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Legalize It: Ammiano to Introduce Legislation Monday to Allow Pot -- and Tax It

 

By Joe Eskenazi in Breaking News, Government

Sunday, Feb. 22 2009 @ 5:00PM

ammianoweed-little-thumb-270x240.jpgThe story SF Weekly broke on Friday is true: Assemblyman Tom Ammiano will announce legislation on Monday to legalize marijuana and earn perhaps $1 billion annually by taxing it.

 

Quintin Mecke, Ammiano's press secretary, confirmed to SF Weekly that the assemblyman's 10 a.m. Monday press conference regarding "new legislation related to the state's fiscal crisis" will broach the subject of reaping untold -- and much-needed -- wealth from the state's No. 1 cash crop.

 

Mecke said Ammiano's proposed bill "would remove all penalties in California law on cultivation, transportation, sale, purchase, possession, or use of marijuana, natural THC, or paraphernalia for persons over the age of 21."

 

The bill would additionally prohibit state and local law officials from enforcing federal marijuana laws. As for Step Two -- profit -- Ammiano's bill calls for "establishing a fee on the sale of marijuana at a rate of $50 per ounce." Mecke said that would bring in roughly $1 billion for the state, according to estimates made by marijuana advocacy organizations. Who said they were all that dumb? hippie.gif

 

 

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Thats awesome but how are they going to tax a bunch of drug dealers? Especially 50$ an oz! Do they think just because its legal dealers are going to start 1099'ing themselves? Good luck... but anyway I'll be selling all my surf stuff for tuna stuff and moving to cali biggrin.gif

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View PostThats awesome but how are they going to tax a bunch of drug dealers? Especially 50$ an oz! Do they think just because its legal dealers are going to start 1099'ing themselves? Good luck... but anyway I'll be selling all my surf stuff for tuna stuff and moving to cali biggrin.gif

 

$50 bucks an ounce? Man, this recession is hitting hard.

 

$50 bucks would get you an 1/8th of an ounce here if you were friends with the guy. Usually it's $60. Or so I heard.

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Today's release, not sure if this should be in the PG forum or not headscratch.gif

 

Get Up, Stand Up: Ammiano Introduces Marijuana Legalization Bill to the Press

 

By Joe Eskenazi in Breaking News, Government

Monday, Feb. 23 2009 @ 11:21AM

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano's press conference this morning announcing his marijuana-legalization bill started punctually and stayed relentlessly on-point -- thereby denying a barb to every journalist present.

Ammiano and the assembled speakers at San Francisco's State Building also spoke calmly and methodically, at one point being drowned out by a floor-waxer. The famously funny lawmaker reined himself in, presenting "The Marijuana Control, regulation and education act (AB 390)" as a simple matter of fiscal common sense. If you believe Ammiano and his straitlaced panel, it is.

In a nutshell, here's what the bill would do: "Remove all penalties under California law for the cultivation, transportation, sale, purchase, possession, and use of marijuana, natural THC and paraphernalia by persons over the age of 21," "prohibit local and state law enforcement officials from enforcing federal marijuana laws (more on that later)" and establish a fee of $50 an ounce on marijuana on top of whatever pot will cost in a legal future - which legalization advocates say is about half what it costs now. This tax rate figures at about a buck a joint.

Ammiano addresses the crowd

Betty Yee, the chairwoman of the Board of Equalization, called Ammiano's proposal "a responsible measure on how to work out the regulatory framework of the legalization of marijuana." Her board's research indicated $1.3 billion in tax dollars could immediately head into the state's coffers from the fee on marijuana and the sales tax on medical pot. She figured the halving of marijuana's street price would cause a consumption increase of 40 percent, but the $50 per ounce levy would cut use by 11 percent.

Steve Gutwillig, the state director of Drug Policy Alliance, noted that regulatory measures like Ammiano's bill can work: Teen smoking is way down, and he claims juveniles report it is easier to obtain marijuana than purchase smokes. "Marijuana arrests actually increased 18 percent in California in 2007 while all other arrests for controlled substances fell," said Gutwillig. "This costs the state a billion dollars a year and taxpayers are footing the bill. Meanwhile, black marketers are laughing all the way to the bank."

 

But the morning's most forceful speaker was Judge James P. Gray, who retired from his 25-year post on the Orange County Superior Court six weeks ago. With his gray suit, tasseled loafers, and conservative salt-and-pepper haircut, he looked like central casting's offering for "Republican candidate for higher office." Not surprisingly, Gray did run as a Republican for Congress against Bob Dornan and Loretta Sanchez and Senate vs. Bill Jones and Barbara Boxer. He now says he's "not a politician - and I have the votes to prove it."

"I served 25 years on the bench and I've seen the results of this attempted prohibition. It doesn't make marijuana less available, but it does clog the court system," said the judge.

"The stronger we get on marijuana, the softer we get with regard to all other prosecutions because we have only so many resources. And we at this moment, have thousands of people in state prison right this minute who did nothing but smoke marijuana."

Gray noted that anyone who tokes up while out on parole can immediately be sent right back to prison, at great cost to the taxpayers.

"You and I as adults can go home tonight and drink 10 martinis. It's not a healthy thing to do but it's not illegal. Someone who smokes marijuana and goes to bed risks jail," continued the judge. "I don't smoke marijuana and if you legalized it today and gave it away at every street corner I'm still not going to. But the most harmful thing about marijuana today is prison - and also the most expensive. I take President Obama at his word - he said let's look at what's working and what is not, and jettison those programs that are not working."

Obama also wrote in his autobiography that he did "a little blow" and Ammiano is hopeful the new president will look upon this issue differently than his predecessor (it warrants mentioning that those fighting against torture and rendition also hoped that - and were disappointed).

Judge James Gray notes that quaffing 10 martinis is perfectly legal

Ammiano told SF Weekly that he doesn't expect his bill to pass "overnight," but doesn't see it as merely a "placeholder." As far as superseding federal law, he pointed to a similar bill recently introduced in Congress by Rep. Barney Frank; hopefully the law of the land will change. If not, Ammano hoped to exploit "fuzziness" regarding state and federal laws and the low priority this state has given to busting marijuana users entitled by Proposition 215. He predicted that, in these dire economic times, "support will fall all over" for his bill.

Perhaps, perhaps not. But this much is certain: If Ammiano pulls this off, there's a place for him reserved on the Mount Rushmore of Pot Gods, right between Cheech, Chong, and Bob Marley.

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View Post "... And we at this moment, have thousands of people in state prison

 

right this minute who did nothing but smoke marijuana."

 

 

Gray noted that anyone who tokes up while out on parole

 

can immediately be sent right back to prison, at great cost

 

to the taxpayers.

 

 

But the most harmful thing about marijuana today is prison -

 

and also the most expensive.

 

Two birds, one stone...

 

cuts costs & raise revenue

 

win/win

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View PostI am still disappointed that San Fransisco voted down the proposition to name its sewage treatment plant after George W. Bush.

 

 

 

They were waiting for a real piece of crap president, now they have one.

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View PostI am still disappointed that San Fransisco voted down the proposition to name its sewage treatment plant after George W. Bush.

 

Yeah SP but that would have been such an insult! No need to do such an awful thing to a perfectly good poop plant!

 

View Postthey should nationalize it. let the government grow it.

 

They already do! G13 is a government grown strain of weed. biggrin.gif

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View Post$50 bucks an ounce? Man, this recession is hitting hard.

 

$50 bucks would get you an 1/8th of an ounce here if you were friends with the guy. Usually it's $60. Or so I heard.

 

 

 

You've got good resources...and its real tasty too..lol

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