News

Legislative committee calls for legalizing 'recreational use' of marijuana

Quest by drug advocates just 'got a lot easier,' advocacy group says

Four Bay Area legislators provided the votes Tuesday as the state Assembly Public Safety Committee approved by a 4-3 margin a bill that would legalize adult recreational use of marijuana and allow the drug to be sold and taxed in the state.

The bill, AB 390, is authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco).

Joining Ammiano in voting for the bill were Assemblyman Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley).

Stephen Gutwillig, the state director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said he thinks the vote is "historic" because "it marks the formal beginning of the end of marijuana prohibition in the United States."

Gutwillig said, "Nobody thinks passing a bill of this kind is doable in 2010" but he said the fact that it passed out of committee is significant and potentially sets the stage for it to be approved by the full Assembly in the future.

He said the quest by marijuana advocates to have the drug legalized "got a lot easier after today."

Ammiano's spokesman, Quentin Mecke, said, "We're quite happy because this is the first time in the U.S. that a bill like this has been carried and has been approved by a committee."

Mecke said Ammiano is still hopeful that the bill will be heard in the Assembly's Health Committee before a deadline on Friday but he admits that such an outcome is "unlikely."

Gutwillig said three years ago a marijuana legalization bill wouldn't even have been introduced in the state Legislature, let alone be approved by a committee.

He said there's now a broad national momentum toward reconsidering marijuana prohibition and Washington State's House of Representatives will consider a similar bill today.

Gutwillig noted that proponents of a statewide initiative to tax and regulate marijuana have gathered sufficient signatures to place it on the ballot this November.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Jillian Galloway
a resident of Avila
on Jan 13, 2010 at 7:30 am

End the prohibition, end the cartel murders (69 on Monday alone!) and get the drugs off the street!


Like this comment
Posted by Timothy T
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 13, 2010 at 9:27 am

I think if they decide to not legalize marijuana then they also need to decide to outlaw cigarettes, for the same reasons.


Like this comment
Posted by LiUs
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2010 at 6:17 pm

What about alcohol? Keeping pot illegal while people can go to Safeway or BevMo and buy enough booze to I believe if pot is illegal, every single liquor license in the State should be confiscated. Period!


Like this comment
Posted by LiUs
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2010 at 6:19 pm

I meant to say:

What about alcohol? Keeping pot illegal while people can go to Safeway or BevMo and buy enough booze to get an army drunk is HYPOCRITICAL! I believe that if pot is illegal, every single liquor license in the State should be confiscated. Period!


Like this comment
Posted by Rat
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2010 at 6:21 pm

ummmmmmmmmm so if you make it legal and sell it in stores at a much higher price and tax it people will no longer buy it for a cheaper amount on the street? I am looking for the logic here.


Like this comment
Posted by Mary Jane
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2010 at 7:05 pm

It's already sold to patients at medicinal cannabis clubs and people pay sales tax on every purchase. For those who care about the quality they are getting, they will buy it someplace they can trust rather than an individual, at least those who know their weed. There is a night and day difference in the quality between medicinal/organic and schwag.

The logic is that CA will capitalize on its largest cash crop when it's legalized. People will also grow it and have to buy supplies and pay sales tax on that too. It is a growth industry right now. It's only going to get bigger as it becomes either legalized or decriminalized by the voters.


Like this comment
Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Awwwwwwwwww not buying it. Big difference in price and it is not about quality but getting high. Never will happen.


Like this comment
Posted by Mary Jane
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 14, 2010 at 9:19 pm

So people who use it for ailments, diseases, etc and have a doctor's recommendation are just doing it to get high? Are you really trying to claim it has no medical merits in this day and age? What kind of M.D. are you again?

Anyway, big things are going to happen in this direction. You may as well get use to the idea.


Like this comment
Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 14, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Mary Jane,

Please keep smoking pot I can see it is working for you and no I do not believe it does a thing medically.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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