BREAKING NEWS: California Lawmakers To Debate Marijuana Legalization Tomorrow!

California state lawmakers are scheduled to hear testimony tomorrow in support of taxing and regulating the commercial production and distribution of marijuana for adults age 21 and older.
[Paul Armentano 10/29 update: Archived video of the entire hearing is now available online here. The hearing is three hours long and archived in three separate parts.] [Paul Armentano updates: Just a quick update for folks. There is extensive media coverage of today’s hearing. Go to Google News and type in “Ammiano marijuana.” There are well over 100 news items, ranging from the New York Times to UPI to Bloomberg to AP, etc. The hearings were also carried live on The California Channel, but the video has not yet been archived. (Check back to the Cal Channel website tomorrow or Friday, but here’s a five minute clip care of youtube.) NORML’s testimony from today is available here and here. Following the hearing, many of us met with numerous key lawmakers (and their staff) on the Public Safety and Health Committees to discuss the issue further. (I had four meetings myself.)
As for “what’s next?” First off, this was an INFORMATIONAL HEARING only. There will be NO Committee vote at this time. There will likely be a second informational hearing scheduled before the Assembly Committee on Health. After that, the Public Safety Committee is anticipated to hold a separate hearing specific to AB 390, the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act in January 2010. IF we have the votes at that time to pass the bill out of Committee, the Chair (who is the bill’s sponsor) will call it for a vote sometime this spring. If we don’t have the votes on the Committee, then the bill will languish in Committee. It’s that simple.] Members of the California Assembly Committee on Public Safety have called for the hearing, entitled “Examining the Fiscal and Legal Implication of the Legalization and Regulation of Marijuana.” The hearing will be chaired by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), sponsor of Assembly Bill 390, the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act. It will take place at 10am in room 126 of the State Capitol.
A press conference will take place prior to the hearing at 9 am in Capitol Room 317.
California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer is scheduled to testify before the Committee at noon. [Editor’s note: Read Dale’s written testimony here.] NORML has also submitted prepared testimony to the Committee, which is available online here.
Several representatives from law enforcement, including the California Police Chiefs Association and the Office of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, are scheduled to testify in opposition to the bill.
“The criminal prohibition of marijuana provides law enforcement and state regulators with no legitimate market controls,” states NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano in prepared testimony.  “This absence of state and local government controls jeopardizes rather than promotes public safety. I urge this Committee to move forward with the enactment of sensible regulations for legalizing marijuana.”
Tomorrow’s hearing marks one of the first times since 1913 that the California legislature has debated ending criminal prohibition.
If you live in California you can contact your member of the Assembly in advance of tomorrow’s historic hearing here.

0 thoughts

  1. After watching this I felt like the opposition was holding their ground at legalization, but seemed rather compromising with the idea of decriminalization. Though the latter would be a step in the right direction, it is not satisfactory and is not what we’re fighting for, we want it brought into the market. One woman made a comment at the end during the public comments which I thought was relevant to how I and probably many more cannabis consumers feel. She made a comment about how people who choose alcohol get special treatment, in comparison of course to cannabis users. I agree with that, I’m tired of “hiding in the shadows” so to speak.

  2. Um Kevin dont get me wrong, but the bible does say that God is Everything. You know, the Alpha and the Omega! If I’m wrong then please by all means correct my readding abilities. But for some reason i think that man didnt invent Mj? Anybody els agree with my thinking here. correction to #178 no music at all. Other then that I agree with the post fully. What is the point that your trying to prove by leaving those type of comments on here Kevin. I ask as a life long Christian. Enough of this for me. Right now I need to find out how this thing went.
    _-One Love-_

    The California Police Chiefs Association believes that they can blatantly disregard, and simply over-ride laws that they philosophically disagree with by activiely subverting state law. The physical eveidence shows that this rogue group of law enforcement officers are trying to undermine democracy and usurp the rule of law. They are standing directly in the way of We the People’s “RIGHT TO CHOOSE,” and because of that they proliferate a growing disrespect for law enforcement. I want to “RESPECT LAW ENFORCEMENT,”…not throw rocks at them.
    Law enforcement must “ENFORCE THE LAWS THAT ARE ON THE BOOKS”…not concede to the incompetence of government, or give in to self appointed regulators. First and foremost, medical cannabis is not a public matter…it’s a private matter that exists in a doctor/patient relationship.
    What I’m emphatically opposed to is, for this caliber
    of “LAW BREAKER” (previously referred to as a “peace” officer) to have the power to make me the “LAW BREAKER.” Neither would I put the fox in charge of the chicken coop.
    “YOU DON’T KEEP THE BEST MARBLE FOR LONG,” unless you take it out of play. By taking it out of play, you defeat its purpose, to stay in the game. Let’s not take our best marble out of play. The tenacity of “TRUTH” is our best marble. Rhythm is the father of “REPITITION,” and “KNOWLEDGE” is is tyrrany’s biggest enemy. “KEEP TELLING THE TRUTH” to as many that will listen.

  4. Marajuna should be a medical and civil rights issue, not a criminal issue. Marijuana prohibition is based on the lies of an evil man, Harry Anslinger. He claimed that marijuana has a positive effect on the degenerate races, and made people go crazy and kill their siblings. We still base our laws off this lunacy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. aaaaaahhhh the devil be possesing me if I smoke the devil’s weed!!!!!!
    But I can drink alcohol, take dangerous prescription pills, and smoke incredibly harmful tobacco. The devil doesn’t posses me when I do these things.
    It’s not the 1950’s anymore. Get a grip you loony weirdo.

  6. I sure would like to be able to work in an Industry(Hemp or Cannabis) that I could really believe in and put my sincere heart into everyday. Because I hate having to work for employers who are anti-LEGALIZATION for whatever reason…and feeling like I have to hide who I really am. Not only that….but most business’ out there are not as enviromentally friendly to the planet or as benefical to people as the Hemp/Cannabis industry and all it’s spin-off markets COULD be. NOW, if we could just shake that Ol’ Prohibition monkey off the American back. Then maybe,…just MAYBE, we could once again become a nation that not only imports but EXPORTS as well. HOLY SH!T…..there’s an idea.

  7. What surprises me is that 2009 we’re still discussing to make god created plant illegality. ha ha ha!! wow, we have a long way to go, people, before we can change this world towards better. I think the next big step should be eliminating power of the narrow minded.

  8. The person who is against marijuana legalization because it causes fear and paranoia is missing the point of america. Just because it causes you fear and paranoia doesnt mean it does that for everyone. We need to stop regulating for the lowest common demoninator and have some real freedom in this country.
    In any case, I am not optomistic about this legislation passing at any time in the near future. Even though I would love to see it, legislators will vote the politically expedient way, which is to ere on the side of law enforcement and doing nothing different.

  9. 178 LUKE
    You must have the new revised edition of the Bible…the one the prohibs are attesting to. God created the “GREEN HERB” not vegetation. Shall we call this the Wikapedia Bible. It’s all good…but
    …it has been changed.

  10. how is this good news?
    isn’ it the govt’s job to babysit us?
    don’t we NEED them to keep us safe
    oh my gosh what if they decriminalize pot them stop enforcing other laws like seat belt laws and censoring our tv’s
    i mean thats what govt. is for telling us what we can and can not do
    there is NO way us as american citizens would be able to function w/out the govt. telling us what to do

    Are you truly prohoboting religion, when in fact God made Manna for us, gave it to us, and reaffirmed it…point blank. Seems to me that to follow God on this one would be the better path to take, than the laws of man. Personally, I would never deny anyone the right to speak his or her religious beliefs, no matter what their religion.

  12. Lets hope they are level headed and ban weed use completely!
    Raise penalties for ILLEGAL use of drugs!
    Opinion doesn’t matter, the law does!

  13. Firstly the plant is called Cannabis NOT marijuana that was its slave name given during the beginning of the propaganda and reefer madness, so for all the supporters who want the plants to be free, then STOP giving the propagandists anything to hold on to by using their slang name for this great plant species.
    As for keeping religion out of the argument, impossible, it was religion that forced it to be made illegal and who still push for the status quo.
    We all need to push that ignorance is what did this and stop using the ignorant terms they use, fight with intelligence and facts born from science.
    While you continue to use the term marijuana, you give them power.

  14. We need to make hemp legal for the use of fuel, plastic bags, paper. clothing, and rope then we go green as GOD wanted us to do with the Plant.

  15. 216 STUPID SAYS
    Just that! stupid!
    “You can hope in one hand…and…shit in the other…and see which one fills up first.
    By the way…”It’s the will of the people that makes law.

  16. 217 LILLBIT
    The Genesist Faith is a faith that regards Manna as Holy Sacrament. We call it Manna, and we agree with you…”THERE’S NOTHING SLANG ABOUT IT!”

  17. For the average person who doesn’t care they won’t go out of their way to help us. Simply tell them. Tell them it is happening and tell them to tell their friends. And don’t tell them how they are a hypocrite when they disagree, just throw you point out there. Cannabis is nothing a responsible American adult cannot handle.


  19. A matter that needs investigated
    On case#VA107160
    People Vs buddy lee George 
    Norwalk superior court norwalk California division S
    Judge the Honorable Roger Ito
    Los Angeles county district attorney Kang. 
    A case that can be proved as unconstitutional due to the following
    1.) I was denied my due process rights. 
    2.) the district attorney had me charged with prison priors and strikes that I did not have and it was not until after the verdict did she admit her mistakes. 
    3.) I was denied to confront witnesses I supoened 5 officers and only one showed up. 
    4.) the only witness that showed up was detective hakala from Whittier police department he was the lead detective and expert witness. 
    5.) the was bias with the processing of evidence he used his own lab. 
    6.) he lied under oath by saying he removed the drugs before the pre search video because he had a dog. 
    7.) the evidence in the case had been destroyed before the trial
    Evidence was destroyed 5-29-09
    The verdict was read on 8-15-09
    8.) the attorney that represented me right before the trial caused a conflict of interest by violating attorney client privilege by having a meeting with the city of la mirada without my permission nor knowledge were he discussed my case were he was convinced by the city saying I should take a deal under the condition I move out of la mirada when I get out of prison. 
    9.) Henry salcido also told me at one point he didn’t care If I was innocent or guilty I should take a deal. 
    10.) he also told me at one point he was best friends with steve Cooley and if I gave him $180.000 and sign over the deed to our home he could make the case disappear. 
    11.) their was two retired district attorneys that were working for Henry salcidos law firm that were also over familiar with sheriffs and narcotics department that were involved in my case. 
    12.) through the whole case the la mirada mayor and council members had law enforcement harassing me their was about 300 or more calls made to law enforcement with the intent to have me harassed 
    13.) I can also prove false imprisonment. 
    14.) I was charged with possession for sales when no drugs were ever found to be in my possessing neither was any money ever recovered and according to the detective he found $13 dollars worth of drugs in our home all together in separate bags and only one had been tested the second one was never tested. 
    15.) it was unconstitutional for detective hakala to target me when their was 5 occupants living in our home at the time. 
    16.) the search warrant he used to get in our home the day he supposedly found the drugs was stamped denied. 
    17.) the second search warrant had a type -o- error and the name on the search warrant was Walter Eugene Farris a guy that I don’t know and neither did any one els that lived in our home and he had never been in our home. 
    18.)The attorney that represented me during the trial had not been given enough to to familiarize her self with my case the judge refused to give her time to overlook the case.
    19.) after we picked the jurors one of the jurors was prejudice he said no matter what he would find me guilty because he hates drug dealers the judge still allowed juror # 19 to hang out with all the other jurors until he was replaced. 
    The following needs to be investigated
    1.) violation of due process rights
    2.) my state and federal rights were violated. 
    3.) false imprisonment
    4.) harassment 
    5.) negligent
    6.) malpractice
    7.) wrongful conviction
    8.) officer misconduct
    9.) judicial misconduct
    10.) cruel and unusual punishment. Email below evidence when the evidence had been destroyed a email from detective hakala to district attorney kang. 
    11.) the city of la mirada offered to buy our home at cost saying under the condition I couldn’t live in la mirada nor Whittier. 
    12.)la mirada law enforcement was raiding our home practically daily. 
    13.) before this case started detective jerry Reyes told me as he handed me his card with his hand writing on it that if I dident help him he would screw me.
    14.) detective hakala and district attorney kang kept inflicting lies on the jury. 
    15.) I was not on probation or parole when this case started. 
    16.) our car had also been impounded 3 to 4 times every time officers said just tell us were the drugs are we won’t impound the vehicle and every time I was honest by saying I don’t have any drugs they impounded it any way. 
    17.) detective hakala went through my confidential legal mail violating my constitutional rights instead of using normal mail he used a 42 u.s.c 1983 to identify me as living here during The trial mentioning a law suite involving Copley
    18.) during the proceedings of the case no one had any idea I studied law I even represented my self in the federal courts I studied criminal and civil for about five years including 42 u.s.c $1983″s torts writs civic codes ethics even the CCR title 15 rules and regulations. 
    19.) I’m hoping to resolve this with out filing in the federal courts I’m exhausting all remedies if the matter is not resolved then I’m given not much choice because I was wronged 
    Sorry but this is frustrating I just want this matter looked into. 
    20.) I can prove the following. 
    1.)deformation of character. 
    2.) false imprisonment. 
    3.) negligence. 
    4.) harassment. 
    5.) malpractice. 
    6.) wrongful conviction. 
    7.) constitutional violations with my civil rights. 
    8.) including $10.000 dollars of damage to our home. 
    9.)reckless disregard.  
    10.) coaxing
    11.) including due process rights involved in a criminal court proceeding involving corruption. 
    12.) the situation that escalated 
    Into this case was a incident involving a parole officer mr verimontes he worked for la mirada public safety and the Santa fe springs parole department in the year 2001
    He was contracted by both at the same time their was a incident involved with are daughters boy friend driving a vehicle in a irate speed going to autozone test driving a 1997 ford explorer some car was parked 3 ft out from the curb 
    And some kids were playing in the middle of the street they moved out of the street as he was driving up hill and swerved to miss the car when we got back a neighbor showed up cussing and yelling in a violent manner as I got out of the passenger side he was trying to provoke me I asked him to calm down he told me fuck you I said I have kids and theirs no need for this he stated bull I ignored him and went next door and eventually went to the store with our cousin next door not knowing while we were gone the neighbor had called the sheriffs by time I got home their was no law enforcement around but when I reported to parole I was giving him the heads up about possible call made to law enforcement with our address he asked did you have any police contact I stated no he said don’t worry about it then that nite shows up with law enforcement to arrest me for driving with out a license I was in jail double the normal time waiting for my bpt hearing mean while I hired a attorney for ADA issues he had no idea that the attorney representing me at board had investigated his wrong doing because he went to every neighbor showing first my whole criminal past then mug shots asking if they seen me driving the attorney caught him lying under oath at least 12 times the commissioner let me go home when I had got out mr verimontes told me pack up your shit your moving back to Sacramento in such a irate manner to were other people eventually had to get him he told me that if I appealed him he would get a petition with our neighbors so I reported to parole in Sacramento and while I was there I filed a 602 inmate appeal demanding It to be exhausted so I could file a 42 u.s.c $1983 I charged him with the following
    1.) racial profiling 
    2.) negligence
    3.) harassment 
    4.) deformation of character 
    5.) false imprisonment 
    6.) I filed to a copy of the bpt hearing tape only to find out it had been damaged 3 days after the hearing when it was not suppose to be damaged for 120 days were I was entitled to a copy of it only to be denied eventually the 602 complaint allowed me to come home after he was involuntarily moved from both jobs. 
    7.) the city mayor and council members had sheriffs going through any lengths to get me for anything just to send me to prison also to force me to move from la mirada. 
    8.) we had a 2002 ford explorer literally torn apart to the point it was not worth having the interior completely destroyed. 
    9.) our home was stalked by sheriffs to the point our kids moved out. 
    10.) their are witnesses to two sheriff deputies named Morris and tousey that work for the city of la mirada telling every drug addict that I am a kingpin and a drug dealer. 
    11.) we even called the sheriffs about some one driving a car into our garage door they showed no interest in the damage done to our home. 
    12.) the sheriffs also known our home had been broken into and vandalized on numerous occasions. 
    13.) Morris and tousey also were telling people say his name you go free Morris and tousey are Los Angeles county sheriffs. 
    Buddy George – VA107160From: joanne alberry
    View Contact To: LAURIE YTARTE —————–
    — Laurie,here is the email from the Detective 
    telling the court that all the property was
    destroyed. Sorry about all of it. Feel free to mail
    me any payments you can at my office address
    4229 Main St Suite 4 Riverside CA 92501 I will
    let you know when I find an attorney who will
    take on a governemtn entity. good luck to you
    and Buddy,Joanne ———- Forwarded message
    ———-From: Date: Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 7:23
    AMSubject: Fw: Buddy George – VA107160To: Hi Joanne, Per our
    conversation, here is the email from Detective
    Hakala confirming that the evidence was
    destroyed. I will request that our matter be taken
    off calendar today. Thanks. ———————-
    Forwarded by Miriam Kang/DAUsers/NLADA on
    09/25/2009 07:22 AM ————————— To:
    cc: Subject: RE: Buddy George – VA107160 I
    contacted our central property and the items
    seized in the Buddy George case (408-15814-
    0460-184) were dispoed on 05-29-09. Any other
    questions just let me know. Eric ———————
    []Sent: Thu
    9/24/2009 2:49 PMTo: Hakala, Eric J.Subject:
    Buddy George – VA107160 Hi Detective Hakala,
    Just as a reminder, please email me a letter
    confirming that the the property booked into
    evidence for this case has been disposed of and
    the date of disposal. Thanks so much!
    Sincerely,Miriam KangDeputy District
    AttorneyTel: 562-807-7211 

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