Marijuana Regulation Gets Some Attention in Sacramento

The Assembly Public Safety Committee, chaired by San Francisco’s Tom Ammiano, held a hearing on Ammiano’s AB 390 to legalize and regulate the sale and distribution of marijuana.

Advocates said legalization and regulation could bring as much as $1.4 billion in state and local excise and sales tax revenue per year; control the drug’s potency; do more to keep it out of children’s hands; and end a centurylong double standard in which alcohol and tobacco – which they say are more harmful – are legal while marijuana isn’t, leading to a war on drugs particularly destructive to people of color.

Law enforcement officials testified the harms caused by marijuana legalization would far outweigh whatever tax revenue it might bring – more, not less, use by children; more people driving under the influence, causing more injuries and deaths; decreased worker productivity that could hurt the economy; and a still-thriving black market. (Bay Area News 10/29/09)

As it stands, it will be a while before there are any where the number of votes necessary to pass this bill.  Beyond the majority vote measure to legalize, there is also the 2/3 part of this that would tax. Ammiano would have to convince more than just Democrats to get this thing passed.

Of course, these debates become more of an issue if any of the four measures currently out for signatures gets on the ballot. Polls have consistenly shown support for regulation and taxation of marijuana to be hovering around the 55% mark for about a year now.  Once a campaign starts, all bets are off, especially with former Senate President pro tem Don Perata throwing his weight behind one of the measures.

3 thoughts on “Marijuana Regulation Gets Some Attention in Sacramento”

  1. this is a good idea, and if it means we could get these stupid grow operations out of residential neighborhoods and into places where that kind of industrial use is approrpiate, fine with me.

    I do wonder about one thing – CA could legalize and tax it, but the federal gov’t wouldn’t change its laws. I would be a bit worried that if you set up a system to tax the distro of marijuana, we’d essentially be setting up an easy way for the feds to just arrest anyone they felt like, regardless of our laws. It’s not like they haven’t done  this already with regard to medical marijuana folks, and they just ignore our laws.

  2. anyone who has paid attention to cannabis reform recognizes this strategy. anyone who has done political activism MUST recognize it.

    all politics is local. Dozens of famous and seasoned politicos have made that notable quote. Obama used that concept to win presidency.

    You don’t sit back and wait for Feds. Otherwise, there would be no Prop 215 or Ab 420. There would be no city decrim laws, or the Colorado cannabis laws.

    You build from the ground up, and put pressure on the Feds. The federal govt is almost always the last one to do the right thing. (other times, it’s the states of course, too)

Comments are closed.