NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - February 26, 2009

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - February 26, 2009
Posted by CN Staff on February 26, 2009 at 18:40:07 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
New Jersey: Senate Votes To Authorize Physician-Supervised Use Of Marijuana February 26, 2009 - Trenton, NJ, USATrenton, NJ: Members of the state Senate voted Monday 22 to 16 in favor of SB 119, the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.
The measure would permit authorized patients and state-licensed "alternative treatment centers" to use and legally produce cannabis under state law. If enacted, New Jersey would become the fourteenth state to allow for the state-authorized use of medical marijuana.Members of the state Assembly must vote on a companion measure, Assembly Bill 804, before the proposal can go before the Governor.On Wednesday, New Jersey Democrat Governor Jon S. Corzine reiterated his support for the bill, saying that he would "absolutely" sign the measure into law if it is approved by the state assembly.For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul or Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500. Additional information about this bill is available by visiting NORML New Jersey at: or The Coalition for Medical Marijuana  New Jersey at: Contact information for the New Jersey Assembly is available at: Assemblyman Introduces Measure To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol - Proposal Will Raise Over $1.3 Billion Per Year, State's Tax Collection Agency Says February 26, 2009 - San Francisco, CA, USASan Francisco: State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) introduced legislation this week to legalize and regulate the commercial production and sale of cannabis for adults age 21 or over. The proposal  Assembly Bill 390: The Marijuana Control, Regulation and Education Act  is the first bill ever to be introduced in the California legislature that seeks to tax and control the sale of cannabis.Ammiano introduced AB 390 at a press conference Monday. Joining the assemblyman in support of the measure were Betty Yee, Chairwoman of the California Board of Equalization (Taxation), Oakland City Council member Rebecca Kaplan, Orange County Superior Court Judge James P. Gray (retired), and Dale Gieringer, Coordinator of California NORML, which provided legislative text and financial analysis for the bill."With the state in the midst of an historic economic crisis, the move toward regulating and taxing marijuana is simply common sense," Ammiano said. "This legislation would generate much needed revenue for the state, restrict access to only those over 21, end the environmental damage to our public lands from illicit crops, and improve public safety by redirecting law enforcement efforts to more serious crimes. California has the opportunity to be the first state in the nation to enact a smart, responsible public policy for the control and regulation of marijuana." Local news anchors from CBS, ABC, NBC, and PBS television covered the press conference. National stories regarding Ammiano's bill have appeared in USA Today, as well as on Air America and CNN.As introduced, AB 390 would raise over $1.3 billion in annual revenue by taxing the retail production and sale of marijuana, according to financial estimates provided by the California Board of Equalization. An economic analysis by California NORML estimates that a legal, statewide retail market for cannabis could generate additional revenues totaling some $12 to $18 billion dollars per year.The noncommercial cultivation of marijuana for personal use  defined as ten plants or fewer  would not be subject to taxation under the proposal. In addition, AB 390 would not alter existing legislation on the use of medicinal cannabis, nor would it impose new taxes or sanctions on the medical cultivation of cannabis.A recent Zogby poll of 1,053 likely voters, commissioned by California NORML and Oaksterdam University, reported that nearly six out of ten respondents on the west coast favor taxing and legally regulating cannabis like alcohol."This bill is a winning proposition for California taxpayers," Gieringer said. "It's time that California stops wasting resources trying to enforce marijuana prohibition, and instead realizes the tax benefits derived from a legal, regulated cannabis market."For more information, please contact Dale Gieringer, California NORML Coordinator, at (415) 563-5858, or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul Additional information on AB 390, as well as contact information for the California Assembly, is available at: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: February 26, 2009Copyright: 2009 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives 
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