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Bill to Legalize Marijuana Reintroduced to State Assembly

Photo by MaplessInSeattle via Flickr
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As expected, San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has reintroduced his bill to legalize marijuana after it failed to meet legal deadlines during the last legislative session. Like before, "the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act (AB 2254) would create a regulatory structure similar to that used for beer, wine and liquor, permitting taxed sales to adults while barring sales to or possession by those under 21," according to Ammiano's office. One important change, however, has been made to this bill. Unlike the last one, AB 2254 does not include a federal preemption clause that would only allow the state to tax the drug after marijuana became legal under federal law. Now the bill includes both full decriminalization of marijuana and the immediate taxation of it.

"Just look at what is happening in our state and it’s obvious that the existing model of prohibition has been a tragic failure," said Ammiano. "Our prisons are overflowing and it’s easier now for teenagers to get marijuana than alcohol. But yet we continue to spend our limited resources on a failed war on drugs instead of education, health care or job training. With this bill, California can finally have a policy towards marijuana that reflects reality."

Varios polls indicate that a majority of Californians support the legalization of marijuana. A proposition that is expected to appear on the November ballot.