Tuesday, January 12, 2010

California Assembly committee OKs recreational marijuana

by Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau

A bill to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana - and allow the drug to be sold and taxed in California - cleared a key hurdle this morning, as the Assembly Public Safety Committee voted 4-3 to move it to the next step in the debate. But a Friday legislative deadline could mean the legislation will die before making it to the Assembly floor.

Members of the committee who approved the bill are all from the Bay Area and said they did not necessarily support the plan but wanted debate on the state's marijuana policy to continue.

After the vote, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, who sponsored the bill and chairs the committee, said "the conversation is definitely gaining traction in Sacramento."

... The bill, AB390, would allow possession, sale and cultivation of marijuana for people over 21, and impose a $50-an-ounce sales tax on marijuana, much like taxes on tobacco and alcohol. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control would be tasked with regulation.


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