cannabisnews.com: First Hearing for Pot Legalization Bill
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First Hearing for Pot Legalization Bill
Posted by CN Staff on January 12, 2010 at 06:09:39 PT
By Malcolm Maclachlan
Source: Capitol Weekly
California -- A pot legalization bill heads to committee Tuesday with amendments that have made its language more conciliatory -- although the bill still sets up a collision course with federal policy.Amid protest by supporters and opponents, AB 390 by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, will get its first hearing in the Assembly Public Safety Committee. After first being introduced nearly a year ago, the bill was amended last week.
Most of the changes were aimed at polishing the language, perhaps to address some of the rhetoric that has been used against it. The word "legalization" is completely gone from legislation that has been widely called "the legalization bill," replaced by "regulation by the Department of Alcoholic Beverages." The word "infractions" was replaced by "crimes," in reference to those who sell marijuana to minors. References to "adults" were changed to "persons 21 years of age or older."The bill also now specifies that pot smoking would be banned in offices, restaurants and other locations that already bar tobacco smoke.The bill also removed some references to "changes in federal law" because, according to Ammianoís staff, such changes probably arenít coming anytime soon. AB 390 still contains language that could place the state at odds with federal policy, including a clause stating one purpose is "to prevent state and local agencies from supporting any prosecution for federal or other crimes relating to marijuana that are inconsistent with those provided in this bill."Law enforcement groups have traditionally provided the main opposition efforts to reduce or eliminate penalties on marijuana. However, the growing visibility of groups like Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), as well as former judges and police officers who favor legalization, may have changed this dynamic.In Sacramento, the most public opposition is being organized by a local religious group, International Faith-Based Coalition. The group was founded a year ago by Bishop Ron Allen, pastor with the Greater Solomon Temple Community Church and an resident of the mostly low-income Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento for all of his 51 years.Contrary to the claims of marijuana proponents, Allen said that for him, marijuana really was a gateway drug. He said he began smoking it heavily at age 19, then moved on to a crack cocaine addiction that was with him from ages 33 to 40."I was a pastor on crack cocaine," Allen said, adding that marijuana "was the start of my addiction."Allen said that his group speaks out against all drugs-including legal drugs like alcohol, tobacco and prescription painkillers."Can you just imagine having one more illicit drug legalized in the Oak Park community?" Allen asked.Source: Capitol Weekly (Sacramento, CA)Author: Malcolm MaclachlanPublished: January 11, 2010Copyright: 2010 Capitol Weekly GroupContact: news capitolweekly.netWebsite: http://www.capitolweekly.netURL: http://drugsense.org/url/XK7uhTHbCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/cannabis.shtml 
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Comment #22 posted by Paint with light on January 12, 2010 at 23:28:31 PT
Tax comments
At First the 50.00 seems excessive because it is a flat amount.I think the tax should be a percentage of the sale price.Like fine wines there will be bud that will go for equivalent prices.Let the rich pay the bulk of the tax.Not many people buy 1000.00 bottles of wine but some pay that and more.A surtax of 10% seems fair to me.A tax that would be based on THC percentage would possibly require certifiable test results which would mean more cost of doing business.That would result in a higher priced product.Let the law of supply and demand modified by perceived or actual value set the price.I know a few people who sell the high priced bud that would be glad to pay 50.00 now if they did not have to worry about being arrested.A 10% tax would be even better.Every day.....a step closer to.....Legal like alcohol.
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Comment #21 posted by Hope on January 12, 2010 at 21:37:14 PT
Right, Cheebs1
Allergic rhinitis sucks. Severe Allergic rhinitis hurts and is miserable. Very miserable.
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on January 12, 2010 at 21:32:53 PT
Really?
""The mere consideration of an attempt to trade human misery for tax dollars smacks of the cynical throwing away of countless human beings,'' Cooke told the committee."Actually, Mr. Cooke, a bit of cannabis can sometimes do a great deal towards lifting a bit, and sometimes helping in the healing of some human misery.Really.It seems to me like it's you, Sir, and other prohibitionists that has and have been "Throwing away countless human beings".Really. Really. Really.
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Comment #19 posted by Hope on January 12, 2010 at 21:21:26 PT
EAH
Those fifty dollar an ounce tax people aren't thinking about anything but "gimme fifty dollars".You should write to them.
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Comment #18 posted by Cheebs1 on January 12, 2010 at 15:28:24 PT:
Here is an Idea
"We're going to legalize marijuana, we're going to tax it and then we're going to educate our kids about the harm of drugs. You've got to be kidding me,'' Gilmore said. "What's next? Are we going to legalize methamphetamines, cocaine?''Here is an idea. Let's legalise freedom. If freedom were legalised that question would not need to be asked and then maybe people with allergies wouldn't have to fill out a DEA form when they buy over the counter allergy medicine.Peace, Love, and Pot
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on January 12, 2010 at 13:16:36 PT
EAH
There were people on our side working on this Bill too not just politicians.
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Comment #16 posted by EAH on January 12, 2010 at 12:12:00 PT:
Aargh!
I post every where I can and every chance I get about the amateur stupidity of the $50 per oz tax. You know how I would respond to a Tax like that? I would make all my product a concentrate. Pack as much THC into an oz as scientifically possible. That would of course cause some fool to squeal about "dangerous" higher potency product, but so what? I would then be paying as little tax as possible on THC.If alcohol was taxed like that, no one would bother to brew beer or make wine. All alcohol would be distilled spirits.The excise tax needs to be on content. Each product would be submitted for testing. THC content would be determined, consistency and purity checked
so that could all be put on the product label. " 'New Day Organic Farms Granddaddy Purple' xx% THC This product has been tested and meets standards for quality and purity."Something like that anyway. The tax MUST be by THC CONTENT.
The final retail price of dried flower product needs to be $10 - $40 per oz after taxes at the most. Grown legally that price or lower would be easy to achieve. Cheap enough for low income people, and to kill black market incentives, high enough to keep excessive use to a minimum and allow profit margins 
similar to wine or spirits.Why are people with no real knowledge or expertise the ones creating policy and law proposals
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on January 12, 2010 at 11:59:09 PT
Assembly Committee OKs Bill To Legalize Marijuana
January 12, 2010 A proposal to legalize and tax marijuana in California was approved by a key committee of the Assembly this morning, over the dire warnings of police chiefs and prosecutors.The Public Safety Committee voted 4-3 to approve AB 390 by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), who said the bill would provide tax revenue to the state and regulation of the drug. The new law includes a requirement that users be at least 21 years old.The measure next goes to the Health Committee, but proponents worried it would not be acted on by that panel by Friday's deadline, which would require the proposal to be reintroduced to be heard this year by the full Assembly."The way it exists now is harming our youth,'' Ammiano said. "Drug dealers do not ask for ID. We need to regulate something that has gone chaotic, has resulted in carnage. I understand it's not everybody's cup of tea.''
Assemblyman Danny Gilmore (R-Hanford), a former CHP commander, said the $50 tax on each ounce of marijuana sold to pay for drug education and treatment is not worth the grief that will be caused by legalization."We're going to legalize marijuana, we're going to tax it and then we're going to educate our kids about the harm of drugs. You've got to be kidding me,'' Gilmore said. "What's next? Are we going to legalize methamphetamines, cocaine?''The measure was opposed in testimony today by several police chiefs and law enforcement officials including Bob Cooke, former president of the California Narcotics Officers Assn., who predicted it would lead to an increase in crime. "The mere consideration of an attempt to trade human misery for tax dollars smacks of the cynical throwing away of countless human beings,'' Cooke told the committee.It is estimated that the bill would generate $1.3 billion a year in taxes and marijuana cultivation fees.-- Patrick McGreevy in SacramentoCopyright: 2010 Los Angeles TimesURL: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/01/assembly-committee-oks-bill-to-legalize-marijuana.html
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on January 12, 2010 at 10:37:07 PT
runruff
It won't happen today then? I turned it off. I want to use my bandwidth wisely since I don't know how Verizon will be about going over their cap even though my contract was with Alltel.
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Comment #13 posted by runruff on January 12, 2010 at 10:32:41 PT
AB 390
that is the number of the bill not 360.
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Comment #12 posted by runruff on January 12, 2010 at 10:31:05 PT
At the opening 
he announce that AB 360 was put off till....? I think that is what I heard when I first tuned in.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on January 12, 2010 at 10:28:39 PT
runruff
Thank you. I am watching it now but Ammiano isn't talking about cannabis just Bart. I wonder if I missed it?
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Comment #10 posted by runruff on January 12, 2010 at 10:23:41 PT
Online try here:
http://www.calchannel.com/
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on January 12, 2010 at 08:40:50 PT
Hope
I'm not watching it but I think it might be online. I'm not sure where though. 
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on January 12, 2010 at 08:38:07 PT
Paul Armentano is there.
Maybe he will report to Norml and us as soon as he can.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on January 12, 2010 at 08:37:18 PT
Is anyone watching this meeting in California
on a live feed on the web, or anything?
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on January 12, 2010 at 08:24:20 PT
It is California and the cost of living is high.
California might accept such a tax easier than Kansas.How it goes will have to do with the producers and wholesale and retail people, too. Will they undercut street prices, for the good of all, and all that?Maybe the prohibitionists won't let them lower the price enough to diminish the street trade.Will they see legal cannabis commerce as a good way to make a legal, worthwhile living... or a good way to get filthy, stinking rich quick?Will the business people that produce and sell the cannabis take a fifty dollar loss, and more, per ounce of product produced and legally sold?
 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on January 12, 2010 at 08:14:01 PT
Hope
I really can't get passed that tax. It could have great things in the Bill but the tax just stops me.
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on January 12, 2010 at 07:45:36 PT
Comment 3
Yes!And how in the world will they ever be able to raise it when they want to raise the tax... and they usually do?It's outrageous and based on prohibition/black market type prices.It's a lure for the financially minded and the greedy... but it seems excessively extravagant... even as a lure.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on January 12, 2010 at 07:23:56 PT
$50 Tax
I can't get passed the $50 tax that they want in this Bill per ounce. How will the price ever be low enough with a $50 tax? That tax will make sure there will always be a black market. 
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on January 12, 2010 at 07:10:35 PT
Legal... like alcohol. 
""regulation by the Department of Alcoholic Beverages.""
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on January 12, 2010 at 06:27:34 PT
Law enforcement groups?
"Law enforcement groups have traditionally provided the main opposition efforts to reduce or eliminate penalties on marijuana."Law enforcement groups? If they wouldn't lose jobs when cannabis is RE-legalized would they care at all?There's gotta be a better name for this bunch.Leech?
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