A new bill has been introduced to the California legislature in an attempt to legalize marijuana. The bill has already passed through the House Public Safety Committee with a 4-3 vote. It now goes to the Health Committee. If it passes there, it will continue on to the assembly floor. This has, of course, been an incredibly controversial bill.
If passed, the bill would legalize the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older. According to Tom Ammiano, the state assemblyman who introduced the bill, the taxes from these sales would incur about $1 billion in annual revenue. It would be taxed similarly to alcohol, and would be controlled in much the same way as well.
Opponents to the bill believe that passing it could lead to an unwanted precedent. State Assemblyman Danny Gilmore was quoted as saying, “I think once you start to do this, what are we going to legalize next? Meth or cocaine?” The idea of marijuana being a “gateway drug” seems to affect the perception of this bill as being much the same thing.
Currently, the state of California allows the legal sale and use of medicinal marijuana. In order to obtain this, the user must have a card that enables the purchase. The passage of this bill, however, would open marijuana access up to the general public.
The legalization of marijuana comes with an interesting debate that has raged on for some time now. Even if this bill passes, the debate will likely continue, and the law may be challenged by opposing legislators. Right now, however, marijuana is still illegal and carries penalties if found. Check out this San Jose drug crime lawyer’s article for more information.
I’d like to know what everyone thinks on this issue. If there’s anyone reading from California, what do you think about the bill? Even if you’re not there, weigh in with what you believe. As with many other controversial bills, this one could spread to other states soon after passing in one.