It’s been widely reported yesterday, and the reporting is expanding today, that California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (Democrat-San Francisco) has submitted A.B. 390 to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana.
Once again the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) has a quick and easy letter you can send to California legislators if you as a citizen of California support this bill, A.B 390. You can choose among several different letters, by hitting the appropriate link at the site. The California weblog page of MPP also has some information.
[addition of 03.01.09]: What to read the current version of A.B. 390? Enter “390” in the appropriate search field and select “bill number”, and follow the onscreen promts.[end addition]
I sent mine yesterday, and this time I wrote my own (it has typos, but at this point they can’t be edited).
Some of the thoughts expressed are based upon my prior post titled San Diego County Board of Supervisors, Medical Marijuana, and Waiting to Inhale. Here’s my letter:
February 23, 2009
[recipient address was inserted here]
Dear [recipient name was inserted here],
It’s my understanding that California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has authored a bill, A.B. 390, that will legalize and tax marijuana. Additionally, it will regulate it similar to how alcohol and cigarettes are currently regulated.
This seems like common sense legislation to me. Recently I was appalled to find out that San Diego County has been refusing to issue Medical Marijuana IDs to patients with a prescription from their doctors for its use, which either prevents them from using this medicine, or subjects them and their caregivers to the pressure of arrest. Caregivers in our county are reportedly being stormed by swat-like police teams, their property confiscated. It’s now about 15-years since Californians legalized medical marijuana, and some counties within the state are refusing to follow our laws!
I find myself wondering why state authorities haven’t arrested our County Supervisors for failing to follow California law. When any of the rest of us decide to challenge a law in court, as they reportedly have, we still have to follow the law that’s in existence until such time as a court overturns it or the legislature agrees on new laws. I understand this is a complex issue, involving federal government prohibition, but it makes a poor example when our own local leaders refuse to follow a state law passed by ballot proposition some 15-years ago.
Therefore, I’m feeling quite strongly that legalization and taxation is the next step for the people of California to take: San Diego County has refused to issue IDs to lawfully prescribed patients, subjecting them to arrest, if not prosecution, and the state has failed to arrest the real lawbreakers: the county supervisors! Therefore, to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana makes some sense to ratchet up the pressure on the supervisors and over time, upon the Federal government through the U.S. Senate.
California just had a record budget stalemate, along with reported tax increases and service cutbacks. Think of the tax revenues that could roll in with regulated and taxed marijuana, but also remember all the otherwise good people who’ve been hurt by the insane prohibition of a weed through stiff enforcement and jail time. How much money have Californian’s been taxed to process and jail all these citizens all these past years?
Just thinking of these folks’ tragedies over the course of decades breaks my heart.
Please support A.B. 390.
The recipients were: