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Nearly 30 States Are Considering Marijuana Law Reform


marijuana reform americaBy Sabrina Fendrick, NORML Director of Women’s Outreach

Nearly 30 states, and the District of Columbia are considering marijuana law reform legislation this year, including bills that cover legalization for adults, decriminalization, medical marijuana and hemp.  Some states have a variety of reform bills simultaneously pending such as Arizona which is considering legalization and decriminalization, and Pennsylvania which is considering legalization as well as medical marijuana legislation.  Here’s a quick breakdown:

14 states are considering legalization: Arizona, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

12 states and the District of Columbia are considering decriminalization: Alabama, Arizona, DC, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wyoming.

11 states are considering legislation to establish effective medical marijuana programs: Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Hawaii, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

3 states are considering allowing industrial hemp cultivation: Indiana, New York, and Tennessee.

Click here to access NORML’s Action Alerts and quickly and easily contact your elected officials to encourage their support of any pending reform bills.  Be sure to keep checking NORML’s Take Action Center to see if your state has joined the list!

Source: NORML - make a donation


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  • the man

    You hit that right on the head they are doing just that in Wisco right now ramping up arrests

  • harry

    wen we as american get thru legalization we will see how good it can be

  • harry

    we need it in all states and territories of the united states 56 in all

  • Steve Wik

    The problem is, as our first Black president, he may not want “the weed Prez” to be attached to his legacy. Know what I’m sayin’?

  • Steve Wik

    What kind of an idiot could say “there is no proof that Charlotte’s Web is effective”? There is absolutely proof! It may not be effective or as effective for everyone, but clearly it saved Charlotte’s life.

  • nedmorlef

    gotta steal as much as they can before the time runs out.

  • jhdfjh

    this crap is taking way too long.

  • acidsex

    No but the benefits of cannabis is not exclusive to medical patients.

    I shared a conversation with a MMJ dispensary owner who said off the record, recreational will hurt his business in the long run because now his patients can buy anywhere instead of coming to him or other MMJ businesses. Foolishly he admitted he did not apply for a recreational license. He said his business was much better before full legalization because there was a smaller number of players to provide cannabis. And since MMJ cannot sell to the average non-MMJ consumer, their customer base remains MMJ only whereas recreational shops can sell to MMJ and non-MMJ customers.

  • Dave_K

    If people don’t carefully draft the legalization legislation it could be a battle. Although there needs to be some local control prohibitionists seem to use any wiggle room to prohibit what the law allows. I saw where Christie got ambushed by the father of a child with dravet syndrome asking him not kill his child. His response to that exposed him to be a barbaric bully. I don’t mean to put Colorado and Washington under pressure to perform. What I am thinking is that familiarity tends to quiet many of the wild accusations that often characterize discussion of legalization. Even a few years ago the prohibitionists were predicting that the states would be turned into treatment centers for those addicted to marijuana and that the carnage on the highways would be unimaginable if we let patients use medical marijuana. Two studies now report actual reductions in traffic fatalities in medical marijuana states when compared to states that do not allow it. When people became free to discuss their own experiences and others saw that the wild accusations were just that people’s thinking began to change. People who would not otherwise go near marijuana saw others benefit from treatment. When President Obama recently reported that he had told his own daughters that he didn’t think that marijuana was more dangerous than alcohol but that kids shouldn’t use it there was more sincerity and honesty from the White House on marijuana than we’ve seen in 50 or more years. I’d like to see Wendy become governor of Texas and come to the realization of the right thing to do. Anyone who looks at it carefully and who is not receiving drug war money figures it out quickly. The people of Texas are coming along slowly but they’re not quite ready to admit that Willie was right. I do hope that Willie Nelson gets to see legal marijuana in Texas. He’s worked hard for this and certainly he has paid his dues. He didn’t have all of the details of how it should work right then but he was right all those years ago when he shocked everyone by openly proposing legalization.

  • wowFAD

    You got shit for sale, son. All you’re doing is tempting me to take your phone number and do something with it that isn’t very nice.

  • Jim Skorkl

    You want sick people to focus on whether you can use marijuana?

  • painkills2

    No one could question Ms. Davis’ intelligence, and since she is in Texas, I’m sure she has to plan her political aspirations accordingly. It’s just that I think legalization is common sense, and I was really hoping that Ms. Davis would take that view also. One can always hope for her “evolution” on this issue.

    For example, Chris Christie may have been brought down by this bridge scandal, but his view on medical marijuana would have guaranteed his loss anyway. It was just a matter of time.

    You are putting not only a lot of faith in Colorado and Washington, but a lot of pressure. I would suggest that we don’t depend on outcomes in these two states to move legalization forward. After all, no example is going to be perfect — all will provide both good and bad results (and fodder for either political side).

    But you’re right, when all the other states realize that the sky isn’t going to fall with cannabis legalization, the tide will turn — and we will probably spend the next 10 years hashing out all the laws and regulations. Sound like fun? :)

  • Dave_K

    She is intelligent enough to understand all of the issues involved but if I lived in Texas I don’t think I would want to be too quick to support it there until the medical marijuana issue is settled. Most people in medical marijuana states begin to see that it’s not the major problem that they have been told and as others become free to talk of their medical use the old attitudes change. People are beginning to challenge the old school messages of marijuana being as dangerous as heroin or meth and they are demanding that our drug policies attack the problems that kill the most Americans rather than to spend inordinate amounts of time and money to go after people who use marijuana. Before the war on drugs began police used to solve 90% of the murders. We currently solve 60%. If you thought murder would have a higher priority than marijuana arrests you might be mistaken. I’m sure that many of the drug war statistics would concern Wendy because the war on marijuana is more destructive to families than is marijuana itself. Most politicians take a baby step forward before they take a leap to legalization and regulation. It will happen though. After all, it’s just common sense and a better use of our resources. Watch what happens in Colorado and Washington. A recent poll in Colorado suggested that there is now more support for legalization than there was one year ago. If the people in Colorado continue to believe that they have done the right thing I think we will see rapid changes many other places.

  • painkills2

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  • painkills2

    I was happy to hear that Ms. Davis supports medical marijuana, but she does not support legalization. Major bummer — I had high hopes for that woman.

  • Dave_K

    This is a relevant portion of the Controlled Substances Act:


    Part B — Authority to Control; Standards and Schedules

    §811. Authority and criteria for classification of substances

    (a) Rules and regulations of Attorney General; hearing

    The Attorney General shall apply the provisions of this subchapter to the controlled substances listed in the schedules established by section 812 of this title and to any other drug or other substance added to such schedules under this subchapter. Except as provided in subsections (d) and (e) of this section, the Attorney General may by rule—

    (1) add to such a schedule or transfer between such schedules any drug or other substance if he—

    (A) finds that such drug or other substance has a potential for abuse, and

    (B) makes with respect to such drug or other substance the findings prescribed by subsection (b) of section 812 of this title for the schedule in which such drug is to be placed; or

    (2) remove any drug or other substance from the schedules if he finds that the drug or other substance does not meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule.

    Rules of the Attorney General under this subsection shall be made on the record after opportunity for a hearing pursuant to the rulemaking procedures prescribed by subchapter II of chapter 5 of title 5. Proceedings for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of such rules may be initiated by the Attorney General (1) on his own motion, (2) at the request of the Secretary, or (3) on the petition of any interested party.

    (b) Evaluation of drugs and other substances

    The Attorney General shall, before initiating proceedings under subsection (a) of this section to control a drug or other substance or to remove a drug or other substance entirely from the schedules, and after gathering the necessary data, request from the Secretary a scientific and medical evaluation, and his recommendations, as to whether such drug or other substance should be so controlled or removed as a controlled substance. In making such evaluation and recommendations, the Secretary shall consider the factors listed in paragraphs (2), (3), (6), (7), and (8) of subsection (c) of this section and any scientific or medical considerations involved in paragraphs (1), (4), and (5) of such subsection. The recommendations of the Secretary shall include recommendations with respect to the appropriate schedule, if any, under which such drug or other substance should be listed. The evaluation and the recommendations of the Secretary shall be made in writing and submitted to the Attorney General within a reasonable time. The recommendations of the Secretary to the Attorney General shall be binding on the Attorney General as to such scientific and medical matters, and if the Secretary recommends that a drug or other substance not be controlled, the Attorney General shall not control the drug or other substance. If the Attorney General determines that these facts and all other relevant data constitute substantial evidence of potential for abuse such as to warrant control or substantial evidence that the drug or other substance should be removed entirely from the schedules, he shall initiate proceedings for control or removal, as the case may be, under subsection (a) of this section.

    (c) Factors determinative of control or removal from schedules

    In making any finding under subsection (a) of this section or under subsection (b) of section 812 of this title, the Attorney General shall consider the following factors with respect to each drug or other substance proposed to be controlled or removed from the schedules:

    (1) Its actual or relative potential for abuse.

    (2) Scientific evidence of its pharmacological effect, if known.

    (3) The state of current scientific knowledge regarding the drug or other substance.

    (4) Its history and current pattern of abuse.

    (5) The scope, duration, and significance of abuse.

    (6) What, if any, risk there is to the public health.

    (7) Its psychic or physiological dependence liability.

    (8) Whether the substance is an immediate precursor of a substance already controlled under this subchapter.

  • painkills2


  • painkills2

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  • painkills2

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  • Dave_K

    I really couldn’t tell you if he lied. I think that its more likely that he didn’t know the exact wording of the law. That is the most boring and at the same time confusing law I have ever tried to read. It is available on line if you would like to check it out.

  • Dave_K

    Wendy Davis recently came out in support of medical marijuana. She may run for governor of Texas. You might want to check her out.

  • Dave_K

    We have spent over 1.5 TRILLION dollars in the War on Drugs. As a result, drugs are cheaper than when we started, drugs are more potent, and drugs are more readily available to our children. The US has 5% of the world’s population but houses 25% of the world’s prisoners. We have more prisoners in the US than they do in China. China’s population is over 1344 million. We currently imprison a higher percentage of our population than Hitler did in Germany or than Stalin did in Russia or than was done in South Africa during apartheid. Our massive prison population is largely due to the War on Drugs. This money could go a long ways to solving our health care crisis or might provide a free college education to any who wish to attend. The only people who benefit at this point are those who are addicted to drug war money and they will say or do anything imaginable to keep marijuana illegal and to keep that cash flowing (law enforcement, private prisons, addiction counselors, those in charge of drug testing, etc.). If these people were not included in polls or allowed to vote the rest of us would have legalized marijuana a long time ago. If we can regulate alcohol and tobacco that actually kill many more people than does marijuana we can learn to regulate marijuana. As a country we have even managed to cut back on the use of tobacco and we have saved lives. We did this without sending a single person to jail. There is no excuse to allow the nation’s number one cash crop to exist in an underground economy where it is totally unregulated and where drug dealers sell much more dangerous and addictive substances to our children.

  • Dave_K

    You might be interested to hear that many would like to see the President of Uruguay nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his actions to legalize and regulate marijuana in his country. It took some guts to go up against the US and other countries but it is clear that he did the right thing not only for his people but that he opened the door for the rest of the world to disagree with US drug policies regarding marijuana.

  • Dave_K

    The Controlled Substances Act allows the Attorney General to change the schedule of a medication. Since the Attorney General sits at the discretion of the president, the president could direct him to change marijuana to a different part of the schedule or to remove it altogether. If the Attorney General refused to do so he could be fired by the president and replaced by someone who would. The matter is not given by the act to the president to decide but it is very clear that the president could make it happen if he choose to do so. Congress could also do so by amending or otherwise changing or replacing the law. Half the people in this country now live in medical marijuana states. The longer they wait the more damage that is done.

  • Dave_K

    An overwhelming majority of New Yorkers support legalizing medical marijuana across the state, a new poll shows, while a slimmer majority also support legalizing small amounts of weed for recreational use. According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, released Monday, 88 percent of New York State voters support legalizing medical marijuana, while 57 percent support outright legalization of the drug in small amounts. “Medical marijuana is a no-brainer for New York State voters, and they also would follow Colorado in legalizing marijuana for fun,” Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement.

    ProCon.org does a good job of keeping up on pending legislation and voter initiatives in all of the states: http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002481