California state lawmakers are scheduled to hear testimony tomorrow in support of taxing and regulating the commercial production and distribution of marijuana for adults age 21 and older.
Members of the California Assembly Committee on Public Safety have called for the hearing, entitled “Examining the Fiscal and Legal Implication of the Legalization and Regulation of Marijuana.” The hearing will be chaired by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), sponsor of Assembly Bill 390, the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act. It will take place at 10am in room 126 of the State Capitol.
A press conference will take place prior to the hearing at 9 am in Capitol Room 317.
California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer is scheduled to testify before the Committee at noon. [Editor's note: Read Dale's written testimony here.] NORML has also submitted prepared testimony to the Committee, which is available online here.
Several representatives from law enforcement, including the California Police Chiefs Association and the Office of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, are scheduled to testify in opposition to the bill.
“The criminal prohibition of marijuana provides law enforcement and state regulators with no legitimate market controls,” states NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano in prepared testimony. “This absence of state and local government controls jeopardizes rather than promotes public safety. I urge this Committee to move forward with the enactment of sensible regulations for legalizing marijuana.”
Tomorrow’s hearing marks one of the first times since 1913 that the California legislature has debated ending criminal prohibition.
If you live in California you can contact your member of the Assembly in advance of tomorrow’s historic hearing here.
By: Paul Armentano
October 27, 2009