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. . . a weekly service for the media on news items related to marijuana prohibition.

January 29, 1998

Medical Marijuana, Hemp Legislation Pending In Several States

        January 29, 1998, Washington, D.C.:   Bills to legalize medical marijuana and industrial hemp are pending before several state legislatures this year.  In addition, statewide initiatives to legalize the medical use of marijuana are expected to be on the ballot in Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Nevada, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

Medical Marijuana Legislation

STATE: California
BILL: S.B 535*
INTENT: "[To establish a] Marijuana Research Program ... at the University of California... to develop and implement studies intended to ascertain the ... medical efficacy ... of marijuana."
SPONSOR: Sen. John Vasconcellos

STATE: Hawaii
BILL: H.B. 2403
INTENT: "[To] ensure that seriously ill patients are not penalized ... for obtaining and using marijuana strictly for medical purposes."
SPONSOR: Rep. David Tarnas

STATE: Iowa
BILL: H.B. 422*
INTENT:  "[To] authorize research into the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes."
SPONSOR: Rep. Ed Fallon

STATE: Massachusetts
BILL: S.B. 473*
INTENT: "[To allow] the Department of Health [to] approve the experimental use of marijuana in the treatment of additional disease entities, including AIDS."
SPONSOR: Sen. Richard Moore

STATE: New Hampshire
BILL: H.B. 1559
INTENT: "[To] allow a person to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use when it is prescribed by a physician."
SPONSOR: Rep. Tim Robertson

STATE: New York
BILL: A.B. 6407
INTENT: "To allow the medical use of marijuana for a serious medical condition under the supervision of a licensed practitioner."
SPONSOR: Assemblyman Richard Gottfried

STATE: Washington
BILL: S.B. 6721
INTENT: "[To allow] seriously ill patients... [to] be exempt from liability and criminal prosecution for limited, personal possession and use of marijuana."
SPONSORS: Sens. Jeanne Kohl and Pat Thibaudeau

STATE: Wisconsin
BILL: A.B. 560*
INTENT: "[To] move THC from schedule I to schedule III ... [and] establish a medical necessity defense to THC-related prosecutions."
SPONSORS: Reps. Frank Boyle and Tammy Baldwin

Industrial Hemp Legislation

STATE: Kansas
BILL: SCR 1605*
INTENT: "[To] request the Department of Commerce and Housing to form a task force to investigate and research the viability of ... industrial hemp as an alternative crop."
SPONSOR: Sen. David Corbin

STATE: Iowa
BILL: H.F. 402*
INTENT: "[To] provide for research regarding the production and marketing of industrial hemp."
SPONSORS: Reps. Cecelia Burnett (and others)

STATE: Minnesota
BILL: S.F. 1181*
INTENT: "[To] classify industrial hemp as an agricultural product subject to regulation and registration by the commissioner of agriculture."
SPONSOR: Sen. Roger Moe

STATE: New Hampshire
BILL: 1576-FN-A
INTENT: "[To] permit the development of an industrial hemp industry in New Hampshire."
SPONSOR: Rep. Tim Robertson

STATE: Vermont
BILL: S.B. 285
INTENT: "To permit the development in Vermont of an industrial hemp industry."
SPONSOR: Sen. Hull Maynard, Jr.

*legislation held over from 1997

        Copies of state legislation are available from NORML upon request @ (202) 483-5500.  For more information on state marijuana reform efforts, please contact either Paul Armentano or R. Keith Stroup, Esq. of NORML.

-END-

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