Bill to Tax, Regulate Marijuana Introduced in California

     California state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) today announced the introduction of legislation to tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcoholic beverages. The bill, the first of its kind ever introduced in California, would create a regulatory structure similar to that used for beer, wine, and liquor, permitting taxed sales to adults while barring sales to or possession by those under 21.

       Estimates based on federal government statistics have shown marijuana to be California’s top cash crop, valued at approximately $14 billion in 2006 — nearly twice the combined value of the state’s number two and three crops, vegetables ($5.7 billion) and grapes ($2.6 billion) — in spite of massive “eradication” efforts that wipe out an average of nearly 36,000 cultivation sites per year without making a dent in this underground industry.

         Ammiano introduced the measure at a San Francisco press conference this morning, saying, “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,” said Ammiano. “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.”  

            “It is simply nonsensical that California’s largest agricultural industry is completely unregulated and untaxed,” said Marijuana Policy Project California policy director Aaron Smith, who also spoke at the news conference. “With our state in an ongoing fiscal crisis — and no one believes the new budget is the end of California’s financial woes — it’s time to bring this major piece of our economy into the light of day.”

            Independent experts from around the world, from President Nixon’s National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse in 1972 to a Canadian Senate special committee in 2002, have long contended that criminalizing marijuana users makes little sense, given that marijuana is less addictive, much less toxic, and far less likely to induce aggression or violence than alcohol. For example, in an article in the December 2008 Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, Australian researcher Stephen Kisely noted that “penalties bear little relation to the actual harm associated with cannabis.”



123 thoughts on “Bill to Tax, Regulate Marijuana Introduced in California”

  1. Thanks Kasey.

    But for the groundswell of public support I would agree. The issue is being put in front of the electorate and they are supporting it in vast majorities. Thirteen states now have medical mj laws, many ballots being carried by well over 60%. It can be expected to continue. Along with legislative movements in some states and the new Washington attitude things are coming together marvelously. It will take only a few more states to turn it into a rout. These are happening without resort to taxation. The last several years have been productive and the pace is quickening. A little patience will save us lots and give us true liberty.

    It will be damn near impossible to back away from taxation once it is established.

  2. This would be a fantastic resource for California if it were to pass . It’s just too bad that we have a complete moron running our state right now.

    He’s been trying to prove that he’s NOT the pot-head weight lifter from “Pumping Iron” and now, he might have a chance to prove it..

    I lost faith in “the governator” shortly after he took office and started trying to screw state workers. I just hope he can pull his head out of his ass and do the right thing here. To be honest, that is the only thing that would make me think he’s not as big of an idiot as it looks.

    Here’s to this passing (I hope) and then spreading nationwide.

  3. With people like Kasey, and GregS having real different view on the issue, but both coming together and agree on what’s better for the whole makes me feel like we have hope for change. The fact that two people with such HIGH intelect. Smokeing it too comes as a great comfort in these times!!!!! Can’t wait to read what they write next!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. # 70 made me laugh

    The market will take care of itself.

    In what world do you live? Greed tears up the free market, always.

  5. I think everyone in California should write to Arnold telling him to sign the bill if it passes…..

    Because yeah, he has become pretty challanged…

  6. How about the ones who still need to medicate under 21. What about them. What about people like me. If this bill was passed right now I would no longer be able to obtain my medication. I guess we are going the right way with the legalization. But why hold restrictions at 21. Is our medical cannabis regulation not enough. Our we going to give away our right to a plant that has been deemed tax free. How are we going to give in now. Is this really good enough?

  7. Someone must stand up and look into this situation. Marijuana as a natural medication is Unethical to tax. Stand up against the legalization of Taxing Marijuana! I am all for medical marijuana. Anyone can receive a Medical Cannabis Card. There seems to be a never ending list of medical uses, not to mention the endless amount of Non medical uses we keep coming up with. Why now should we allow anyone to trick us into giving up another one of our rights. I agree this whould be a great source of income to bring us out of our current economic situation. But lets face facts, when has our government ever used our money for any greater good. Stop the Taxing of Marijuana.

  8. In California as well as the United States of America it is illegal to tax on any plant or medication, PEOPLE DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!!

  9. i wish i would’nt go to jail for a violation if i used cannabis for my bi-polar disorder. My current medicine makes my muscles twitch. Keep fighting the good fight!

  10. May be other states will follow suit then the govt. will have to respect the rights of American citizens and nationally legalize and tax MJ. Till then lets keep up the good fight for our rights and freedom as patriots for the cause as well as all the rest of the citizens of our great nation.


    TOBACCO …………………… 400,000
    ALCOHOL …………………… 100,000
    ALL LEGAL DRUGS ………….20,000
    ALL ILLEGAL DRUGS ……….15,000
    CAFFEINE …………………….2,000
    ASPIRIN ………………………500
    MARIJUANA …………………. 0
    Source: United States government…
    National Institute on Drug Abuse,
    Bureau of Mortality Statistics

  12. I think this whole bill will work against anyone who is truly for the stop on the war on drugs. Cause, yes, no matter how you word it, “marijuana” is still a drug. If it is an issue of legalizing “marijuana” because it is a non aggressive/ non violent drug, than I say lets legalize “heroin” while we are at it. How about all those fun pills like “Oxycodone” or “Valium”?
    I just went to this page which wants the legalization of marijuana so that the state of California can impose a tax because of our so called debt, and “Oregon” is doing something similar so maybe Cali should?
    Then there is a video with a man talking about cultivation of medicinal plants and how our government allows this so why not allow “marijuana”?
    Why, well because the ones who are backing this bill and in support of the legalization are companies such as pharmaceutical companies. Tobacco companies like Phillip Morris. Our greedy government. I think it is so F*#%ing sad that the only reason that California is even willing to consitter the legalization of “marijuana” is because all the money that can be made from it? Well, wake up! The money is not going to benefit Californian, marijuana dispensaries or growers.
    Prices are just going to be more expensive if this happens! Do you know what kind of equipment and nutrients ect, it takes to cultivate marijuana? How much it all costs? Why do you think its so expensive? Unless you want to smoke some schwag weed! And for the record, ever since they legalized medical marijuana, prices have decreased a lot!
    Using marijuana for medical use is how it should stay. The quality of the products has increased for dispensary standards, it bring awareness to the usage of using marijuana and how to use it in a responsible way, its not hard to get a medical diagnosis or prescription due to the variety of symptoms it can treat, and helps to control it from being used by minors.
    I think I am going to be sick if (we) in California, legalize marijuana just because we want $. That would really show where our priority’s are as a society and as a community. Teach us that everything has a price…Even our government can be bought!
    One more thing. We will gain no money on marijuana if legalized because of one small fact….SEEDS

  13. In comment #54 it shows that the annual deaths cuased by tabacco is 400,000 and that no one has yet died from smoking marijuana. If this is true (and it is) then how come if the new law passes it will only allow people 21 and older to buy marijuana but you still only have to be 18 to buy tabacco?

  14. If this passes, those in the military that are younger than 21 will say, “im old enough to die for our country, yet not old enough to smoke weed?” i would say 21 or older is setting the bar a little high. I find it interesting that 21 seems to be the “adult” age and not 18 anymore

  15. This is Great, This will help our state a lot. My father is a police officer and he agrees 100% that this should be legal for only one reason. He never has any problems with Pot Smokers.

  16. The whole nation is watching you CA and hoping you pull through. I have never wanted anything more than the legalization of marijunia. When I come home from a hards days work. I should be able to smoke and relax in my own home. Smoking a blunt. We all know drinking is way worse. BTW What about nurses will nurses legally be able to keep a license RN and smoke too? If so CA here I come!

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