California Lawmaker Introduces Pot Legalization Bill

California Assemblyman Tom AmmianoCalifornia Assemblyman Tom AmmianoIf California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has his way, the Golden State might become known as the Green State to pot smokers around the country. During a press conference Monday morning in San Francisco, Ammiano introduced “The Marijuana Control, regulation and education act.” The far-reaching bill would go well beyond decriminalization of marijuana to actually legalize the cultivation, sale, purchase and possession of the plant.

“With the state in the midst of an historic economic crisis, the move towards regulating and taxing marijuana is simply common sense,” Ammiano said. “This legislation would generate much needed revenue for the state, restrict access to only those over 21, end the environmental damage to our public lands from illicit crops, and improve public safety by redirecting law enforcement efforts to more serious crimes.”

Ammiano and a group of speakers during the press conference described the bill as “a simple matter of fiscal common sense,” according to the San Francisco Weekly.

The bill would remove “all penalties under California law for the cultivation, transportation, sale, purchase, possession, and use of marijuana, natural THC and paraphernalia by persons over the age of 21”; would “prohibit local and state law enforcement officials from enforcing federal marijuana laws”; and would create a $50 state fee for each ounce of marijuana sold, beyond whatever pot will cost once it becomes legal, the newspaper reported.

“Marijuana arrests actually increased 18 percent in California in 2007 while all other arrests for controlled substances fell,” Steve Gutwillig, California’s director of Drug Policy Alliance, said during the press conference. “This costs the state a billion dollars a year and taxpayers are footing the bill. Meanwhile, black marketers are laughing all the way to the bank.”

Ammiano’s bold legislation comes on the heels of a recent statement by three former Latin American presidents, who called for legalization of marijuana and described the U.S. “War on Drugs” as a failure. Former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria said there was no meaningful debate over drugs policy in the United States, despite a broad consensus that current policies had failed.

Last year, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced a bill on Capitol Hill to decriminalize marijuana, which he called the “Make Room for the Serious Criminals Bill” on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. More than 10 U.S. states have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of the plant; Massachusetts did so last month. Oregon was the first to do so, in 1973.

Speaking Monday at the San Francisco press conference, a retired Orange County judge said “the most harmful thing about marijuana today is prison .” Judge James P. Gray, who recently retired from his 25-year post and has run for Congress as a Republican, said prohibition of pot “clog[s]the court system.”

“The stronger we get on marijuana, the softer we get with regard to all other prosecutions because we have only so many resources,” Gray said. “And we at this moment, have thousands of people in state prison right this minute who did nothing but smoke marijuana.”

According to recent polls, 41 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana. That’s a higher approval rating than that currently enjoyed by Rush Limbaugh, former President George W. Bush and Republican congressional leaders, according to

– Article from The Raw Story



  1. Anonymous on

    Doesn’t matter what the Federal Law is. As long as the pot sold stays in California, the Feds have NO JURISDICTION. Rediscover the tenth Amendment! Maybe even study the Constitution.

  2. Laine on

    Whether or not it goes through its still a big step and its only a matter of time until this ridiculas so called “war on drugs” is over. Lets hope the governer does the right thing and doesnt veto it.

  3. Anonymous on

    What part of freedom do you not understand?

    If everyone is permitted to grow their own there will be no incentive for violence or organized crime ’cause decent weed will be $50 + $50 tax = $100 bucks for an ounce of righteous weed!

    For every licensed grower there are a thousand smokers that use pot for recreation, self medication and, yes even abusive reasons. They don’t need no stinkin’ permits. They just want some decent weed at a decent price.

    The onus and effort by law enforcement can be directed toward real crime. I sure as hell don’t need to point those out, do I?

    There isn’t a drug on the street that isn’t already being shoved down our throats by “Big Pharma” so why not make everything legal? No more junkies pulling knives on you on your way home from work, your kids won’t have to walk through a wall of dealers on the way to school and you can huff back a blast of what you like best without the paranoia that we all have learned to live with the last 75 years or so.

    Remember “Duck and Cover”? Or should I say,”Tuck your head between you legs and kiss your ass goodbye”

    Those days are thankfully a piece of the horrid past and so should draconian drug laws.

    That small portion of users that go beyond recreational use to the dark side of addiction can be offered all sorts of therapy to get them back on track ’cause we’ll have all sorts of money left over after not busting\storing those types of folks for something that they have no control over.

    Ergo, a healthier society all around. Cops putting REAL criminals in jail and the casual user blissfully contributing to society at large.

    We are allowed, no, encouraged to self-medicate with lots of socially acceptable medications because someone, somewhere is making a s**tload of cash off it and greasing all the squeaky wheels that turn in our convoluted system of governance.

    Take massive profits out of the equation and the violence and corruption will cease forthwith.

    Peace will be allowed to take a very deep and welcome breath. As the noble plants and their derivatives suffuse the populace, balance shall be restored without the threat of incarceration.

    There will always be a small percentage of folks that will be gluttons in a world of wealth, but they are already here. Take a look at the percentage of overly large people. Some are that way no fault of their own, most are that way because they are gluttons and big business has helped them get there. Would you like fries with that?

    Anyway, the gluttonous among us will be softly wafted into places that will encourage healthy life-styles and the criminal element will be forced into narrower avenues of revenue, thus easier to identify and enforce.

    I hope this rant has alleviated some of your concerns.


  4. greenguy28 on

    Who cares how much it is….grow your own without persecution…..sounds like my version of Heaven.

  5. Anonymous on


    And the $50/oz isn’t that bad. It’s a large tax, but the state needs money and this is a huge incentive!

  6. Anonymous on

    It’s a great idea who’s time has come. But $50 an ounce? thats kinda steep.

  7. Anonymous on

    I just hope this bill has been written correctly. The marijuana trade seems very strange, very obscure, and very violent in California, as compared to what we see accross most of Canada. From what ive seen and heard in my province, most of the people growing weed are doing so for personal use, without the slightest care for making any profit, and this should be absolutly legal. However I dont see the purpose in allowing violent gangs to cultivate as much weed as they want so they can keep turning out profits, and going to buy more guns.

    There are some very violent people involved in the trade in california, and everyone knows of the states relation to violent mexican gangs who make California their state of choice for growing MJ. For most people, growing a bit of pot means nothing to them other than having some smoke. But for a select few individuals (who choose to ruin it for the rest of us), growing a bit of pot turns into abduction, forced labor, and untimatly death.

    My biggest fear here is that, lack of restriction of legal chronic, will actually send us backwards. I think the message were all trying to get accross here is “pot is safe”. I believe the sale and cultivation should be done under the right circumstances, and as safely as possible. Now, you can always turn around and say “allowing people to grow their own pot will eleminate the violent dealers ability to sell THEIR pot”; but until we know that for sure, were making nothing but assumptions.

    I think too much, its what I do. I dont really care how legalization of MJ is handled, just so long as people are kept safe so we can ALL smoke in peace.

  8. caprison on

    I’m trying to figure out how this is going to work. Someone with more education on this than me can maybe let me know. Won’t this be in direct conflict with the federal law on marijuana? How would this work? I am in doubt about the constitutalnity of the federal government’s position on this but the Supreme Court in more recent history has always ruled in favor of the feds to enforce their various acts and laws. I can only hope that one day the courts will have enough vision and conviction to see the constitution in the way most Americans do.

  9. caprison on

    I’m trying to figure out how this is going to work. Someone with more education on this than me can maybe let me know. Won’t this be in direct conflict with the federal law on marijuana? How would this work? I am in doubt about the constitutalnity of the federal government’s position on this but the Supreme Court in more recent history has always ruled in favor of the feds to enforce their various acts and laws. I can only hope that one day the courts will have enough vision and conviction to see the constitution in the way most Americans do.

  10. herbalist on

    thnak you california and thnak you america for finally leading the way
    thanks to mark emmry as always bless up
    i hope it spreads world wide and the trillions of dollars a year given to criminals can end.
    blessed love from west indies
    nice code lol

  11. greg williams on

    I live in San Francisco and what-ever happens we here folks have little to no problem with the local cops in regards to cannabis use.

    J walkin’ will get you in more trouble that J smokin’

    Lookin’ forward to Cannabis Freedom day in May. Always great live music, pot tents, pot food, great cannabis related literature, colorful people enjoying cannabis out in the open ( across the street from City hall), and never an arrests that i am aware of, except once where the cops came and arrested a drunk lady who kept interupting the speakers.
    That was a few years ago, and to be quite honest, i haven’t seen a police(wo)man at the events since.

  12. Anonymous on

    Introduces new Law…POT LEGAL !!!Sound’s like it would save Tax Dollar’s instead of being wasted on piddley pot crimes of smoking it !!! Grandma’s and Grandpa’s can stay out of Jail who want to smoke it ! People who can’t get Medical card’s… it’s a relief for them to smoke it Legally for medical reason’s! Jail’s will be freed up, Case’s for Judges would go down !!! and the POLICE can go after REAL CRIME’S….Nothing is wrong with POT……Hope it passes for California,,,Just might help our State !!!!! It has my support !!