Legalize It: Ammiano to Introduce Legislation Monday to Allow Pot -- and Tax It

By MrG · Feb 23, 2009 · ·
  1. MrG

    The story SF Weekly broke on Friday is true: Assemblyman Tom Ammiano will announce legislation on Monday to legalize marijuana and earn perhaps $1 billion annually by taxing it.

    Quintin Mecke, Ammiano's press secretary, confirmed to SF Weekly that the assemblyman's 10 a.m. Monday press conference regarding "new legislation related to the state's fiscal crisis" will broach the subject of reaping untold -- and much-needed -- wealth from the state's No. 1 cash crop.

    Mecke said Ammiano's proposed bill "would remove all penalties in California law on cultivation, transportation, sale, purchase, possession, or use of marijuana, natural THC, or paraphernalia for persons over the age of 21."

    The bill would additionally prohibit state and local law officials from enforcing federal marijuana laws. As for Step Two -- profit -- Ammiano's bill calls for "establishing a fee on the sale of marijuana at a rate of $50 per ounce." Mecke said that would bring in roughly $1 billion for the state, according to estimates made by marijuana advocacy organizations.

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  1. fnord
    [h1]CA Bill to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Introduced[/h1]
    Finally some common sense!
  2. nate81
    $50 and ounce?! for shwag around here that would be a 50% tax rate.
  3. RaverHippie
    Bill would legalize, tax marijuana

    Bill would legalize, tax marijuana

    California may be going to pot - literally.

    Marijuana would be grown and sold openly to adults 21 and older under legislation introduced this morning by a San Francisco lawmaker.

    Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, said the cash-starved state could generate more than a billion dollars by taxing pot growers and sellers.

    Ammiano predicted that the public would support loosening marijuana laws that require substantial public funds to enforce.

    "I think there's a mentality throughout the state and the country that this isn't the highest priority," he said. "And that maybe we should start to reassess."

    Before California could legalize marijuana, however, it also might have to persuade the federal government to alter its prohibition on cannabis.

    Ammiano said federal officials may be receptive to such changes under the administration of President Barack Obama.

    "We may be on a parallel track here," said Ammiano, a freshman legislator who was sworn into office less than three months ago.

    The Drug Policy Alliance, an advocate of loosening pot laws, applauded Ammiano's proposal.

    "Marijuana already plays a huge role in the California economy," said Stephen Gutwillig, the group's California state director. "It's a revenue opportunity we literally can't afford to ignore any longer."

    Assemblyman Roger Niello, R-Fair Oaks, said legalizing marijuana would be a bad idea. He said he considers pot a "gateway drug" from which many users graduate to harder and more dangerous substances.

    "I don't think we're particularly well served in our society to further accommodate or even encourage something that's going to be unproductive and damaging to the individual -- especially not for the reason of generating revenue," he said.

    Ammiano's bill, Assembly Bill 390, would allow marijuana to be sold openly - like alcohol - in retail outlets statewide.

    The state would gain by charging sellers a fee of $50 per ounce. Pot growers also would be charged under the measure.

    Driving under the influence of marijuana would continue to be illegal.

    AB 390 calls for numerous other restrictions, such as banning use near schools or growing cannabis in public view, according to Ammiano aides.

    Besides generating new tax revenue, Ammiano said his bill would save money by easing pressure on law enforcement and prisons.

    "People in general are supportive," he said.

    Ammiano said he hopes that legalizing pot could be a step toward avoiding shortfalls as large as the recent $40 billion projection that prompted months of partisan fighting and, ultimately, tense all-night sessions last week before agreement was reached on a new budget.

    "After being locked up with my colleagues for three days, I never want to do that again," Ammiano said, chuckling>

    By Jim Sanders
    [email protected]
    Published: Monday, Feb. 23, 2009 - 10:33 am
    Last Modified: Monday, Feb. 23, 2009 - 11:59 am
  4. Woodman
    Re: Bill would legalize, tax marijuana

    YOU SEE..

    I Told You!!!!

    End the drug war and you could save a massive amount of money, enough to cover this ridiculous "stimulus package" that the Federal Government is shoving down our throats.

    Apparently, politicians in California realize this and want to begin instituting this kind of policy in their State Government.

    So when do YOU think the Federal Government will get wise and start to do the same thing?

    Unfortunately, I don't think it will be any time soon. In fact, I think it's more likely that the Federal Government will attempt to crush California's effort's to do so.
  5. Frond
    Is that technically possible? Federal law has always superseded state law, and if a state bill with a clause to ignore federal law is passed, then it could have massive ramifications for the authority of other federal laws over state laws in general. For this reason alone this bill will come under fire from every angle, as it is not only an assault on the very institutionalized and powerful prison system, but the authority of Federal law in general.

    Or am I missing something here?

    Taxing and legalizing drugs - all drugs, and not just pot - is definitely the way out of this crisis, much like ending the prohibition was the way out of the great depression. But try telling that to the Feds, or in fact to much of the nation, especially after decades of federal brainwashing.
  6. DopinDan
    The 10th Amendment to the US Constitution: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    The way I see it the federal drug laws are unconstitutional.

    I understand that the public has been brainwashed into believing that any old statute the Feds come up with applies to them, and once they accept it, it's like agreeing to an oral contract.

    My point it, if it ain't in the constitution, the constitution says its up to the states, not the other way around, as the PTB would like us to believe.
  7. Spare Chaynge
    State laws legalizing marijuana could possibly interfere with interstate commerce?
    Is that true or not cant remember where swim read that.
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