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.
Arizona: The Arizona Department of Health Services last week finalized rules for the Arizona Medical Marijuana Program. Patients may begin qualifying for the program next week, and dispensary applications will be accepted beginning June 1. Program rules, physician certification forms, and answers to frequently asked questions are all available online here. Arizona is the fifteenth state since 1996 to allow for the use of medical cannabis by qualified patients.
Connecticut: On Tuesday, members of the Joint Judiciary Committee overwhelmingly voted in favor Governor’s Bill No. 1015, which seeks to allow qualified patients to use and cultivate marijuana for medical purposes. The Committee is expected to act on separate decriminalization legislation (See NORML’s recent op/ed in favor here) imminently. You can support both proposals via NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here and here. You can get involved with Connecticut NORML here.
Delaware: On Thursday, March 30, members of the Delaware Senate voted 18 to 3 in favor of Senate Bill 17, The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act. The measure now awaits action from the House of Representatives. You can contact your House member in support of this effort via NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.
Montana: Members of the Montana Senate last week resurrected and then passed House Bill 161, which repeals the state’s six-year-old, voter-approved medical marijuana law. Senate lawmakers voted 29 to 21 in favor of the GOP-backed measure, which had previously stalled in committee. The bill is now expected to go before Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, who has voiced support for the state’s medical cannabis program. You can contact the Governor and urge him to veto this draconian legislation here. Additional information is available from our allies Montana NORML and Patients & Families United.
North Carolina: Legislation that seeks to legalize the physician-supervised use of medical marijuana has been reintroduced 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. You can urge your lawmakers to support this proposal here.
Vermont: Senate lawmakers are expected to act this week on SB 17, which seeks to allow for state-licensed facilities to provide medical marijuana to authorized patients. Similar legislation is already in place in several states, including Colorado, Maine, New Mexico, and Rhode Island. You can contact your state Senator about SB 17 via NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.