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State Assembly Committee to Vote on Regulating and Taxing Marijuana Initiative Tomorrow [Updated]

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As the historic Prop 8 trial takes place in a federal courthouse in San Francisco, another historic hearing will be going on in Sacramento tomorrow morning. The California Assembly’s Public Safety Committee will conduct a hearing and vote on 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.

"This will be the first time California’s legislature has ever considered repealing marijuana prohibition, which has been in place since 1913, and the first time in U.S. history that any state legislative committee will vote on a proposal to make marijuana legal, taxed, and regulated," said a press release from the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).

Authored by San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, the bill would raise $1.4 billion in taxes for California, according to a state analysis.

The hearing takes place at 9 a.m. and there is no clear indication on how the vote will go. "We're very optimistic at this point," said a cautious Aaron Smith, MPP's California policy director, to LAist over the phone.

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Update: If approved, however, the bill will be killed by legislative rules. Proposed bills have a lifecycle and A.B 390's last day of life at the committee level is Friday. The bill still needs to be considered by the Assembly Health Committee and as it stands right now, that's not happening. Smith says approval from the Public Safety Committee would be a major victory, meaning that votes are likely secured with those state politicians. Another bill to legalize marijuana is expected to be proposed this year and with the knowledge base created by A.B. 390, it should pass through committees much faster.

For the Record: An earlier version of this post stated the bill's deadline was Tuesday, but it is Friday.

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