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Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act

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Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act

Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act
The California Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act of 2009
Enacted by California State Legislature
Introduced by Tom Ammiano (D-13th-San Francisco)

The Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act, also known as California Assembly Bill 390 (A.B. 390) and later Assembly Bill 2254 (A.B. 2254), is the first bill ever introduced to regulate the sale and use of marijuana in the U.S. state of California.[1] If passed and signed into law, marijuana would be sold and taxed openly to adults age 21 and older in California. Tom Ammiano, a Democrat representing California's 13th State Assembly district, introduced this piece of legislation on February 23, 2009,[2] arguing that the bill will "tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol."[3][4] As introduced, this proposal is estimated to raise over $1 billion in annual revenue by taxing the retail production and sale of marijuana for adults 21 years of age and older. To obtain a commercial grow license one would pay an initial $5,000 fee, then a $2,500 fee each year after that. A tariff of $50 per ounce would also be placed on all sold and grown marijuana.[1][5] The bill has gained much media attention, state wide and nationally.

The bill was not approved by the Health Committee before a January 15 deadline, effectively killing the bill until it was reintroduced in 2010 as A.B. 2254 and the process continued.[6]

Recent polls say 56% of Californians favor taxing and regulating marijuana. In November 2010, the failed Proposition 19 was posed to Californian voters, and would have effectively made possession and cultivation of marijuana legal for citizens over the age of 21. The bill was reintroduced as Marijuana Control and Regulation Act of 2010 in slightly different form as Assembly Bill x6 9[7]

Introduction of the bill

Democrat Tom Ammiano from the California State Assembly's 13th district, introduced the Marijuana Control, Regulation and Education Act during the California budget crisis. The bill is designed to raise revenue for the state, but it also provides funding for the education of discouraging substance abuse, as mentioned in the name. As Mr. Ammiano introduced the bill, he is quoted saying:

A UC Santa Cruz study shows that people living in Cannabis-tolerant cities like Amsterdam and San Francisco are no more or less likely to use the drug.[8] Prominent economists, specifically Jeffrey Miron,[9] support the regulation of Cannabis due to the heavy violence across the U.S. and Mexico border. Economists argue that regulation would put infamous drug cartels, especially Los Zetas, out of business, improve safety standards and allow for more open research about the drug.

Cannabis is also believed to be California's number one cash crop. In California, marijuana is a $14-billion black market, putting it above vegetables ($5.7 billion) and grapes ($2.6 billion).[5] AB 390 is projected to allow an additional economic benefit of $12 –18 billion.[10]

Proponents

  • Orange County Superior Court Judge James Gray estimates that legalizing marijuana and thus ceasing to arrest, prosecute, and imprison nonviolent offenders could "save the state $1 billion a year."[11]
  • Marijuana law reform groups such as Drug Policy Alliance, NORML, Marijuana Policy Project and Campaign Against Marijuana Prohibition CAMP 420 also support the bill.[12]

Opponents

Timeline

2009

A.B. 390

  • February 23 — Read for the first time. To print.[2]
  • February 24 — From printer. May be heard in committee on March 26.[2]
  • March 9 — Referred to California State Assembly's Public Safety and Health Committees. Delayed until March 31.[2]
  • March 31 — Delayed: The bill is expected to be heard early 2010.[14]

2010

  • January 12 — Bill passes California State Assembly's Public Safety Committee on a 4-3 vote.[6]
  • January 15 — Deadline for the Bill to be heard and passed by the Health Committee or have to be reintroduced

A.B. 2254

  • February 18 — Read first time. To print.
  • February 19 — From printer. May be heard in committee March 21.
  • March 11 — Referred to Coms. on PUB. S. and HEALTH.
  • November 30 — From Committee without further action

Information about the bill, including current status and history, can be found on California's Legislative Website

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Belville, Russ (2009-02-23). "Support California Assembly Bill 390 (the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act)".  
  2. ^ a b c d "Complete Bill History". Official California Legislative Information. Retrieved 2009-03-09. 
  3. ^ "Bill Number: AB 390". Official California Legislative Information. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  4. ^ a b Kamp, Jurriaan (2009-02-27). "Is government finally wising up to legalizing marijuana?". Ode. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  5. ^ a b Pierce, Tony (2009-02-24). "Could Measure AB 390 put a 360 on California's budget woes?".  
  6. ^ a b Buchanan, Wyatt (January 12, 2010). "Assembly committee OKs recreational marijuana". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 12, 2010. 
  7. ^ http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/asm/ab_0001-0050/abx6_9_bill_20100921_introduced.pdf
  8. ^ Kim, Andrew (2009-02-09). "Opinion - Legalizing California's Cash Crop Would Put State in the Green". UCSD Guardian. Archived from the original on 2009-03-03. 
  9. ^ "Prof. Jeffrey Alan Miron Ph.D". Fairness.com. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  10. ^ "Benefits of Marijuana Legalization in California". California NORML. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  11. ^ "Can Marijuana Help Rescue California's Economy?". Time. 2009-07-01. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  12. ^ Mirken, Bruce (2009-02-25). "Will Legalizing Pot Save California from its Cash Crunch?".  
  13. ^ "Can Marijuana Help Rescue California's Economy?". Time. March 13, 2009. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  14. ^ "AB390 Hearings Set for 2010 Session". California NORML. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 

External links

  • Full text of Assembly Bill 390 (HTML Version)
  • AB 390 News & Videos - Bill Vote Date - Full Bill PDF
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