Calif. Lawmaker Holds Hearing on Legalizing Pot
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('Calif. Lawmaker Holds Hearing on Legalizing Pot');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

Calif. Lawmaker Holds Hearing on Legalizing Pot
Posted by CN Staff on October 28, 2009 at 18:50:19 PT
By Marcus Wohlsen, Associated Press Writer 
Source: Associated Press
Sacramento, CA -- No tie-dye was on display at a standing-room only hearing held by a California lawmaker on Wednesday in a bid to get his marijuana legalization bill taken seriously.Instead, suits and sober discussion were the rule at the state Capitol as Assemblyman Tom Ammiano presided over what his office said was the first legislative consideration of the issue since California banned the drug in 1913.
Both sides of the debate were heard, but Ammiano has long had his mind made up.Before the hearing, the San Francisco Democrat and former comedian called the criminalization of marijuana a failed policy that denies the state significant revenue. He said the bill could put the state in a position to set the national agenda on pot."I think we have a real shot at it, particularly in the context of it being in some ways bigger than California," Ammiano said.His bill would tax and regulate marijuana in the state much like alcohol. Adults 21 and older could legally possess, grow and sell marijuana. The state would charge a $50-per-ounce fee and a 9 percent tax on retail sales.Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he does not support legalization but caused a stir in May when he said he was open to debate on the issue.At least one poll showed a slight majority of Californians would support a tax-and-regulate scheme for pot, but the bill's chances remain unclear. Skeptics have questioned whether the state could truly enforce a tax on marijuana and whether users and sellers would want to expose themselves to possible federal prosecution."You're going to create a record of some sort," said Assemblyman Curt Hagman, a San Bernardino County Republican. "You can't force me to self-incriminate myself."Supporters of Ammiano's bill noted the state already collects taxes from medical marijuana dispensaries with little federal interference.Legal experts on both sides also agreed at the informational hearing that nothing in current federal law can prevent California from stripping criminal penalties for marijuana from its own books."If California decides to legalize marijuana, there's nothing in the Constitution that stands in its way," said Tamar Todd, a staff attorney for the pro-legalization Drug Policy Alliance.Speakers at the hearing argued a number of issues, including whether legalization would increase or decrease crime and help or hurt children.State tax collectors presented an estimate that Ammiano's bill could generate nearly $1.4 billion in tax revenue. They cautioned, however, that the figure depended on several untested assumptions about how rates of use and prices would change following possible legalization.Rosalie Pacula, director of drug policy research at the nonpartisan Rand Corp., said data on the economics of marijuana were "insufficient on which to base any sound policy."Pacula said a failed effort in Canada to increase taxes on cigarettes showed that unless taxes had a minimal effect on prevailing prices, "you create the economic incentive for the black market to remain."As the legalization movement has gained momentum, organized opposition outside law enforcement groups has been sparse. Still, several anti-pot protesters spoke passionately during and after the hearing.Marijuana use is commonplace among young people in his Sacramento neighborhood, said Bishop Ron Allen, president of the International Faith Based Coalition, an anti-drug religious group.Legalizing marijuana to tax it would help fill state coffers at the expense of its kids, he said."It's blood money, that's it," he said.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Marcus Wohlsen, Associated Press Writer Published: Wednesday, October 28, 2009 Copyright: 2009 The Associated PressCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #20 posted by museman on November 01, 2009 at 17:15:06 PT
Ya, I remember it well. Used to be in my repetouire many, many years ago.Freedom is truly not an armchair pursuit, and truth and justice are rarely found in the places they are advertized.I too have often been labelled a 'socialist' or 'anarchist'- among others- and I'm told that if I actually bothered to read Marx, or any of the socaialist ideologies, I would see the parallels. Well that may be, but I come to my conclusions based on life experience, not literature perse, and similarly I am often called a 'christian' or 'religious fanatic' in my belief in the original Source that devolved into christianity, but I am no more a christian than I am a socialist.I am a human being, As a human being I have (as does everyone else who realizes the truth) sovereign authority over everything I do, as well as accountability, and responsibility for my actions. I do not accept any of the pretended rulers and authorities -on any level- that attempt to, and do, muck up the natural flow of mine, and everyone else natural life with their forcing of their way down our throats.The fact that so many choose (ignorantly or otherwise) to be cannon fodder and wheel cogs in the machine-that-serves-the-rich, is a sad state, but nothing new. What is new is the consciousness and awareness that is finally able to be up front in the 'conversations of peers' without wholesale resistence from nearly every strata of social power groupings. The Cat is out of the Bag. The systems and philosophies of Dark-Age, Medieval, Principalites are in their death throws. A golden age of potential is within our grasp. The question is how to halt the juggernaut of destruction that threatens to pull a possibly very bright future down with it into its final resting place as it tumbles into the inevitable abyss. The only solution there ever was, was consciousness, and it is rising, so its a bit of a race.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #19 posted by kaptinemo on November 01, 2009 at 09:18:11 PT:
Museman, this is along those lines
It's an old favorite of mine, and I've posted the lyrics here many times over the decade FoM's graciously allowed me to. It's from the song "Sunshine, go away."Sunshine go away today
I don't feel much like dancing
Some man's gone, he's tried to run my life
Don't know what he's askingHe tells me I'd better get in line
Can't hear what he's saying
When I grow up I'm going to make it mine
But these aren't dues I been paying(Chorus)
How much does it cost, I'll buy it
The time is all we've lost, I'll try it
But he can't even run his own life
I'll be damned if he'll run mine, SunshineSunshine go away today
I don't feel much like dancing
Some man's gone he's tried to run my life
Don't know what he's askingWorking starts to make me wonder where
The fruits of what I do are going
He says in love and war all is fair
But he's got cards he ain't showing(Chorus)Sunshine come on back another day
I promise you I'll be singing
This old world, she's gonna turn around
Brand new bells'll be ringing (Emphasis mine - k.)I daresay it sums up the attitude of many cannabists who've made the realization of just how much of a sick crock of swill society has become and decided not to drink it. And that makes them an enemy of those for whom society means mindless consumption and lockstep obedience to pointless (and occasionally murderous) dogmas.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #18 posted by kaptinemo on November 01, 2009 at 07:03:23 PT:
Just stopped by for a bit
Hi, FoM, and a salute to all the regulars here. As any long time readers know, I'm no one's idea of a socialist (the curious should check out the YouTube interviews of people like Anthony C. Sutton, G. Edward Griffin and others to understand why) but the truth of the matter is we do indeed have a class-based society...and none of us reading here are anywhere near the top of it. And the people at the very top who call the shots got there because their great-great-great Grandaddies started the swindles that made them rich at everyone elses' expense. And a large part of those swindles had to do with banning natural substances that could compete with the artificial ones that the Investor Class's industries produced. Mussolini said that fascism should be more rightly called 'corporatism'; this from the man who invented fascism. When corporations climb in bed with government, that's corporatism. And that's what it took to ban cannabis...and keep it banned.But, as ol' Bob Dylan warned a long time ago, "The times, they are a-changin'." It's been a long time coming, but the economics can no longer support maintaining a DrugWar, and that is in large part why we are witnessing a sea change taking place in the media and the halls of legislatures regarding cannabis. And I remind the readers, old and new alike, that the economic aspects of this process were discussed here, right here on CNEWS, ten years ago. As was predicted the terrible, costly failure of Plan Colombia and the doomed invasions in the Middle East undertaken after 9/11. Not bad for a bunch of 'dumb stoners', huh? 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #17 posted by rchandar on October 31, 2009 at 04:32:21 PT:
GCW, and Everyone
I'm very heartened by what I'm seeing these days on CN--it looks like lots of you are writing very well-thought out criticisms of MJ prohibition. Clearly, your ideas and knowledge are up to snuff. I believe it will make a difference.--rchandar
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #16 posted by rchandar on October 30, 2009 at 14:01:38 PT:
I don't think I ever understood how cannabis could ever really be called a "drug." Normally, our barometer for understanding anything being a "drug" is the possibility of addiction.I think it may help to put our response boldly: so? Meaning, of course: despite all the WoD, prices are stable. And: it's very difficult to see a person "destroying their lives" by taking cannabis. Rehabbers will insist that they couldn't live with out it, that they needed cannabis to feel good, but such an argument is very problematic because 100 million Americans have tried it.One in three. And yet: the number of "regular" cannabis users hovers around 3 million. The point is actually that, with such a large, large number of smokers and such a small number of "addicts," we ask the question: "why are so many people able to try cannabis, then not use it?"You guessed it! The answer is: drastic and virulent cultural warfare. From the words we use and the conflicts on sitcoms, to the choice of moral message commercials, to the soap operas and self-help groups and songs on the radio: the message is clear: we are expert at combatting "drug addiction," so it is necessary for you to buy all our products and believe dogmatically every single message that's available through "legitimate" channels. Un-screened faith in the system. Otherwise, how would it be possible for the 97 million Americans to make the "right" decision, when cannabis after all is an "addicting" drug?"Drug" symbolizes many clear moral symbolisms. The first is that NO ONE has EVER BENEFITTED from smoking cannabis. No one, it's rhetorically and intellectually IMPOSSIBLE. The second is that society is virtuous, concerned, and reasonable in spraying us with a vicious and relentless campaign against marijuana. The third, which you all know from Nixon's time: I, the prohibitionist, need only come up with a minimum of anti-cannabis stats or news to justify keeping the whole system against cannabis. A feather in the wind is enough to support tons of cement in the air.It's also NOT POSSIBLE for us to "beat" our "addiction" without help--cannabis, remember, robs the individual of any possible moral or intellectual ability. Sobbing with your 17-year old son is appropriate because he has chosen the path of evil over the good that you have lovingly inculcated in him. God must extend his mercy, because you are surely on the road to your own destruction! This means: I don't have to talk to you. I don't have to temper my emotions, consider your worth, nothing. It's self-explanatory, and should I be very generous in dealing with you, I'll robotize a few twentysomethings in a 30-second commercial. Because you need to be reminded, and I'm such a good person--magnanimous, really.Translated: The current system is God. You are a sinner. How could you? How could you?--rchandar
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #15 posted by museman on October 30, 2009 at 13:35:18 PT
Kaptin's comment 
made me think of this song I am composing.It has no title yet, and the lyrics aren't set in stone yet, but its pretty close; ****I stood there in the moment,my young heart trying to believe.And you smiled and stole the future,that I would not recieve.You said, "Look to tomorrow,everything is up ahead."And to my sorrow, I believed just what you said.Work for the dollar, get yourself a collar,save up all your money for your dyin' day, hey!Hey, while the time goes by,And i spent my time the way you wanted,nine to five, six days a week.And I never questioned your motivesthat the strong should rule over the meek.It seems so easy, following the masters voice,on the middle line, you don't have to make a choice.Follow the leader, be a worker breeder,if you're a good dog, you'll get a bone they say. Hey!Hey, while the time goes by,Hey, did you know you could fly?But you gave up your freedom to the legislator,traded all of the moments you thought you'd get back later,you got your life doled out by the regulator,but you still get stuck in the elevator of life.It seems by now we should know the answer,and the real truth is, some of us do.But you're too busy being a dancer,on a TV show made just for you.and your tomorrow's a fantasy inside your head,the time is now, why not live today instead.Work for the dollar, get yourself a collar,save up all your money for your dyin' day, hey!Hey, while the time goes by,Hey, did you know you could fly?Its just one small step for the man on the moon,what was a long time comin's gonna be here soon,and the pipers played the callin tune,some say the Bride has met the Groom,well alright.Alright.FREE KANEH BOSM FOREVER
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by museman on October 29, 2009 at 18:54:59 PT
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by FoM on October 29, 2009 at 18:09:53 PT
Very good. It's also nice to see you. Being productive in my opinion is in the heart of each person and cannot always be measured by any standard. If I must line up and do a 9 to 5 job for an example and I decide I want to work in another way that should be my right and everyone's right. They want us all in neat little boxes but not everyone can live that way. In a time of recession they should appreciate people who will get comfortable on Pete's Couch and not be flipping out because all the money is gone! 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #12 posted by kaptinemo on October 29, 2009 at 17:39:40 PT:
Their words betray their master's voice
Always the bugaboo of 'diminished productivity'. Consider that, when they have work, the average American works harder, longer, for less pay and benefits than their counterparts in the rest of the Western world. Americans are literally worked to death thanks to many not having health care and the stress of having to be so 'productive'...while never asking for whom they are producing. Namely, for people who've largely inherited their wealth generations back and who enjoy the fruits of that productivity yet have nothing but disdain for those who maintain them in luxury.Which is why they are terrified that 'their' proles might decide to demand self-sovereignty over their persons via cannabis use. For if anything makes you stop and look around at the madness swirling around you and cause you to rethink your role in it, it's cannabis.So...when you hear prohibs making noises about 'productivity', just imagine said prohibs as sock puppets, with the hands of the Investor Class up their arses, moving their mouths. And then ask yourself how much you've benefited by being so 'productive'.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by itsonlyaplant on October 29, 2009 at 14:35:57 PT
Why are law enforcement officials worried about decreased worker productivity? this makes no sense. are they now going to start policing our work places? this statement demonstrates how many holes are in the prohibs arguement. Plus Im wondering how many people rebutt the "what about the kids" arguement with the "if you regulate it and card people when they buy it, it'll cut down on underage use" arguement. Oh well, just my 2 cents.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by FoM on October 29, 2009 at 13:12:00 PT
UPI: Pot Legalization at Center of Calif. Talks
October 29, 2009Sacramento, CA -- Law enforcement officials said during a legislative hearing in Sacramento that legalizing marijuana in California could have significant drawbacks.The Contra Costa Times of Walnut City, Calif., said Thursday that law enforcement officials argued Wednesday that legalizing marijuana statewide could lead to increased pot use among children as well as decreased worker productivity.Sara Simpson, acting assistant chief of the state Justice Department's Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, said Mexican drug cartels currently operating marijuana cultivation in California would likely not respect any laws accompanying marijuana legalization.California Peace Officers' Association President John Standish said marijuana and methamphetamine are "both equally critical problems our society needs to address."Meanwhile, advocates for marijuana legalization argued legalization would generate additional revenue for local and state governments, while also providing ways to control the potency of the drug.The Times said California state Assembly Public Safety Committee Chairman Tom Ammiano convened Wednesday's three-hour hearing.Copyright: 2009 United Press International, Inc.URL:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by FoM on October 29, 2009 at 05:35:54 PT
Related News Article From The Sacramento Bee
Just a note. This is another source I can't post the complete article so I am putting it here in a comment.***Bill To Legalize, Tax Marijuana in California Gets a HearingPublished: Thursday, October 29, 2009URL:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by EAH on October 28, 2009 at 23:28:37 PT:
getting there
Intelligently crafted legislation that put in place functional regulation would be preferable to a proposition. This is coming right at them, on multiple fronts, why do they keep fighting? 
What they need are people who really understand cannabis, how it is grown, processed and used, and how as an agricultural product, it could be regulated in a way the provides quality and choice at reasonable prices. It is a very prolific plant, legally grown, vast amounts would be produced. In much the same way as fine wine, there would mass production average quality and boutique small production high quality.
 The most difficult thing about legalization would be how to start. I imagine if left alone, the market would set prices of around $10-20 per oz for average and $40-60 per oz for high quality. The tax would only be able to be about 10% of those prices. What will make things interesting is how bordering states would handle the fact that CA was producing vast quantities legally.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by The GCW on October 28, 2009 at 21:35:04 PT
Bishop Ron Allen, president of the International Faith Based Coalition, an anti-drug religious group. 
If We stop enabling prohibitionists from using the term, drug, then it will be difficult for "anti-drug" religious groups to comment about cannabis.Then this president will have to be thought of as, anti-cannabis religious group to get involved.  -Or anti-plant...It will be difficult for a "president" of a "religious" group to associate cannabis as a "drug" when He's reminded how Our Bible refers to cannabis as a plant on literally the very 1st page... -once We stop allowing cannabis to be labeled a DRUG.We don't allow presidents of ________ to refer to gays, Italians, women, the disabled, Jews, etc. with derogatory terms; We should not allow them to use deragatory slurs while referring to one of earths great plants.Using the term drug while speaking of cannabis is degrading to cannabis, the plant.Plants have feelings. People are sometimes sensitive and sometimes forced to be sensitive to other peoples feelings. People should be forced to be sensitive toward the feelings of plants. And cannabis is at the top of the plant kingdom.I'm reminded of a verse in the Bible and how it relates toward being sensitive to cannabis.Revelation 2:7, "He who has an ear, let him bear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God."In overcoming evil, (which includes) ending cannabis prohibition and discrimination, will allow the sensitive plant to more readily help Us, as a planet.At that time when We overcome evil, The ECOLOGICIAN will grant cannabis the ability to aid Us. Cannabis will be allowed, then, to do what it is here to do.The Green Collar Worker
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by Hope on October 28, 2009 at 21:01:56 PT
The plant.
One thing about it that was neat was the sharing that went on.Of course there will be a market, a medical, a mass, and a connosuier market... but there will still be that pleasant thing of sharing... because of sharing.That was one of those things Hippies were into. That will still exist. It just won't be against the law. Some beauty. Some softness. Some quietness. Some peace. Some freedom. Some sharing. It will happen, as it does now, and then... whenever then was, more often than not.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by The GCW on October 28, 2009 at 20:58:48 PT
"...the drug..."
Sorry.To sooner RE-legalize cannabis, We must stop using and allowing prohibitionists to use the term, DRUG.Sorry folks, it's just to damn easy to see; it's a plant,-not a drug. The term, "drug" harms Our cause. Prohibitionist love it though.Enough!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by Hope on October 28, 2009 at 20:53:38 PT
Yes. It is.
""I think we have a real shot at it, particularly in the context of it being in some ways bigger than California," Ammiano said."It's massive.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by Hope on October 28, 2009 at 20:49:24 PT
Translation please. This article.
What does this mean? ""You're going to create a record of some sort," said Assemblyman Curt Hagman, a San Bernardino County Republican. "You can't force me to self-incriminate myself.""
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by konagold on October 28, 2009 at 20:33:41 PT
opressive taxation
$50 per ounce for something which if grown legally is worth produce prices say $2 per pound for unmanicured buds is a lot of tax
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on October 28, 2009 at 19:53:48 PT
Bishop? blood money
Says the guy who is on the take of real 'blood money.'Isn't wine a sacrament? Hippocrite!
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment