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Jul-13-2009 02:00printcommentsVideo

California Edges Closer to Legalizing and Taxing Marijuana (VIDEO)

This proposal would regulate marijuana like alcohol. People who are over 21 years old would be allowed to grow, buy, sell and possess cannabis.
Former San Francisco supervisor and current California State Assembly member Tom Ammiano.
Strange de Jim Strange Billions

(SAN FRANCISCO) - California appears to be strongly courting the notion of legal marijuana. Advocates say it is about time, and that list includes State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano.

He introduced a bill in February 2009, the "Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act" to the California legislature. If passed, California Assembly Bill 390 would legalize cannabis in the state.

There is no doubt that it would mean billions in tax revenue, but there are obvious complications in creating a law that would legalize something people in other states have and probably still are, serving life sentences in prison over.

This proposal would regulate marijuana like alcohol. People who are over 21 years old would be allowed to grow, buy, sell and possess cannabis. It seems like fairly straightforward legislation. It would seriously open the gates to this underground industry that lives partly above ground these days, particularly in California, under stated medical marijuana laws.

Ammiano says amid the state's severe budget shortfalls, the bill has been discussed in light of the revenue generated, talk has also centered around the savings from decriminalising and prosecuting marijuana-focused possession crimes.

He also talks about the death squads in Mexico that are today's reality there. He believes that legalizing marijuana will take the power away from the cartels in Mexico, a country that recently decriminalized small amounts of drugs.

In the YouTube video below from CBS Channel-5 in San Francisco, California State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano discusses his position on the still controversial idea of legalizing pot for adults:

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Angel October 8, 2009 4:49 am (Pacific time)

How are they going to tax something we can grow?

Huey September 15, 2009 2:54 pm (Pacific time)

I'm not sure, how likely this will be, but according to this, the tax benefits to the state are huge...

noname13 July 19, 2009 7:08 am (Pacific time)

legalize it.Instead of the war on drugs costing us why not let it pay us.To legalize it would probably cut down on the use more than the war

Carl in S.F. July 18, 2009 6:05 pm (Pacific time)

Legalizing pot faces serious political obstacles, but do not let that keep you from helping the state out. Let me propose for those who endorse legalizing and taxing pot as a means by which to help ease state budget problems - voluntarily pay the tax. For California (illegal) pot smokers, simply declare on your annual tax return that you purchased X dollars of pot in the prior year, multiply that dollar amount by your local tax rate is, where I live, its 9.25%, and add it to your existing tax liability. Come to think of it, this would work regardless of the illegal drug used – cocaine, methamphetamine, extasy, LSD, heroin, etc. Remember though, our state is broke so be honest about the amount of illegal drugs you buy. In fact, California like every other state I know has both a sales and use tax. The sales tax is reported and remitted by retailers while the consumer reports and pays the use tax. So when illegal drug users buy dope and don’t pay either a sales or a use tax, they are not only contributing to death and violence such as is going on in Mexico right now, but they are also tax cheats and are helping deprive California of revenues it needs to keep nurses, teachers, police, firefighters and tax collectors, on the job. Join ranks with medicinal pot users who already pay sales tax. You don't need to the cowards in Sacramento to legalize your drug addictions to pay the tax you owe, just declare your usage on your tax return. Take a page from the Gay and Lesbian community and come out of your closet. Do it for your kids.

Richard Steeb July 15, 2009 8:53 am (Pacific time)

California is 10% of "The People of The United States". The Federal Government had better keep up. They ARE us.

andross July 13, 2009 4:11 pm (Pacific time)

we should aim for discriminalize not legalization. prices will skyrocket

David Scott July 13, 2009 6:11 pm (Pacific time)

Marijuana prohibition has been a total failure and is perhaps this country's greatest mistake. Not only has it created criminals out of nearly a third of the country's populace, it costs our society billions of dollars every year, creates a strain on our prison system, and has little or no effect on marijuana use in the US. In some cases, prosecuting marijuana use has turned non-violent, middle class kids into violent and unpredictable, career criminals. Once a person has a criminal conviction on their record, they are far less likely to find a good job and become a useful member of society. Other countries with more liberal drug laws have much lower rates of drug addiction among their people. I invite you to my web-page devoted to raising awareness on the assault on our civil liberties:

Anthony NYC July 13, 2009 6:06 pm (Pacific time)

EazyMoney: TO grow, dry and cure even half way decent cannabis, it takes good genetics, equipment if indoors, months of constant care, patience, know how and luck. About as many people will grow their own as do now. How many people brew their own beer or distill their own liquor? Legalize it: exactly, I thought the same exact thing.

eg July 13, 2009 2:14 pm (Pacific time)

EazyMoney while I'm sure many would not obtain the proper licensing, those that wanted to be safe and legal would pay for their license and follow the rules

AB390 July 13, 2009 12:34 pm (Pacific time)

If you want marijuana to be legalized, taxed, and regulated for adults, YOU can make it happen. Tell your legislators to support California Assembly Bill 390. It's easy. Visit

EazyMoney July 13, 2009 9:20 am (Pacific time)

This proposal would regulate marijuana like alcohol. People who are over 21 years old would be allowed to grow, buy, sell and possess cannabis. Grow? Seems sort of counter intuitive to allow someone to grow something they are trying to tax and regulate. Not that I'm not all for it, but if everyone just grows there own like houseplants, there's not going to be much to tax is there? Or am I missing something?

dr.todd July 13, 2009 9:06 am (Pacific time)

Weed needs to be Legalized and it needs to be done Nationally. State by state legalization will only create a new boarder war right within our own country. If Ca only Legalizes it then we better build a wall around the state.

Legalize it. July 13, 2009 9:00 am (Pacific time)

The video footage shows hoodlems and hippies sitting on the street smoking. Why dont you show footage of housewives and working white collar couples that just want to enjoy a puff.

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