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Assembly Committee Approves Bill Legalizing Marijuana

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Another huge step was taken this morning in the effort to legalize marijuana beyond the current medical-use constraints. The California Assembly's Public Safety Committee voted 4 to 3 to approve A.B. 390, the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act, which is the legislation that would tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.

Part of the opposition was former CHP Commander Assemblyman Danny Gilmore (R-Hanford), who was less than thrilled. "We're going to legalize marijuana, we're going to tax it and then we're going to educate our kids about the harm of drugs. You've got to be kidding me,'' he said. "What's next? Are we going to legalize methamphetamines, cocaine?''

The legislation now moves to the state's Health Committee, but as LAist reported yesterday, a bill has a certain lifecycle before it dies and must be reintroduced again. That deadline is Friday and the committee is not meeting between now and then. However, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who introduced the bill, has vowed to reintroduce legislation similar to A.B. 390 during the next legislative session.

"It's just the way things work in Sacramento," explained Aaron Smith of the Marijuana Policy Project. He said when it's brought back to the table, though, it will move out of the Public Safety committee much faster, putting it into Health Committee.