Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has re-submitted his bill to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in California.
The new bill, AB 2254, is identical to its predecessor AB 390, which was approved by the Public Safety Committee in January. Because it was introduced last year, AB 390 ran out of time to be heard on this year's calendar.
Advocates are hopeful that AB 2254 will move forward this year through the Health Committee, as the legislature has yet to hold hearings on the health aspects of legal marijuana.
Recent years have seen mounting evidence that marijuana is safer than previously
imagined - for example, that it doesn't cause lung cancer and is a
minor highway safety hazard compared to other, legal drugs.
Meanwhile, the state's budget crisis remains an important argument
for legalization.The Legislative Analyst has estimated that the
Ammiano bill would net the state $1.4 billion."With California's
prisons overflowing and the budget a mess, it makes no sense for
taxpayers to be paying money to arrest, prosecute and imprison pot
offenders, when they could be reaping the revenues of a legally
regulated market," said Cal NORML Director Dale Gieringer.
For Cal NORML's analysis of the benefits of legalization, see
Dale Gieringer - firstname.lastname@example.org
California NORML, NEW ADDRESS: 2261 Market St. #278A, San Francisco
CA 94114 -(415) 563- 5858 - www.canorml.org