state-licensed producers and distributors of medical cannabis. However, the measure was rewritten after Maryland’s Department of Health secretary testified against it.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=37663501 - for more on this Action Item.


Massachusetts - Massachusetts Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Measure.  Urge Your Lawmakers to Support HB 625 State Legislative and Statewide > Massachusetts - Massachusetts Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Measure. Urge Your Lawmakers to Support HB 625 | Legislation that seeks to legalize the physician-supervised use of medical marijuana has been reintroduced in the Massachusetts legislature. House Bill 625 amends state law to “authorize an individual to use marijuana for medical purposes as directed by a physician.” The proposed legislation would allow for authroized patients to obtain their marijuana from state-licensed non-profit distribution centers. Qualified patients would also be permitted under the law to possess 24 plants and four ounces of usable marijuana. Full text of the measure can be read here. This proposal has been referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=32321516 - for more on this Action Item.


Massachusetts - Bill to Regulate and Tax Marijuana Introduced in Massachusetts Legislature.   Tell Your Representative to Support HB 1371 State Legislative and Statewide > Massachusetts - Bill to Regulate and Tax Marijuana Introduced in Massachusetts Legislature. Tell Your Representative to Support HB 1371 | Four House lawmakers have introduced legislation that seeks to legalize and regulate the "production, distribution, and sale" of marijuana to adults. As introduced, House Bill 1371 seeks to regulate the commercial production and distribution of marijuana for adults over 21 years of age. This measure would impose licensing requirements and excise taxes on the commercial, for-profit retail sale of cannabis. The measure has been referred to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. Adults who possess or grow marijuana for personal use, or who share cannabis with other adults, would not be subject to taxation under the law.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=28792501 - for more on this Action Item.


Missouri - Missouri Legislature Considers Regulating Medical Marijuana.  Urge Your Representative to Support HB 698! State Legislative and Statewide > Missouri - Missouri Legislature Considers Regulating Medical Marijuana. Urge Your Representative to Support HB 698! | Legislation that seeks to legalize the physician-supervised use of medical marijuana has been reintroduced in the Missouri Legislature. House Bill 698 amends state law so that physician-supervised patients with an authorized “debilitating medical condition” can possess and grow marijuana for medical purposes. Full text of the measure can be read here. HB 698 has been referred to the House Committee on Crime Prevention and Public Safety, but has yet to be scheduled for a hearing.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=35432501 - for more on this Action Item.


Montana - Montana's Gov. Schweitzer Vetoes Medical Marijuana Repeal Bill, But Patients Are Still At Risk State Legislative and Statewide > Montana - Montana's Gov. Schweitzer Vetoes Medical Marijuana Repeal Bill, But Patients Are Still At Risk | On Wednesday, April 13, Gov. Brian Schweitzer — a Democrat — vetoed House Bill 161, a GOP-backed measure to repeal the state’s six-year-old medical marijuana law. NORML would like to thank its allies, particularly Montana NORML and Patients and Families United for their tireless work on behalf of this issue, as well as all of you who took the time to contact the Governor and urged him to kill this draconian measure. Unfortunately, Montana’s 28,000+ patients are not out of the woods just yet. In recent weeks, lawmakers have gotten behind a separate effort, Senate Bill 423, to severely restrict existing patients' access to cannabis. According to a recent summary in the Billings Gazette: “The latest version of SB423 seeks to greatly limit the number of people licensed to use medical marijuana, now at 28,300, with backers hoping to bring that number fewer than 2,000. SB423 first would repeal the current law and shut down medical pot growing and dispensing operations on July 1.”  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=39086501 - for more on this Action Item.


Montana - Montana's Gov. Schweitzer Vetoes Medical Marijuana Repeal Bill, But Patients Are Still At Risk State Legislative and Statewide > Montana - Montana's Gov. Schweitzer Vetoes Medical Marijuana Repeal Bill, But Patients Are Still At Risk | On Wednesday, April 13, Gov. Brian Schweitzer — a Democrat — vetoed House Bill 161, a GOP-backed measure to repeal the state’s six-year-old medical marijuana law. NORML would like to thank its allies, particularly Montana NORML and Patients and Families United for their tireless work on behalf of this issue, as well as all of you who took the time to contact the Governor and urged him to kill this draconian measure. Unfortunately, Montana’s 28,000+ patients are not out of the woods just yet. In recent weeks, lawmakers have gotten behind a separate effort, Senate Bill 423, to severely restrict existing patients' access to cannabis. According to a recent summary in the Billings Gazette: “The latest version of SB423 seeks to greatly limit the number of people licensed to use medical marijuana, now at 28,300, with backers hoping to bring that number fewer than 2,000. SB423 first would repeal the current law and shut down medical pot growing and dispensing operations on July 1.”  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=39086501 - for more on this Action Item.


Montana - Gov. Schweitzer Says He Will Allow ‘Repeal Light’ Medical Marijuana Measure To Become Law Without His Signature State Legislative and Statewide > Montana - Gov. Schweitzer Says He Will Allow ‘Repeal Light’ Medical Marijuana Measure To Become Law Without His Signature | On Friday, April 28, Gov. Brian Schwietzer announced that he intends to allow SB 423 to become law absent his signature. If enacted, SB 423 would repeal the state’s six-year-old medical marijuana law on July 1, 2011 and replace it with entirely new provisions created by the legislature. The stated intent of this measure is to reduce the number of state-licensed medical cannabis patients from an estimated 28,000 today to less than 2,000. Montana NORML has highlighted the most significant changes in the law and its expected impact on patients, caregivers, and doctors. Among the most serious changes in law:

    Chronic pain patients will face more stringent requirements to qualify under the law, and in some cases may require a recommendation from two separate physicians;

    Patients found guilty of marijuana DUI will have their medical marijuana privileges revoked;

    Advising physicians will be reported to the Board of Medical Examiners if they recommend for more than 25 patients per year. Physician will be responsible for the costs of this investigation;

    Caregivers may accept no monetary compensation for providing cannabis to qualified patients.

A full summary of SB 423’s provisions is available here. Montana NORML is still encouraging advocates to pressure the Governor to change his mind and veto SB 423. You can contact the Governor’s office and leave a message at: 406-444-3111, or write:

Governor Brian D. Schweitzer
Office of the Governor
Montana State Capitol Bldg.
P.O. Box 200801
Helena MT 59620-0801

Montana NORML is also contemplating the possibility of taking legal action and/or initiating a citizens’ referendum to delay or block the implementation of this law. For more information on these efforts, please contact Montana NORML or Patients and Families United, or  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=44395501 - for these links and more on the Action Item.


Montana - Montana Legislature Tables Dangerous 'Drugged Driving' Measure State Legislative and Statewide > Montana - Montana Legislature Tables Dangerous 'Drugged Driving' Measure | On Tuesday, January 25, members of the House Judiciary Committee voted to table House Bill 33, which seeks to improperly define marijuana consumers as "drugged drivers" even if they are neither under the influence nor impaired to drive. While this decision does not kill the bill outright, it is a strong indication from lawmakers that they are unwilling to move forward with the measure this year. NORML thanks those of you who took the time to call and e-mail members of this Committee and urged them to reject this draconian proposal. As introduced, HB 33 sought to make it a criminal offense for any person to operate a motor vehicle if trace levels of marijuana or non-psychoactive marijuana metabolites (byproducts) are present in their blood or urine. Because marijuana's main metabolite, carboxy THC, remains detectable in certain bodily fluids, particularly urine, for weeks or even months after past use, this legislation punishes drivers for simply having consumed marijuana at some previous, unspecified point in time. This proposal is neither a safe nor sensible way to identify impaired drivers; it is an attempt to misuse the traffic safety laws in order to identify and prosecute marijuana consumers, including medical patients. You can contact your state House member and urge him or her to oppose HB 33 by entering your zip code below.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=35597506 - for more on this Action Item.


Nebraska - Nebraska Lawmakers Reject Dangerous 'Drugged Driving' Legislation State Legislative and Statewide > Nebraska - Nebraska Lawmakers Reject Dangerous 'Drugged Driving' Legislation | Lawmakers have 'indefinitely postponed' taking any action regarding Legislative Bill 659. Legislative Bill 659 sought to make it a criminal offense for any person to operate a motor vehicle if any level of marijuana or non-psychoactive marijuana metabolites (byproducts) are present in their blood, saliva, urine, or any other bodily fluid. Because marijuana's main metabolite, carboxy THC, remains detectable in certain bodily fluids, particularly urine, for weeks or even months after past use, this legislation would have arbitrarily punished drivers for simply having consumed marijuana at some previous, unspecified point in time. NORML opposed this draconian legislation and thanks in large part to the many e-mails sent by NORML constituents, lawmakers have made it clear that they will take no further action on the measure this session. Thank you again for helping NORML successfully halt this legislative threat to the cannabis community.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=35442501 - for more on this Action Item.


New Hampshire - New Hampshire Senate Postpones Medical Marijuana Vote Following Governor’s Veto Threat State Legislative and Statewide > New Hampshire - New Hampshire Senate Postpones Medical Marijuana Vote Following Governor’s Veto Threat | Senate lawmakers on Wednesday, May 11, postponed taking scheduled action on House Bill 442, which regulates the physician-supervised use and state-licensed distribution of marijuana. Lawmakers delayed action after a spokesperson for Democrat Gov. John Lynch announced that he would veto the measure if it reached his desk. In 2009, Gov. Lynch vetoed a similar measure, and an override of his veto fell two votes short in the Senate. In May, the Senate Committee of Health and Human Services had recommended the bill for full Senate passage. This past March, members of the House of Representatives had voted 221 to 96 in favor of HB 442.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=26741501 - for more on this Action Item.


New Jersey - New Jersey Senators Hold Hearing To Rewrite State’s Medical Marijuana Regulations State Legislative and Statewide > New Jersey - New Jersey Senators Hold Hearing To Rewrite State’s Medical Marijuana Regulations | State Sen. Nicholas Scutari, one of the lead sponsors of the New Jersey Compassionate Medical Marijuana Act, led a public hearing on Thursday, January 20, 2011 before the Senate Health Committee to discuss voiding draft rules by the Department of Health and Senior Services that sought to unduly restrict the implementation of the Medical Marijuana Act. You can read NORML's critique of the draft regulations here. You can also watch video from the hearings here. Lawmakers now have 20 days during which to decide to invalidate the regulations. Last December, Senate lawmakers voted in favor of a concurrent resolution urging the Department of Health and Senior Services to revise draft regulations regarding the implementation of the New Jersey Compassionate Medical Marijuana Act. The Department had 30 days to rewrite the regulations, but failed to do so.

Lawmakers, patients, and reform activists take issue with several aspects of the regulations, which they argue violated the intent of New Jersey's yet-to-be implemented medical marijuana law. These included provisions:

  • requiring qualifying patients to establish that their diagnosed condition has proven resistant to all other conventional therapies;

  • capping the number of state-licensed medical cannabis producers to no more than two;

  • restricting the varieties of marijuana available to patients to six strains, and capping the plant's THC content at ten percent;

  • prohibiting the dissemination of any edible medical cannabis product;

  • mandating that doctors who authorize their patients to use marijuana must "make reasonable efforts" at least every three months to wean them off the drug.

For more information contact NORML New Jersey at - www.NORMLnj.org/ - or the Coalition for Medical Marijuana – New Jersey at - www.CMMNJ.org  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=19491501 - for more on this Action Item.


New Mexico - 
New Mexico Lawmaker Withdraws Proposal to Repeal Medical Marijuana Law  State Legislative and Statewide > New Mexico - New Mexico Lawmaker Withdraws Proposal to Repeal Medical Marijuana Law | A New Mexico lawmaker has withdrawn legislation to repeal the state’s four-year-old medical marijuana law. House Bill 593, introduced by Santa Fe Republican James Smith, aimed to completely repeal New Mexico’s existing medical marijuana law, which was initially approved by the legislature and the Governor in 2007. However, thanks in large part to your e-mails and phone calls, Smith has pulled the measure from consideration for this legislative session. Smith has introduced a substitute, House Memorial bill, calling on lawmakers to study the present program. NORML is working with local allies and lawmakers to improve this measure. Presently, over 3,200 patients are using cannabis legally in compliance with state law. In addition, state officials have licensed some 25 facilities to produce or dispense medical cannabis. To date, reports of abuses regarding the use or distribution of medical cannabis as authorized by the law have been minimal. There has never been a single state medical marijuana law that has been repealed. Thanks in large part to your efforts, New Mexico will not be the first.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=35598501 - for more on this Action Item.


New York - Lawmakers Introduce Bi-Partisan Measures To Reduce Marijuana Penalties In New York State Legislative and Statewide > New York - Lawmakers Introduce Bi-Partisan Measures To Reduce Marijuana Penalties In New York | State Senate and Assembly lawmakers have introduced bi-partisan legislation, Senate Bill 5187 and Assembly Bill 7620, seeking to reduce marijuana penalties and arrest violations involving cases where where marijuana was either consumed or allegedly possessed in public [NY State Penal Law 221.10]. Under present law, non-public possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana is a non-criminal civil citation, punishable by a $100 fine. However, in recent years, police — particularly in New York City — have misused Penal Law 221.10 to arrest defendants who would have otherwise faced no more than a civil citation. For example, in 2010 New York City law enforcement spent $75 million arresting approximately 50,000 minor marijuana offenders under Penal Law 221.10. Yet according to an April investigation by New York City public radio station WNYC, police routinely conduct warrantless ‘stop-and-frisk’ searches of civilians, find marijuana hidden on their persons, and then falsely charge them with possessing pot ‘open to public view.’  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=46258521 - for more on this Action Item.


New York - Bill To Regulate Medical Marijuana Reintroduced In New York. Urge Your Senator to Support S 2774 State Legislative and Statewide > New York - Bill To Regulate Medical Marijuana Reintroduced In New York. Urge Your Senator to Support S 2774 | Legislation has been reintroduced into the New York Senate and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health. Senate Bill 2774 would allow state-qualified patients to possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana for therapeutic purposes, if the cannabis is obtained from a not-for-profit facility that is authorized by the state to manufacture and distribute marijuana to qualified patients. While NORML believes that several provisions in these proposals are unduly restrictive (e.g., no home cultivation), we also recognize that passage of this legislation will help to ensure that many medical marijuana patients in New York will no longer have to fear arrest or prosecution from state law enforcement. It is our hope that these provisions may be expanded or amended during the legislative process so that many other deserving patients may also benefit from this proposed legislation.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=27948501 - for more on this Action Item.


North Carolina - North Carolina Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Measure.  Urge Your Representative to Support HB 577 State Legislative and Statewide > North Carolina - North Carolina Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Measure. Urge Your Representative to Support HB 577 | Legislation that seeks to legalize the physician-supervised use of medical marijuana has been introduced in the North Carolina legislature. House Bill 577 amends state law to “authorize an individual to use marijuana for medical purposes as directed by a physician.” HB 577 would allow patients both the ability to cultivate their own cannabis at home or to purchase it at state licensed distribution centers. This proposal has been referred to the House Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations, but has yet to be assigned a hearing.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=39941501 - for more on this Action Item.


Ohio - Legislature to Consider Regulating Medical Marijuana.  
Urge Your Representative to Support HB 214 State Legislative and Statewide > Ohio - Legislature to Consider Regulating Medical Marijuana. Urge Your Representative to Support HB 214 | Legislation that seeks to legalize the physician-supervised use of medical marijuana has been reintroduced in the Ohio Legislature. House Bill 214, the Ohio Medical Compassion Act, amends state law so that physician-supervised patients with an authorized “debilitating medical condition” can possess and grow marijuana for medical purposes. Full text of the measure can be read here. HB 214 would allow qualifying patients to possess up to two hundred grams of usable marijuana and twelve mature cannabis plants. Qualifying patients from other medical marijuana states would be provided legal protection under this measure.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=45282501 - for more on this Action Item.


Oklahoma - Oklahoma Lawmakers Decline To Hear 'Compassionate' Marijuana Use Measure This Year State Legislative and Statewide > Oklahoma - Oklahoma Lawmakers Decline To Hear “Compassionate” Marijuana Use Measure This Year | Oklahoma lawmakers will not have the opportunity this legislative session to debate Senate Bill 573, the “Compassionate Use Act of 2011.” This act sought to exempt physician-authorized consumers of marijuana from state criminal prosecution. Under present law, the cultivation of even a single marijuana plant is classified as a felony offense, punishable by up to life in prison. Passage of SB 573 would have provided needed legal relief for patients who presently suffer under some of the strictest marijuana penalties in the nation. Unfortunately, Senate lawmakers did not believe that this important issue was worthy of even a legislative hearing. This is unacceptable. At this time, NORML is coordinating efforts with the sponsor of SB 573 in hopes of convening a public hearing on the medical marijuana issue later this spring. We will keep you abreast of these plans as they become finalized.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=37105501 - for more on this Action Item.


Pennsylvania - Legislation to Allow for Medical Use of Cannabis Reintroduced in Pennsylvania Senate.  Tell Your State Senator to Support SB 1003 State Legislative and Statewide > Pennsylvania - Legislation to Allow for Medical Use of Cannabis Reintroduced in Pennsylvania Senate. Tell Your State Senator to Support SB 1003 | Legislation to allow for the physician supervised use of marijuana has been re-introduced in the Pennsylvania Senate. Senate Bill 1003 would allow state-authorized patients to possess and cultivate cannabis for therapeutic purposes. The measures also seeks to allow for the state-licensed distribution and sale of medical marijuana by authorized 'compassion centers.' Nearly 80 percent of Pennsylvanians support the measure according to a 2010 Franklin & Marshall poll. SB 1003 has been referred to the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, but has yet to be assigned a hearing. Please contact your state senator and urge them to support SB 1003.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=43731506 - for more on this Action Item.


Rhode Island - Legislation to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties Introduced in Rhode Island. Urge Your Representative to Support HB 5031, S 270 State Legislative and Statewide > Rhode Island - Legislation to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties Introduced in Rhode Island. Urge Your Representative to Support HB 5031, S 270 | Legislation seeking to reduce marijuana possession penalties has been reintroduced in the Rhode Island legislature and is co-sponsored by a majority of house members. House Bill 5031 amends state law so that the adult possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is reduced from a criminal misdemeanor (punishable by one year in jail and a $500 maximum fine) to a civil offense, punishable by a $150 fine, no jail time, and no criminal record. Full text of the bill can be read online here. The Senate companion bill is S 270. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony in favor of S 270 on Tuesday, May 24.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=47725501 - for more on this Action Item.


Rhode Island - Rhode Island Lawmakers Consider Legislation to Tax and Regulate Marijuana.  Urge Your Representative to Support HB 5591 State Legislative and Statewide > Rhode Island - Rhode Island Lawmakers Consider Legislation to Tax and Regulate Marijuana. Urge Your Representative to Support HB 5591 | House lawmakers have reintroduced legislation that seeks to regulate the production, distribution, and personal use of marijuana for adults age 21 and older. As introduced, House Bill 5591: The Taxation and Regulation of Marijuana Act, would exempt adults from any statewide criminal or civil penalty for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, the not-for-profit transfer of small amounts of marijuana, and/or the cultivation of up to three marijuana plants. The proposal also establishes state licensing requirements for the commercial production and distribution of marijuana via retail facilities. The measure states that 'at least one' marijuana retailer shall exist per county within one year following the passage of this act.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=33889526 - for more on this Action Item.


Tennessee - Medical Marijuana Safe Access Act Reintroduced in Tennessee State Legislative and Statewide > Tennessee - Medical Marijuana Safe Access Act Reintroduced in Tennessee | Legislation that seeks to legalize the physician-supervised use of medical marijuana has been reintroduced in the Tennessee Senate. Senate Bill 251, the “Safe Access to Medical Cannabis Act,” would allow for the qualified use, production, and distribution of medical marijuana by authorized persons. NORML supported similar legislation last year and retained a state lobbyist to work on behalf of the measure. Lawmakers held numerous hearings in support of the proposal, and agreed to study the issue further.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=24963501 - for more on this Action Item.


Texas - Medical Marijuana Affirmative Defense Bill Reintroduced In Texas.  Urge Your Representative to Support HB 1491 State Legislative and Statewide > Texas - Medical Marijuana Affirmative Defense Bill Reintroduced In Texas. Urge Your Representative to Support HB 1491 | House Bill 1491, an act to allow qualified patients to raise an affirmative defense to prosecution for the possession of medical cannabis, has been reintroduced in the Texas legislature. This proposal would enact limited legal protections for patients who use cannabis under a doctor's supervision. It would also enact legal protections for physicians who make oral or written recommendations to their patients regarding the use of medicinal cannabis. HB 1491 has been assigned to the House Committee on Public Heath. The full text of the bill can be read here. While HB 1491 does not establish statewide regulations to allow qualified patients to use and possess medical cannabis -- as have been enacted in other states -- this bill would enact new legal protections for patients by allowing them to present evidence of their medical use at trial. Please join our Texas NORML and our other Texas chapters in supporting House Bill 1491. You can also contact your state House member directly and urge him or her to vote 'yes' on HB 1491 by entering your zip code below. You can follow the progress of this measure on the Facebook page for Texas NORML here.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=29451501 - for more on this Action Item.


Texas - Bill To Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties Reintroduced In Texas State Legislative and Statewide > Texas - Bill To Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties Reintroduced In Texas | Legislation seeking to reduce marijuana possession penalties has been reintroduced in the Texas House of Representatives. House Bill 548 amends Texas law so that the adult possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is reduced from a Class B misdemeanor (punishable by 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine) to a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not exceeding $500 and no criminal record. Marijuana arrests, mostly possession arrests, now comprise over half of all arrests in Texas. According to 2009 state arrest data, more than 97 percent of all Texas marijuana arrests -- over 77,000 people -- are for possession only. Passage of this bill would bring immediate relief to hundreds of thousands of Texans who consume marijuana responsibly, and would allow law enforcement officials to reallocate resources toward targeting and prosecuting more serious criminal activity.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=22059736 - for more on this Action Item.


Vermont - Medical Marijuana Distribution Bill On Its Way to Governor's Desk State Legislative and Statewide > Vermont - Medical Marijuana Distribution Bill On Its Way to Governor's Desk | Vermont is now one step closer to allowing state-licensed dispensaries to distribute marijuana to qualified patients. On Thursday, May 5, House lawmakers voted 99-44 in favor of Senate Bill 17, which allows for the state-sanctioned sale of marijuana to qualified patients. Under the bill, four dispensaries may be established to serve up to 1,000 patients. House lawmakers overwhelmingly decided to pass the measure despite warnings from the US Department of Justice claiming that the operation of such facilities could place citizens and state officials in conflict with federal law. However, in response to the DOJ’s actions, lawmakers added a provision to the law giving the governor power to “suspend the implementation” of marijuana dispensaries “if the governor determines that it is in the interest of justice and public safety.” Senators previously passed a version of SB 17 in April and are expected to concur with the minor changes made by the House. State Gov. Peter Shumlin supports the measure.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=22312516 - for more on this Action Item.


Vermont - Legislation to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties Introduced in Vermont.  Urge Your Representative to Support HB 427 State Legislative and Statewide > Vermont - Legislation to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties Introduced in Vermont. Urge Your Representative to Support HB 427 | Legislation to reduce adult marijuana possession penalties has been reintroduced in Vermont. House Bill 427 amends state law so that the adult possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is reduced from a criminal misdemeanor (punishable by six months in jail and a $500 maximum fine) to a civil offense, punishable by a $150 fine, no jail time, and no criminal record. Passage of the measure, which has been endorsed by Governor Peter Shumlin, will allow state law enforcement to reallocate an estimated $700,000 annually in criminal justice resources. According to a 2009 Mason/Dixon survey, 63 percent of Vermont’s voters favor decriminalization.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=32825501 - for more on this Action Item.


Vermont - House Clears Way For Passage of Medical Marijuana Distribution Bill State Legislative and Statewide > Vermont - House Clears Way For Passage of Medical Marijuana Distribution Bill | Vermont is now one step closer to allowing state-licensed dispensaries to distribute marijuana to qualified patients. On Thursday, May 5, House lawmakers voted 99-44 in favor of Senate Bill 17, which allows for the state-sanctioned sale of marijuana to qualified patients. Under the bill, four dispensaries may be established to serve up to 1,000 patients. House lawmakers overwhelmingly decided to pass the measure despite warnings from the US Department of Justice claiming that the operation of such facilities could place citizens and state officials in conflict with federal law. However, in response to the DOJ’s actions, lawmakers added a provision to the law giving the governor power to “suspend the implementation” of marijuana dispensaries “if the governor determines that it is in the interest of justice and public safety.” The Senate approved the House's changes to SB 17 and the measure now goes to Governor Schumlin's desk for his signature. The Governor had previously gone on record in support of the bill.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=45669501 - for more on this Action Item.


Virginia - Virginia Lawmakers Quash Marijuana Decriminalization Measure State Legislative and Statewide > Virginia - Virginia Lawmakers Quash Marijuana Decriminalization Measure | On Monday, January 17, lawmakers on the House Courts of Justice, Criminal Subcommittee decided on a voice vote to “pass by indefinitely” legislation, HB 1443, which sought to reduce criminal marijuana penalties for first-time offenders. It is possible that the Committee could reconsider the measure later this year, though this outcome is unlikely. Del. Morgan, the sponsor of HB 1443, has already vowed to reintroduce a similar measure next year. Virginia NORML, which backed HB 1443, co-organized a Lobby Day to coincide with Monday’s hearing and vote. An estimated 75 citizens participated in the day-long event, about a dozen of whom testified in favor of HB 1443. (You can read NORML’s testimony in favor of the measure here.). Unlike in past years, no one, including representatives of law enforcement or the state prosecutors office, testified publically against the measure.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=22816501 - for more on this Action Item.


Washington - Governor Vetoes Medical Marijuana Licensing Measure in Washington State  State Legislative and Statewide > Washington - Governor Vetoes Medical Marijuana Licensing Measure in Washington State | Democrat Gov. Chris Gregoire on Friday, April 29, vetoed sections of Senate Bill 5073, which sought to license and regulate the dispensing of medical cannabis to qualified persons, and would have enacted additional legal protections for patients who voluntarily participated in a statewide registry. In her veto statement, Gov. Gregoire alleged that the licensing and registry provisions “would open public employees to federal prosecution.”

In an April 14, 2011 letter to Gov. Gregoire from the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorneys Jenny Durkan of Seattle and Michael Ormsby of Spokane wrote, “[W]e maintain the authority to enforce the Controlled Substances Act vigorously against individuals and manufacturing and distribution activity involving marijuana, even if such activities are permitted under state law.” It continued: “The Washington legislative proposals will create a licensing scheme that permits large-scale marijuana cultivation and distribution. This would authorize conduct contrary to federal law. … Accordingly, the Department [of Justice] could consider civil and criminal legal remedies who set up marijuana growing facilities … or who knowingly facilitate the actions of the licensees. … [S]tate employees who conducted activities mandated by the Washington legislative proposals would not be immune from liability under the Controlled Substances Act.”  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=44468501 - for more on this Action Item.


Washington - Washington House Lawmakers Refuse To Act On Bill To Regulate Adult Marijuana Production, Use, and Sales State Legislative and Statewide > Washington - Washington House Lawmakers Refuse To Act On Bill To Regulate Adult Marijuana Production, Use, and Sales | Washington House members have refused to act on legislation that sought to legalize and regulate the “production, distribution, and sale” of marijuana to adults. By failing to advance the bill out of committee by last week’s legislative deadline, the measure, HB 1550, is dead for this year’s legislative session. A state fiscal analysis of the measure estimated that regulating marijuana sales could yield some $300 million in new revenue per biennium, while also reallocating an estimated $25 million annually in law enforcement costs. In Seattle, every state legislator -- as well as the city’s mayor, city attorney and several City Council members — had gone on record in support of regulating marijuana. In January, a SurveyUSA/KING5 poll reported that a majority of people in Washington state – 51 percent – thought marijuana should be legalized and regulated.  Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=39828501 - for more on this Action Item.


SOURCE: NORMLs Action Page SOURCE: NORMLs Action Page - Home > Take Action > Contact Officials • Elected Officials • Issues • Media ... Legislative Alerts and Updates • Current Legislation • Key Votes • Capitol Hill Basics; Issues and Legislation; Current Action Alerts ... and more. Visit - http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/


Help End the International War on Medical Cannabis (Marijuana)

Act Now! to End Medical Cannabis Prohibition around the World Act Now! to End Medical Cannabis Prohibition around the World by Action Alerts! You Can Make a Difference - Act Now Stopping the War on (Some of the People doing Some of the) Drugs. For 50 years current drug policies have failed everyone, everywhere but public debate is stuck in the mud of fear and misinformation. Everyone, even the UN Office on Drugs and Crime which is responsible for enforcing this approach agrees -- deploying militaries and police to burn drug farms, hunting down traffickers, and imprisoning dealers and addicts - is an expensive mistake. And with massive human cost -- from Afghanistan, to Mexico, to the USA the illegal drug trade is destroying countries around the world, while addiction, overdose deaths, and HIV/AIDS infections continue to rise. Meanwhile, countries with less-harsh enforcement -- like Switzerland, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Australia -- have not seen the explosion in drug use that proponents of the drug war have darkly predicted. Instead, they have seen significant reductions in drug-related crime, addiction and deaths, and are able to focus squarely on dismantling criminal empires.

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