An Accounting of Marijuana-Related Bills in The States

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by RMJL, Mar 22, 2003.

  1. Dear Friend,

    After much arm-twisting and numerous backroom arguments, the Maryland
    House of Delegates passed a watered-down version of the Marijuana
    Policy Project's medical marijuana bill yesterday. For details, please
    see .

    This vote follows on the heels of our 22-7 victory on March 13 in the
    Vermont Senate, which passed our comprehensive medical marijuana bill.
    (Please see for the news
    release.) The Vermont bill is now pending in the House, where it is
    expected to pass.

    Please consider visiting to help pay for
    MPP's TV ad campaign to pressure the governor of Vermont to sign the
    bill. It could go either way at this point!

    Below is an accounting of other marijuana-related bills in the 50
    states. Please take special note of the stunning victory in Oklahoma
    on March 12, when the Senate passed a marijuana penalty reduction bill
    by a 26-19 vote. (Please see for
    the text of this bill.)



    * SOUTH DAKOTA enacted legislation that expands the state's
    definition of marijuana distribution to include possession with
    intent to distribute. This law, which will give nonviolent
    marijuana offenders longer prison sentences, comes at a time when
    South Dakota is already struggling under the weight of a
    $54 million budget deficit. In addition to being expensive, the new
    law will not decrease marijuana use or distribution.



    * CALIFORNIA might tweak its existing "decrim" law to change the
    existing $100 misdemeanor (criminal) penalty for marijuana
    possession to a $100 civil penalty. The bill is pending in

    * CONNECTICUT is considering legislation that would make possession
    of less than four ounces of marijuana punishable by a civil
    violation and fine, rather than jail time. The bill is pending in

    * MASSACHUSETTS is looking at legislation that would impose a $100
    civil fine for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. A
    hearing is scheduled for April 9.

    * MICHIGAN is considering a bill that would remove the threat of jail
    or a criminal record for first-time marijuana possession offenses,
    allowing for drug treatment or community service to be mandated
    instead of other penalties. The bill is pending in committee.

    * OKLAHOMA's bill -- which would impose a $500 fine rather than jail
    time for up to 17 ounces of marijuana, repeal some mandatory
    minimum sentences, and authorize community service and treatment
    instead of jail for some offenders -- passed the Senate on March 12
    with a 26-19 vote. This important bill is now pending in a House

    * TEXAS is looking at legislation that would impose up to a $500 fine
    but no jail time for possession of less than one ounce of
    marijuana; the bill is pending in a House committee. (Amazingly,
    similar legislation was passed by a House committee during the 2001
    legislative session, only to fail to receive a vote on the House



    * ARKANSAS voted down its bill by a voice vote (with at least six
    votes in favor of the bill) on March 11 in committee, where former
    U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders had testified in support of
    the bill.

    * CALIFORNIA is looking to clarify its existing medical marijuana law
    with a bill that would direct police not to arrest patients with
    medical marijuana identification cards (which would be optional for

    * CONNECTICUT could go either way on its medical marijuana bill. The
    43-member House/Senate Judiciary Committee is split down the middle
    and is expected to vote at the end of this month.

    * IOWA has not taken action on its bill, which is pending in

    * MASSACHUSETTS will almost surely not pass its medical marijuana
    bill as long as it remains in its current committee, which is co-
    chaired by a hostile legislator.

    * MISSISSIPPI took no action on its bill, which died in committee on
    February 4.

    * MISSOURI only recently had a bill introduced; the bill will not
    pass in that conservative legislature.

    * MONTANA surprised everyone when a committee passed the bill by a
    12-5 vote on February 21. Unfortunately, the House killed the bill
    by a 60-40 vote on February 26.

    * NEW MEXICO's House defeated its bill by a 46-20 vote on March 6,
    even after three committees pushed the bill to the floor with 9-1,
    9-3, and 8-0 votes. This defeat is bitterly disappointing, given
    that both the House and Senate passed similar legislation last
    year, only to run out of time before the bill could be sent to the

    * NEW YORK is considering a medical marijuana bill that was
    introduced by the chair of the Assembly Health Committee and co-
    sponsored by 27 of his colleagues. In the meantime, the New York
    City Council is expected to pass a resolution in support of the
    state bill.

    * RHODE ISLAND is expected to vote on a bill in committee sometime
    soon. Similar legislation has failed to pass in the past few
    legislative sessions.

    * WYOMING broke new ground when a committee passed MPP's bill by a
    3-2 vote on February 5. Unfortunately, the Senate leadership
    decided to let the bill die without bringing it to a vote on the
    Senate floor.


    Rob Kampia
    Executive Director
    Marijuana Policy Project
    Washington, D.C.
  2. all those dead bills....light a candle for them

    Attached Files:

  3. Shocking is'nt the word for it! HORNSWOGGLED!!!!

    Why do I have the funny feeling, I made a difference. Probably me flattering myself, but I stepped out of the closet and wrote my elected officials, as myself, and supported this bill, and I'll bet the Baptists are organizing a political action committee to buy this bill out of existence in the House (or senate? Can't remember!). I'm going after the boys there too.

    Take heart all, I never believed it would happen here this soon. Could the pendulum be starting back the other way???
  4. This amount of legislation at one time in this many states?

    That is a BIIIIIIIG deal, right?

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