On Monday, California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano introduced a bill to legalize marijuana in the state.
From the LA Times:
Buoyed by the widely held belief that cannabis is California's biggest cash crop, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano contends it is time to reap some state revenue from that harvest while putting a damper on drug use by teens, cutting police costs and even helping Mother Nature. "I know the jokes are going to be coming, but this is not a frivolous issue," said Ammiano, a Democrat elected in November after more than a dozen years as a San Francisco supervisor. "California always takes the lead -- on gay marriage, the sanctuary movement, medical marijuana."
Ammiano's measure, AB 390, would essentially replicate the regulatory structure used for beer, wine and hard liquor, with taxed sales barred to anyone under 21. He said it would actually boost public safety, keeping law enforcement focused on more serious crimes while keeping marijuana away from teenagers who can readily purchase black-market pot from peers. The natural world would benefit, too, from the uprooting of environmentally destructive backcountry pot plantations that denude fragile ecosystems, Ammiano said. But the biggest boon might be to the bottom line. By some estimates, California's pot crop is a $14-billion industry, putting it above vegetables ($5.7 billion) and grapes ($2.6 billion). If so, that could mean upward of $1 billion in tax revenue for the state each year.
Not only that but the New Jersey state senate just approved a bill approving of medical marijuana.
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