Monday, January 25, 2010

State Assembly Committee Passes Bill to Tax and Regulate Marijuana in California

Historic marijuana reform bill is the first time in nation’s history that a state legislative committee has approved proposal to tax and regulate marijuana

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA — Today, in a 4 to 3 vote, the California Assembly’s Public Safety Committee passed A.B. 390, legislation that would tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. This is the first time in U.S. history that a state legislature has ever passed—or even considered—a proposal to make marijuana legal, taxed, and regulated. A.B. 390, the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act was authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), the chair of the committee.

The bill will not progress any further this year due to the constraints of the legislative calendar but advocates praised today’s vote as a major milestone in ongoing efforts to end marijuana prohibition.

“Today’s vote should give voters confidence that California’s failed and unjust war on marijuana consumers will soon come to an end,” said Aaron Smith, California policy director for the Marijuana Policy Project, who testified before the committee. “It’s an encouraging sign that most members of the committee presiding over the state’s penal code have voted to toss marijuana prohibition onto the ash heap of history.”

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