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Author: Subject: California Assemblyman Introduces Legislation To Tax And Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol
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[*] posted on 2-23-09 at 08:02 PM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote
California Assemblyman Introduces Legislation To Tax And Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol



California Assemblyman Introduces Legislation To Tax And Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (NORML)

Speaking at a landmark press conference today, California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) introduced comprehensive legislation to tax and regulate the commercial production and sale of cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol.
"With the state in the midst of an historic economic crisis, the move towards regulating and taxing marijuana is simply common sense. This legislation would generate much needed revenue for the state, restrict access to only those over 21, end the environmental damage to our public lands from illicit crops, and improve public safety by redirecting law enforcement efforts to more serious crimes", Assemblyman Ammiano said. "California has the opportunity to be the first state in the nation to enact a smart, responsible public policy for the control and regulation of marijuana."
The proposal is the first marijuana legalization bill ever introduced in California.
"It's time for California taxpayers to stop wasting money trying to enforce marijuana prohibition, and to realize the tax benefits from a legal, regulated market instead," said Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML, a sponsor of the bill.
As introduced, Ammiano's measure would allow for the licensed production and sale of cannabis to consumers age 21 and over. Licensed cultivators would pay an excise tax of $50 per ounce of cannabis. In addition, the proposal would impose a sales tax on commercial sales. (Ammiano's proposal would not affect the state's medical marijuana law, allowing patients and caregivers to grow their own medicine.)
If enacted, the measure would raise over $1 billion per year in state revenue, according to an economic analysis by California NORML, available online here: http://www.canorml.org/background/CA_legalization2.html
Ammiano's bill comes at a time of growing public support for legalizing marijuana. A recent Zogby poll reported that nearly six in ten west coast voters support taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol. Faced with a $40 billion budget deficit, other public officials have joined in endorsing Ammiano's bill, including San Francisco Sheriff Mike Hennessy and Betty Yee, a member of the State Board of Equalization, which oversees collection of sales taxes.
Currently, tens of millions of dollars are paid annually in state and local taxes by licensed distributors of medical marijuana. However, these sales only represent a fraction of the overall statewide marijuana market. "The millions of dollars raised each on the sales of medicinal cannabis is only the tip of the iceberg," Gieringer said. "Kudos to Assemblyman Ammiano for proposing a path-breaking bill that would benefit our economy, safety and freedom by making marijuana a winning proposition for California."
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[*] posted on 2-24-09 at 03:36 AM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


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[*] posted on 2-24-09 at 06:03 PM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


inch by inch....we will get it....if nothing else this kind of press is good, hopefully the political pressure wont get frustrated and just continue to try and try

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[*] posted on 2-25-09 at 02:11 PM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


With California trying to square up its budget with any means necessary this type of legislation finally has a real chance of getting backed! They have already mentioned releasing HUGE amounts of inmates due to overcrowding and costs in their prison systems. If California passes something like this in the face of the feds and it does (no reason why it wouldn't) create a boom within the states economy then it getting adopted on the federal level is within reason too.

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[*] posted on 2-26-09 at 04:29 PM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote




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[*] posted on 5-11-09 at 09:35 AM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote




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[*] posted on 5-11-09 at 10:22 AM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


I am disappointed in obama taking a stance against it. If he does not want to support it, he should have politely just avoided the question as politicians do so well. But to actually make a solid and negative stance against the legalization, that is a bit frustrating.

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[*] posted on 5-11-09 at 05:20 PM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


All right... I have to ask an honest question because the issue of legalization came up the other night.

I was criticized because, while I think marijuana should be legal, I choose to indulge myself from time to time. The apparent contradiction is the fact that I don't give a rat's ass whether it's legal or not because I can do it as much as I feel like. I am a pragmatist, this allows me not to give a shit about much of anything. People often find my philosophical lethargy on this (and almost every other issue) to be callous, even wrong.

My question is why do you guys really care that much? Most of you do it anyway with little consequence (if any). Your reasons for supporting legalization can therefore not be pragmatic, but idealistic. Is this under the, in my opinion, vain assumption that all is right in the eyes of law?

In short, what's the big fucking deal? That's my (honest) question.


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[*] posted on 5-11-09 at 11:09 PM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


Mig, you do bring up a good point, and one that I really hadn't thought about very much.

My first thought is an economic and political one. I wish our Government didn't spend so much money fighting the "drug war." I wish we didn't have marijuana offenders in jail, and I wish we could lower the price of marijuana and increase tax revenue on it. I think that violent gang crimes would be reduced as well.

Secondly, and more selfishly, I don't want to get arrested and deal with all the shit that comes along with that (court, probation or whatever)

Also, marijuana is good for people who have bad health issues like cancer and chronic pain.

That being said, I have never suffered any legal consequences after many years of use, so I do see your point mig.


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[*] posted on 5-12-09 at 11:52 AM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


I think we're in agreement on why it should be legal, but again, my practical purposes trump all of the reasons you just listed (with all of which I agree).

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[*] posted on 5-12-09 at 05:45 PM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


honestly i dont believe that it should be legal because it makes people unproductive (anyone who argues that it doesnt make you lazy is lying), although i dont support huge crimes for its use and distribution. It should be like the unwanted son you hide in the basement. We are already having problems with alcohol and tobacco do we really want to add another one to the equation when we already have a pretty decent system for it (at least in fort collins).

Also what has the federal government said, because they can still arrest anyone in california for it


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[*] posted on 5-12-09 at 07:26 PM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


danga,
I disagree, it may make you lazy while high, but not in general as a person. If anything I think I am an example of how you can be productive (finishing college in a tough degree, got a job, buying a house, by no means lazy). What your referring to is just a stereotype, and as far as I know (and would strongly venture to guess) has no basis on a study or research. If there is any rational for this stereotype, it is not that marijuana makes people lazy, but instead lazy people tend to enjoy it more. I would argue that they are lazy before hand, and pot is just a way they enjoy being lazy.

p.s. danga, just because someone says something different than what you believe does not mean they are "lying"....it is an opinion based statement, and I am curious as to why you think it is so factual

mig,
If you got caught in a chance happening, you would think it should be legal. Or how about all the people who are being persecuted for it? People who have been deported because they have not fully received citizenship, and have been found with marijuana. Or the fact that if your in college and you get caught with more than 3.5 grams all your college loans from the government are halted and INSTANTLY due. I think it should be legal because so many people are being persecuted for stupid reasons. Yes it does not make a difference in my life, but for thousands the difference is massive. We should be sympathetic to them.


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[*] posted on 5-12-09 at 09:25 PM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


Quote:
Originally posted by jent
If you got caught in a chance happening, you would think it should be legal.


Pragmatist, dude! I don't put myself in situations in which this is reasonably likely for a reason: it's illegal. My point is that it's really not that hard for me to do so and nine times out of ten I don't even want to.

Quote:
Originally posted by jent
Or how about all the people who are being persecuted for it? People who have been deported because they have not fully received citizenship, and have been found with marijuana. Or the fact that if your in college and you get caught with more than 3.5 grams all your college loans from the government are halted and INSTANTLY due. I think it should be legal because so many people are being persecuted for stupid reasons.


Pragmatist, dude! Risks and consequences. You took the risks, you knew the consequences. Bummer. Don't quit your day job.

Quote:
Originally posted by jent
just because someone says something different than what you believe does not mean they are "lying"....it is an opinion based statement


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[*] posted on 5-12-09 at 09:43 PM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


I don't think it should be a risk, and I think we should be sympathetic to those who got caught.

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[*] posted on 5-12-09 at 09:54 PM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


Quote:
Originally posted by jent
I don't think it should be a risk, and I think we should be sympathetic to those who got caught.


Agreed. See above.


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[*] posted on 5-13-09 at 07:11 PM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


jent i have experienced a switch from a hard working person to a lazing one because of said drug, i have also seen it turn many of my good friends who i assumed would be very successful, because of their work ethic, become lazy and waste that potential away.

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[*] posted on 5-16-09 at 07:43 AM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


Well, this whole discussion is quite hilarious...

Mig, I guess I will go ahead and start off with: EVERYTHING you have mentioned concerning maintaining the status quo could AT BEST be nilistic and at worst be egocentric! Its not pragmatic to say that the laws shouldn't change because they dont immediately affect you, its fucking selfish! I would like to know when this shift in your thinking went down though? I know you didn't get hard core fucked when you got nicked for it back in the day but you did have to deal w/ the system to some extent. You already mentioned risks and consequences but you of all people should be able to understand the lack of consideration of those two things by the average high schooler/teenager... Which brings me to my next point, laws (for all intent and purposes), are intended to protect. That protection is meant to be for the whole of society but in many instances the protection is for someone's/a groups social agenda or economic agenda. Concerning cannabis the protection is for both:an unsustainable economic war and an inherent racial bias against colored minorities. These two things are diametrically opposed to the the principles that this country were founded on (in case you were wondering about my beliefs being idealistic or not). I digress though. The point I was trying to make is that laws should be here to protect US and when it comes to substances YOUTH are the most at risk demographic IMO. Our laws should be structured to protect those that are the most at risk. If an adult is legally permitted to use MJ then a generic youth offense would carry the same kind of penalty as a underage tobacco ticket. Paying a small fine and going to a class that discusses the impacts of the specific substance/offense... sound familiar Mig?

Danga, pot doesn't make a person lazy... making that assertion would seem to imply a lack of experience. Not to say that you haven't "puffed" one before but more like the experience time inherently provides. If you thought a friend was gonna go out and "set the world on fire" but instead he became a stoner then I would say that you need to learn how to more accurately gauge people. Saying pot makes people lazy is like saying guns kill people... guns dont pull their own triggers just like lazy people make their own decisions. Your taking out any kind of personal accountability, which I can understand when it concerns a friend because you want to believe the best about them.


Sorry if my spelling is off guys, typing at work between customers.


For the record my personal reasons aren't entirely idealistic or self-less, quite the opposite in fact. I like to puff, A LOT, way more than drinking or any other substance for that matter. I dont want to be punished for something that is in all practicallity harmless! Its so harmless that people can grow their own to meet their own needs and not have to buy into any black market in order to procure it but because of the legality of the substance that isn't a reality. Whats pragmatic about making a plant illegal?


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[*] posted on 5-16-09 at 01:09 PM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


Quote:
Originally posted by spank
Mig, I guess I will go ahead and start off with: EVERYTHING you have mentioned concerning maintaining the status quo could AT BEST be nilistic and at worst be egocentric! Its not pragmatic to say that the laws shouldn't change because they dont immediately affect you, its fucking selfish!


Nihilistic/egocentric.. sure maybe. Pragmatic, yes. It's not practical for me to change something when the situation, in my opinion, doesn't need any changing. Give me the petition and I'll sign it, but in the mean time I think I'll just get on with my life in stead.

Quote:
Originally posted by spank
I dont want to be punished for something that is in all practicallity harmless! Its so harmless that people can grow their own to meet their own needs and not have to buy into any black market in order to procure it but because of the legality of the substance that isn't a reality. Whats pragmatic about making a plant illegal?


I don't think anyone's saying that it is, but for your practical purposes no one's really punishing you for it. While it is a possibility (that you could be cited) and you certainly don't have absolute freedom, when, honestly, was the last time you wanted to get high and couldn't just because it's illegal?


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[*] posted on 5-16-09 at 04:56 PM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


Having any personal amount of the substance requires transporting it to some extent, why should someone have to think about making it home and back as a "successful or failed action"... pragmatist or not?

Getting there and back can be the least of worries sometimes, compared to the act of purchasing herb. Why have to worry at all about buying it if your an adult?

Not being able to get high because its illegal isn't the issue sometimes. As a consumer who wants to worry about whether or not the herb has been deliberately tainted? Is it reasonable to say "well, you wanted to buy a "drug" so you got "drugs"...? A regulated substance isn't allowed to be sold if tainted, deliberate or not.

I sort of get it mig, its not immediately broke for ya so why would you want to fix it? I guess my personal affinity for it over any other crutch makes me want it to not be a criminal offense.


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[*] posted on 5-16-09 at 11:17 PM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


Quote:
Originally posted by mig
honestly, was the last time you wanted to get high and couldn't just because it's illegal?

I have actually experienced this lots over the last few months with getting a new job. It is a silly stipulation that many of us have to go through because companies try to put on a face that they are in the law (or in my case, a lot of government contractors I was interviewing with)


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[*] posted on 5-17-09 at 12:30 AM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


yeah, agreed. I am subject to random UAs... it sucks

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[*] posted on 5-17-09 at 09:35 AM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


I disagree with migs assertion that the system is not broken right now. Try telling that to the people in jail for non violent drug related offenses. We have 7.3 million people in prison and according to this website http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/prisons.htm, which the numbers are a little old, 20% are drug offenses. I would be willing to bet a good number of those are related to pot in some way or another.

Also look at what is going on in California, they are still raiding LEGAL medical growers.
For a country based on freedoms, especially when these freedoms do not impede on others freedoms like smoking Cannabis, you would think this would be a easy to see. I will leave it at this:

"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."

Abraham Lincoln (1809-65), U.S. President.
Speech, 18 Dec. 1840, to Illinois House of Representatives


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[*] posted on 5-17-09 at 01:01 PM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


first i would like to say it IS bad for you. it kills brain cells and, from my personal experience, it makes one lazy. that is why private employers, not the government, often issue UA's because it is a negative (just like they how i know someone who didnt get a job because he played WOW). with that said i recognize that both alcohol and tobacco are worse for you, but saying because those are legal marijuana should be legal is flawed logic. Also i do agree the punishment for dealing weed is to great (other drugs should have their punishments worsened because they really screw people up), but for possession, under an ounce, it is fine (it has been a while, but isnt it a hundred dollar fine).

What i am trying to say is that we should discourage it (like discouraging your son from dropping out of school), but it shouldnt be the end of the world (cant ignore, but cannot make it a huge deal)


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[*] posted on 5-17-09 at 10:56 PM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


Quote:
Originally posted by danga
first i would like to say it IS bad for you. it kills brain cells and,

Sources please, I have never read any study that shows any brain death from marijuana

And just because it is an intoxicant does not mean it "kills brain cells"....That is just a stupid phrase anti-drug agencies try to use as an umbrella phrase to scare people.
Quote:
private employers, not the government, often issue UA's because it is a negative (just like they how i know someone who didnt get a job because he played WOW).

I would argue that just because companies are practising these policies does not mean they are right. I would venture to say that many companies just try to be as legal and by the books as they can easily be. And UA's are an easy way to improve company image. In addition I feel there is a lot of heard mentality out there in private business. Looking at competition and other business and thinking "They are doing it, and what they are doing is working....so I should just do what they are doing"....It does not mean that they actually always think of the positives and negatives when something becomes standard practice.
Quote:
i recognize that both alcohol and tobacco are worse for you, but saying because those are legal marijuana should be legal is flawed logic.

Maybe, but I think that marijuana justifies legalization on it's own merits without having to be compared with the many things that we allow in society that are much worse.
Quote:
What i am trying to say is that we should discourage it (like discouraging your son from dropping out of school), but it shouldnt be the end of the world (cant ignore, but cannot make it a huge deal)

Excellent point, and I agree, if that is what you want to do....then by all means DO IT! But discourage it using moral persuasion. Using the law to try and force it on people is not the right way. I could make the same argument here that I do with abortion. If you find a MORAL problem with it, then you should MORALLY try to PERSUADE people. Laws have no place in controlling what people do with themselves if it does not effect anyone else, and has little to no negative impact on society as a whole.

Now hopefully someone can respond a bit better than me. Am quite tired (worked on the new house tons today), but I wanted to keep the ball rolling with some of my thoughts at the moment.


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[*] posted on 5-18-09 at 12:16 AM   «:|:»  Link to post Reply With Quote


I think that the financial benefits to legalization trump all.

We are spending billions fighting the drug war, when we could instead be making billions taxing it.

As mig has been saying, no one (at least not many) choose not to smoke marijuana because it is illegal, so if it became legal, I don't think there would be a large increase in the number of users.

The health aspects are basically unknown, but totally irrelevant to this discussion. Our Government rarely makes laws based on somethings health effects to the public.

The State of California is in serious financial trouble, and they are sitting on this gold mine of tax revenue that they so badly need. They are the perfect state to legalize marijuana, and I hope that they do.

Only after that happens, will we see the true effects pro and con of legalization.


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