Bill to Tax, Regulate Marijuana Introduced in California

Feb 23, 2009 ,

     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.”



124 responses to “Bill to Tax, Regulate Marijuana Introduced in California”

  1. oo yah this is exciting, but i dont get why it has to be 21 just like u gotta be 21 to buy alcohol.. it should atleast be 18 nd up.

  2. I fear that Arnold will veto also. Any word on Arnie’s thoughts?

    It would be a crying shame if he didn’t support legalization, especially given his past and personal experience as a cannabis user himself.

    I remain cautiously optimistic, though more optimistic than I’ve ever been before today.

  3. Their state is in ridiculous debt. There’s a reason nothing like this has been presented until now. And I think we’ll notice our usual silence from the mainstream media on this groundbreaking legislation. In any case I will be making plans to move to California unless somthing happens in Ohio, which will most definatly not happen any time soon. I would much rather start my business close to home. But what can I say the California gold rush of 09 is calling me.

  4. This is indeed good news and another step forward in the movement…. now lets get local and national media to report on this topic so it can be heard by all. As we’ve all rationalized that the punishment for marijuana is out of wack with it’s dangers…. we need to understand that most people would come to the same rationalization if they had to think about it, so let’s get the media to bring it to their attention and help them think about it! There is change in America and it’s exciting to be a part of it!

  5. What will we do with the prison space we don’t use anymore to ruin the lives of pot heads?

    It’s like carter said, The punishment for using the drug shouldn’t be worse than the drug.

  6. Thanks for your enlightening insight Bob ;). This is awesome news!!! Sure it’s still a long way from becoming actual law, but slow progress is better than no progress.

  7. Excellent – Way to go Cali!! …. We have a mind-numbing legal drug here in Utah – far more dangerous than pot called the mormon church & judging from his vocabulary, I think maybe ‘Bob’ might have ingested a little of that before posting here. Come on Bob, time to make the safer choice 😉

  8. Hopefully it will pass and cause other States to start passing marijuana laws of their own. Eventually the fed’s will have to legalize it nation wide.

  9. Sorry to be the turd in the stew, but this bill concedes rightful jurisdiction over an unique and essential, God-given “herb bearing seed” while jacking up prices on the black market and for medical marijuana patients.

    Better to exercise “essential civilian demand” for Cannabis as provided for in Executive Order 12919, and dislodge the competitive block being put on the free organic agricultural market by the chemical industrial complex.

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” — Ben Franklin

    Freedom to farm is the first test of religious freedom. Reclaim the First Amendment or kiss the Constitution good-bye.

  10. Interesting development.

    My question is what is the relevant Federal Law prohibiting California from doing this and what sort of case law is behind that. Essentially, can federal law trump CA law, even if the CA legislature decides to legalize and tax?

  11. This is the time when everyone living in California needs to politely and respectfully call or email their representatives and show your support for this bill. NOTHING will happen unless people get stirred up about this. It will die before it even hits committee unless there is the people’s support behind it.

    This is the time people! Do your part to get this passed, or at the very least least give it enough attention to continue a dialogue about marijuana in the mainstream media.

  12. I don’t live in Cali but I still am so excited to see this…Everyone in California needs to show public support in order for this to get media attention and increase the chance of it passing!!! If one state does it, a domino effect will slowly happen…hopefully Delaware will be next lol!!

  13. All of United States should be Illegalized not just Califonia.Follow dutch Policy & the United States wouldn’t be such deficit of 1.3 Billon as Presedent Obama says.In Cali you
    have Arnold as Gov. Which wouldn’t pass due him being Rep.This country must wake up smell coffe…..

  14. It is about time we start telling the truth ! if Arnold vetos it where else is he going to get the tax$ ? ……… raise taxes or leagalize marijuana Hmmmmmmm I have to believe he is not that stupid, although I have seen his movies……….
    Way to go California please make this happen!

  15. Paul J. von Hartmann, ( #19 above,) got it right here folks. California Legislators are slipping you a fast one again in order to charge for marijuana products and services that should have been free since the beginning of time. I’m shocked very few Americans can’t understand that marijuana is God’s gift to humanity to be used with skill and for specific reasons physically and mentally. Here in Tennessee we don’t advocate taxing marijuana and the smart people never will. Let me guess what readers are really thinking in the back ground here. Like whiskey, everyone thinks you can produce your own marijuana once it’s legalized right? No, it will be illegal and again the dumb American line of thought is to invited the government to control and tax marijuana. It’s a trap folks, stay away from taxation and stop allowing yourselves to be teased into paying for something that is FREE.

  16. BOB why are you here, wasting your obsolete time that has amounted to nothing? ARnold will veto it though, as he is a huuuge hypocrite, how the hell did he even become governator? Anyway, if IT DOES miracuously become legite, then INDUSTRIAL HEMP by default should automatically be legal for farmers to grow. We really need hemp for the farmers.

  17. Rick, I think you’re wrong on this one. Marijuana is much easier to produce than alcohol on an individual level and will be much more difficult to prevent once monies formerly allotted to prohibition are sent elsewhere. If marijuana is legalized, no one will be flying copters to make sure it’s not being grown in people’s back yards.

  18. We need to look at “Hemp Reform”.
    God put hemp on this planet
    for a reason, and the government assumes higher power than God and makes anyone that has anything to do with a criminal, thats absurd.
    Hemp is our greatest natural resource.
    The industrial value
    The medical value
    The recreational value

  19. I’m glad I live in Southern Oregon, what a great way to increase tourism! I know if this thing passes, I’ll be making a few extra trips a year down south. Hopefully it does pass, so the rest of the country can see that ending prohibition is in the best interest of our nation. California will have a booming economy, while the rest of us are stuck in the second great depression. Maybe when that happens, the rest of our politicians will pull their heads out of their… You get the idea.

  20. FINALLY! It appears there might be hope that all the unfairness that goes with this prohibition will soon be over. With the comments by Ron Paul on Bill Maher last Friday that he is in favor of ending prohibition on the national level and N.J passing a Medical Marijuana law Monday and this great news from California any of us who have suffered in the past will be able to hold our heads up high and be proud we did not waiver in our convictions.

  21. All I can do is hope and pray this will get passed and finally have a start towards sensible marijuana policy in place of this senseless and terrible war on marijuana users. Nothing could justify all of the hurt and sorrow this drug war has caused, but it would be a major step in the right direction. I can’t thank enough Mr. Ammiano and everybody involved with this bill and marijuana law reform alike, thanks so much for everything. Your hard work has and will continue to pay off

  22. All I can say is that we all need this one to pass because even old Arnie is probably really wanting to smoke a fatty after the budget deal. If he cares anything about California he will make sure this happens other wise there aint no good reason to even come here any more.
    For the love of God “Let us Grow Let us Grow Let us Grow”

  23. This would be great, but I do feel it is not time yet. A legislature doesn’t want to pass something like this without great debate, and it will probably fail the first time at least. But one day…

    It is a great idea. It seems that very few more people would start using it only after legalization, and for the ones who use it now this bill would make our lives safer and more enjoyable.

    I’m sure the previous poster “Bob” would disagree, but many people who smoke weed do amount to something. Sure, there will be lazy individuals who smoke their days away, but if weed didn’t exist, they’d find something else to waste the time.

    I saw a question about Federal preemption of State law. CA could pass this law and not enforce the federal law. State law officers don’t have to enforce Federal law because Congress cannot make laws requiring State enforcement. But, Federal law officers (e.g. D.E.A.) could still enforce Federal law in CA. This happens occasionally with out-of-hand medical marijuana dispensaries. Unfortunately, I could imagine that the Feds wouldn’t tolerate sale of recreational sale and give CA sellers and farm growers a hard time.

  24. Not too shabby, as an idea. I fear it’s time has not yet come, however. Still, it’s nice to see people thinking outside their little boxes, for a change.

  25. Correct me if Im wrong but it taxes the sale not the production. You can still have your own plants for free if you put in the effort.

  26. Two things: first, for those who are upset about the idea of “a natural god-given plant” being taxed, please consider that currently it is ILLEGAL to own or distribute. While paying a high tax on a natural plant may seem terrible, it is a far cry better than being arrested, sent to federal prison, having your freedom and liberty stripped from you, and having a federal charges follow you for the rest of your life. I would say baby-steps, but this legislation would be a bit more than a baby-step. Be patient, things can be tweaked and worked on later.

    Second, a little helpful knowledge for those wondering about state vs federal laws:

    [THE SUPREMACY CLAUSE Article. VI. This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.]

    In other words, states are obliged to follow federal laws UNLESS the Constitution or Laws of the State differ. State laws DO supercede federal laws. Whether or not the DEA will listen to rational arguments about constitutional rights is, or course, another story.

  27. I think that it’s time has come and if it does not happen it can only be blamed on us.

    Think back just a few years ago to our national primary process where many said having an African American President would happen someday but “it’s time had not come. Yet through a “grass roots” effort unlike any this country has ever seen I am proud that Mr. Obama sits in the White House.

    In the state of Massachusetts where I live Question 2 (making possesion of less then a ounce of marijuana a civil offense) passed by 65%-35% three percentage points higher than President Obama received.

    Because of the state of the nation’s economy is why I truly believe “our time has come” much like the end of alcohol prohibition came to an end.

    I don’t know the exact numbers but there is somewhere around 100,000 people who receive MPP emails and a very few of them actually DONATE to the cause. I’m sure the numbers are similiar on NORML’s web site.

    And no I do not work for either of those sites. In fact I am unemployed and still make a monthly donation.

    So to repeat my opening statement if it fails WE ONLY HAVE OURSELFS TO BLAME.

  28. Mr. Will (#30 above,) thanks for your comment, I’ve been wrong many times and I hope your right but we have a long way to go. My relatives live in Ridgecrest, CA, and I might move back myself if Californians complete the passing of this Bill. I couldn’t be more happier for the passing of this Bill in CA for the sake of Medical Patients.

  29. We have to be smart to be ready for the new generations and be prepared to support our kids and help them with what they have to face in the future.
    I belive that this is the best way to show them why something that helps that manny people in the world in so manny ways should be legal . Not because it’s a recreational thing just because it works.
    I think that the next generations will make it happen even if nobody likes it.

  30. Great news…..perhaps Obama will go along with good sense and the will of the people …..and maybe Arnold will be bold….hope so

  31. People like Tom Ammiano make me sick, what a F” “ing joke
    its because of people like this that are country is falling apart,
    our government is out of control! our judicial system is no more than a Legalized Shakedown! anybody that thinks that their is
    justice in this country is a fool, its all about the money.
    Now people like this F” “ing A-hole want to figure out how they
    can become the drug dealers , not caring about what this would
    do to American people our its childeren!
    America is Falling, and its because of people like Tom Ammiano.

  32. More people have died from tainted peanut butter crackers (8 to date) than have died from Marijuana use in the thousands of years humankind has been using Cannabis. That’s right folks to date the number of deaths (world wide) directly attributed to Marijuana is still 0!
    More people die from prescription drugs they were prescribed from their Doctors (I’m not counting those who use scripts for recreation and OD), wanna talk about hypocrisy / irony!
    As hopeful as I am that this Bill will pass, there is no way on this green earth that Pharmicutical, oil, and textile companies and their well paid lobbiests are going to let it happen. Let’s face there’s more cash in misery and injustice (disguised as morality), than there is in freedom and peace. Just ask the Bush administration.

  33. The only sad part is it’s actually up to obama and holder because federal law overides state law.
    I so hope they go along with this if it passes. Who r they to hold back the will of the people. We should be able to choose freely…..

  34. Marijuana users and supporters, of this bill, need to stop calling marijuana a drug and start referring to it as an herb because the more that people think of marijuana as a drug the less they are going to be willing to legalize it. People need to understand that many of the problems in the past involving marijuana is propaganda and are used to control US citizens. It is not going to be an easy fight for our freedom to use marijuana, but our freedom is worth fighting for. Note: Marijuana is not for everyone, but does that mean that those people should be allowed to control the people that want to use the herb for personal purposes. One last thing, people that do not buy marijuana need to know how much money people in California are spending on an ounce of Kush or Medical marijuana, anywhere from $250-$350 dollars.

    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

  35. @ everyone who thinks taxing and regulating cannabis is a bad idea:
    Taxes < being treated like a criminal.

    If I were still enjoying bud (don’t smoke anymore), I’d gladly pay the price of cannabis being legitimized than to pay inflated black market prices and worry about being penalized for possessing, using, and/or selling it.

    Plus, my state of CA really needs the money. Why not try and benefit from cannabis?

  36. I have a small but possibly very significant suggestion for pro-cannabis action. It’s clear that the prohibitionists will never respect our preference, but some of them may respect our dollars. The Kellogg’s boycott is a good start, but hard to pull off, as some have noted, and it doesn’t quite show off the economic might of the cannabis consumer. Instead, let’s show them how strong we are through a simple but effective stealth campaign:


    You don’t have to spend your money any differently, just put a mark on every bill you get to show you support cannabis law reform. I’ll leave it to the internet hive-mind to come up with the mark. I thought perhaps “C = $” would be simple enough to get attention, while putting a doobie in George Washington’s mouth would pay tribute to his farming practices. I find the leaf is too hard to draw regularly, but if you like that, go for it. In the end, it doesn’t matter so much that we all use the same mark, but that every dollar we use gets marked.

    The beauty of this campaign is that the message gets across while being covert. What, there’s a cannabis leaf on my bills? I got them like that…. they just seem to be showing up these days.

    So I will be hitting the ATM these days, instead of using the card, and I’ll break out the ballpoint pen.

    Let this go viral! Send to every stoner in California!!

  37. So how is this really going to work? I open up a store and start selling bud. Over the coarse of the year I make a total of $50,000 of income in the “legal” sale of bud. How do I file my Federal Tax Returns? What do I list as my occupation? You mean to tell me I’m going to pay income taxes on something the Federal Government considers illegal? Do I have to look over my shoulder everyday now that I have announced to the IRS that I sell pot for a living?

    As much I want to see this happen… the Federal Government will not let this occur. Realistically I think we will see this bill get killed in committee, but if it does pass the Supreme Court will overturn it.

    I do believe that this could allow for a national discussion to take place. I hope that Assemblyman Tom Ammiano is prepared to escalate this thing nationally. The first thing that needs to take place is a reclassification of the drug to where it is supposed to be. I think that Assemblyman Tom Ammiano would be more effective in challeging the Federal Government’s stance that there is NO medical use in treatment for marijuana. Wouldn’t it also make sense to have one of the Major Medical Associations here in the US formally back re-classification and actually bring suit against the US Government for knowingly misrepresenting the facts surrounding the medical uses of this plant.

    On another note:

    It seems ridiculous to me that the Government has outlawed Industrial Hemp in our counrty even though our Founding Fathers approved of it. But that’s right… they weren’t as educated back then….even though we rely on the way they created our country (sarcasm included)! How is this going to “hurt our children”? You can’t even get “high” from hemp!!! This is the perfect example of big industry (phamaceuticals, oil, paper…) forming the laws of our country not common sense!

  38. It has come time to state doing more than talk.

    The Ammiano bill is an opportunity for all reform advocates across the nation to target both our state legislatures and the congress for decriminalization.

    The California debate will bring up economic and social justice issues relevant to all states.

    And the California bill can’t become law without congress decriminalizing so the California bill is a national issue.

    We need to organize around this and organize NOW!

    I posted some ideas on my blog, Aid & comfort. Come by and lets thrash these things out and start working each and every state to decriminalize cannabis in 2009.

    California Considers Legalizing Marijuana

  39. @ Michael (#58):
    I’m assuming that it would be exactly like how the legal medical marijuana dispensaries operate here in CA. The model for how taxes are realized and collected already exist, so why not just use that same system?

    Believe it or not, owners and employees of dispensaries pay both state and federal taxes and they don’t run into much trouble over their livelihood. Despite our federal gov’t considering cannabis illegal, they aren’t stupid enough to turn away good money given to them as tax revenue. Sure, they become an open target for DEA heists but their businesses are legitimate and it’s not to often that people are imprisoned (the DEA mainly takes the bud, money, business records, and computers).

    Here’s what I want to know though: IF this bill did pass, and California gets to realize the benefits of legalization and prospers, what would the state’s reaction be towards the federal gov’t if they keep up the raids on these legitimate businesses?

  40. The state would generate much more revenue by keeping it legal for MEDICAL usage, and taxing medical care providers. Recreational use will encourage more private citizens to cultivate and obtain it on their own, tax free.

  41. In reply to Shaun – you are severely misreading the Supremacy Clause. It makes the Federal law the “supreme law of the land.” The DEA can thus enforce Federal law anywhere in the jurisdiction of the USA. I do agree with you about the tax issue. I think people who are saying that “a god-given plant” shouldn’t be taxed are idiots who don’t think about their daily lives — how many taxed plants, or any other earthy substance, does a person eat in one day? I never heard anyone complain about a vegetable tax. If the government could tax food which is necessary for survival, surely they could tax weed which isn’t (arguably) necessary. And like vegetables, you can grow your own weed.

    And, as Michael pointed out, the Supreme Court probably would strike the CA law. In Gonzalez v. Raich, the Court held that the CA medical marijuana act isn’t valid under the Federal Narcotics Act. However, that was 2005, and today there still are dispensaries in CA. Why? Because the Fed Gov’t cannot force the states to enforce Federal law. But, what Congress can (sadly) do, is attach a provision on a spending measure requiring states to prohibit marijuana or they’ll lose some funding. CA can hold strong (maybe supplementing the lost funding with marijuana tax?) or cave in.

    One more thing… legalizing marijuana won’t hurt any children. Right now the easiest place to buy weed is probably a school because it is illegal. Up until I was 21, it was much easier to acquire weed than alcohol. I’m not a father, but I’d much rather discover my kids smoking weed than drinking. Irresponsible drinking leads to death. Irresponsible weed use leads to laziness and munchies.

  42. I wish I was in California. Here is why I support this bill:
    California, which faces huge deficits, has to make some smart decisions now… think about the amount of arrests each year… it continues to rise greatly all the time. Pot is all over California, it grows everywhere in Mendocino County. The government would collect so much tax revenue from this and also take that money away from organized crime. The government can’t control it at all, and still spends so much money fighting drugs and meanwhile arresting people like Michael Phelps. It’s a bad policy, and needs to change. Use common sense, and support this bill. The governator should sign this to law.

  43. Plan and Simple anyone that isn’t for this is against California.
    Idiots & Fools that blame the politician that introduced this bill are the same ignorant fools that voted for Bush’s Nazi war on Cannabis. Send these ignorant Texans to Iraq and leave OUR STATE ALONE!!!!

  44. Finally the government does something smart. They should of done this along time ago. They spend all that money on stopping marijuana, and putting non-violence prisoners in jail. If all the other states does this the economy would be saved.


  45. This Bill is a nice gesture, but it’s not realistic. by the looks of it, it is an exploitation of cannabis, which i am not for. This plant has caused no harm to anyone….ever. To agree with this bill is to agree to my adult children still in harms way by being over 18 and under 21 who smoke responsibly subject to arrest.. this is not acceptable. 2. imposing irresponsible regulation and taxation is a ruse. Following this bills recommendations would put undue stress and burden on growers therefore inhibiting the tremendous overall applications of this very useful plant. California can do Wayyy better than this. There are way to many Manufacturing, industrial, food, medical, recreational, environmental, and other uses for us, California, to have such ridiculous regulation making it almost impossible to grow the plant.
    So, although this bill looks and sounds great on its face, it really is just a ruse to raise revenue for the STATE. Reasonable taxation is fair, but this bill goes to the point of making slaves out of farmers and any industrious entrepreneur .
    We don’t need the STATE telling us how to start an industry. The STATE has failed by example. The market will take care of itself. The bill is a good start, but fails by leaps and bounds. Sorry, guys. Not this one 🙁

  46. Is there a forum anywhere where farmers themselves are talking about this? I’d love to hear thoughts about this from their perspective.

  47. This is amazing. I live in Texas and could only dream of something like this happening here, but I am hoping for the best for CA! Along with a few others, I have my doubts that the Governator will pass it.

    Hopefully he’ll surprise us.

  48. Lance made a good point about the money the state would save by deciminalizing it but from a very small farmer’s standpoint, there is a chance this could be a gold rush of the 21st century like the early .com companies. Let me tell you my friend, living in California and growing my six plants legally each year. Of which, I reap at least five pounds from six fourteen-foot plants. At $3,500 a pound, you do the math! I am in the process of securing backing for a three acre grapevinyard that’s in forclosure. I foresee that when more people realize how much revenue can be generated (and it’s not just the pot heads!!) most of the other industries would be affected from building materials to fossil fuels. Thus driving demand up even further. This will open up a whole new line of revenue which is what our country needs right now. I am positioning myself to be a Rockafeller in the industry of Hemp, if this law passes.

  49. Not if the government grew it- sorry to those that live off selling drugs get a real job-I think it should solely up to the government or government funded companies to raise, manufacturer and sell it. They could hire on people to help them-but I don’t think it should be independently sold.
    I think it’s the smartest thing anyone’s thought of in awhile- this would really boost California’s economy by taking money away from independent illegal drug dealers and put money back into the hands of the government and the economy!! Whoop whoop this guy rocks, if only every state had people as smart as him- they would be amazed at how much money they would make and save by decriminalizing it!

  50. The government isnt capable (especially in this day and economy) of developing, organizing and launching that extensive of a program. They have a hard enough time coming up healthcare program! In a perfect world, it would be the A.T.F. & C. that would regulate the private sector that would reserch, develop, market and profit from it. Thanks for the props and another perspective! 420

  51. People would be willing to pay a huge tax on herb if it was legal.
    I have seen estimates of 30-60 billion dollars in potential tax revenue.
    Payment on national debt, while reducing crime, if done correctly. Alcohol is much more problematic and kills more people.

  52. For the sake of all weed smokers, if you’re an idiot, please don’t speak your mind about the subject – it makes us all look like pot-heads. Take “auris” for example. “Due the wright thinge.” I’m amazed you could even read this article. “Coast two coast.”
    You can smoke weed every day and be educated. Shit, I’m about to earn a doctorate and I smoke every day still.
    To get bills like this to pass we need to show that smoking weed isn’t irresponsible; it is the idle pothead who is irresponsible. (I use “pothead” for the sit-on-the-couch-all-day-eating-cheetos type, and “stoner” for anyone else who enjoys weed.) The problem is that is what mainstream society thinks of when they think of weed smokers. Let’s show the world you can smoke weed and make something of yourself.

  53. As i hear about the condition of our economy, each day were becoming more and more dependent upon using other countries money. Our forfathers would turn over in there grave!! I cant believe how ignorant some people are to whats happening to our country. We may have a strong army but what happens If this ressesion catches up with them. As I listen to all these ignorant little bitches, saying its all about the potheads. I ask have you read The Emperer Wheres No Clothes by jack herer? If you love this country get educated QUICK !! Our country was built on people who thought outside the box and most of them grew hemp!!! I am reminded of a quote from Daniel Webster”God grants liberty only to those who love it and are ALWAYS willing to defend it”

  54. I could not agree more jim however for myself prior to the decrimanelization of weed in C.A., I could not pass any preemployment job screening. Even now I have to have a script for marinal, to mask preemployment screening. I Now have a job that makes it posible for me to go to school, and afford this lap top, and now for the first time my voice can be heard!!!! It wont be long before discrimination against users by non users will go away jim. Once its legal and the non user takes his first hit!!!!

  55. @Biggchong
    Approving 390 (or not vetoing it) probably won’t get Arnold re-elected as governor since he’s already in his 2nd term in office and he can’t run again. I’d like to believe that it would give him some much needed popularity for that Senate run that I’m assuming is on his political wishlist but even that might be unrealistic. Truth is, he’s ticked off too many Californians as the “Governator” (especially, the Teachers, Nurses, and Firefighter Unions – the 3 you need on you side in any CA election), so it’ll be hard his next political round. That’s a good reason why – if 390 passes legislation and makes it to his desk – he should let it pass. He’s really got nothing to lose.

  56. EXACTLY couldn’t have said it any better DNL, if the people of california want it then it will pass and if he stands in the way by way of veto then he might as well be putting on his terminator gear and shooting himself in his terminator foot.. how many young entrepreneurs are just waiting for this to go through california here i come right back where i started from.. throw away your cell phones, buy dirt, grow weed. REMEMBER even if your not a constituent a flood of emails letters and phone calls is still a flood of emails and phone calls. i love you mpp.

  57. Okay people, the news are exciting, but they still are news. The simple idea of being able to buy marijuana at my local liquor store seems amazingly hard to believe, but exciting to imagine. WE GOTTA VOTE!!!!!! support the proposed legislation so it can become more than a great idea. VOTE PEOPLE……VOTE…..

  58. To Jim…..comment # 83
    I agree with you. But even though Audri’s writting was gramatically incorrect, idelogies and philosophies, or intelligence in general, can not be measured by a written-bad-for-fun sentence. Moving on to your comment; responsability is key.

    When people is asked or think of marijuana, they think of it just as they would see any other super dangerous drugs such as heroine, meth and crack, when is not true. In order for this proposed law to pass, we would have to change the bad image soceity has given to marijuana and disprove the myths many take as facts.

  59. It’s encouraging that politicians are beginning to recognize that legal cannabis is a plus for everyone. However, the proposed tax of $50/ounce is unrealistic. The retail price might be what, double that? Illegal, good quality, field-grown Mexican marijuana is available now in the southwest for $50/ounce. In a legal environment, field-grown cannabis will be abundant and inexpensive to produce. Home growers like Mike who plan on $3,500/pound are dreaming. In a legal environment the price will plummet downwards. If the tax makes the legal product more expensive than what illegal growers can offer, the black market will thrive because the illegal grower can easily undercut the legal price and still make a big profit.

    In a legal environment, the price of marijuana should reflect the real costs of growing, processing and distributing. The current black market prices are astronomically high and should not be used as a basis for setting taxes on the legal product.

    Consider this shocking possibility, folks:

    Marijuana legally field-grown would cost no more than growing tobacco. Tobacco sells for about $5 a pack…about 1/2 ounce. That includes all state and federal taxes, all production and distribution costs, all advertising and marketing costs, and still provides a healthy profit for the tobacco companies.

    Even if field-grown pot costs twice as much to grow and process as tobacco, the retail price for 1/2 ounce would only be around $10!

  60. We pay about $1.50 for American Indian grown brands of tobacco cigarettes. There was also a thing recently where the Seminole Indians were examining if it was possible to grow marijuana on indian reservations and sell it at those locations with impunity from state laws? Any word on this concept?

  61. This is one big step for the legalization of marijuana nationwide, I read a post in which one person commented on the age requirement, I think the age requirement is much needed to appease to any sort of congress. Cigarettes are not a mind altering substance like alcohol, and I know marijuana is not as mind altering as alcohol in some cases but that is the fact in the matter. I’m not 21 myself but i would love to see the legalization of marijuana soon, and to know it could help us out of this dramatic economic crisis is a fantastic realization, we will be making our American flags out of Hemp and flying them just how we used to. Our founding fathers would be so proud to find that we legalized the hemp because it was a key factor in developing and laying the foundations of the very creed we live by.

  62. I think it is great that the topic of legalization is being introduced (albeit about 75 years late!)

    Hopefully, people join on, speak up, and legalize.

    Of course, I’d prefer that my own state, Connecticut, be the first to legalize, while the other states play “catch up”.

    A small state like Connecticut could become a tourist magnet, and escape the fiscal crisis altogether, especially if it were the only legal state.

    Unfortunately, so far this year, in CT we only have a decrim proposed law, and a medical MJ proposed law. If passed these laws would be a small step in the correct direction.

    Sadly, no one in my state will dare use the “L” word. Politicians run from it.

    Hopefully, with this economic crisis, we’ll have some states that break the prohibition. Once the first state does it, others will soon follow!

  63. I love what im hearing!!!! went to my first prospective plantation style grow opperation on sunday. This place was amazing its 50 acres in prime grape vinyard climate. They used to grow hydroponic veg there. Its run down but , has 8 acres of greenhouses ready to go. I am looking for backing on 3 mil any ideas?

  64. I am absolutely opposed to tax-and-regulate. That’s how we got in this mess in the first place-with the Harrison Tax Act of 1937. It was a sham tax. The power to tax is the power to destroy. Tax/regulate just empowers the same bureacrats that have been throwing our people in prison for years now. Don’t be fooled by tax-and-regulate!

  65. Roland, WTF are you talking about. If your an advocate you should get your facts streight!!!!!! Don’t make us all look like dumb ass pot heads!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  66. If we want to put an end to drug gangs and drug violence, and at the same time pump some much needed revenue into the public treasury, we’ll implement a Personal Use and Cultivation permit (maybe a dozen plants?), similar to a fishing permit, for $100 per year, split between the Federal and State governments.
    It’s time to let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards.

  67. It is an absurd joke to suggest we pay taxes on this. Far from buying into libertarian attitudes, and keeping with progressive ideals, it is not that I object to taxation. It is refreshing to watch the reactionaries eat shit by the shovelfull after they swindled the middle class and forthrightly marginalized the poor while flying cheap free market and deregulation flags from the roofs of their Hummers. After damn near bankrupting the country they ran out of Washington laughing their asses off with suitcases full of dollars. Has anyone else noticed that Faux News is finding it difficult to field guests for their broadcasts and finds it necessary to use their own media hosts as guests on other hosts’ shows? Tee hee.

    Arguments that use taxation on the plant or process as justification for decriminalization do not speak to the fact that it is a reasonably benign weed I can grow in my yard. Individuals will pay taxes on income earned in service to patients and on the sale of goods purchased for production and use. That is enough. The Michigan Act and those of some other states establish a cottage industry that is entirely workable. The upshot is that it renders any big business approach unnecessary and large profits out of the question. Even when that changes, and it will, businesses involved with production and sale will provide substantial tax revenue without an additional commodity or use tax.

    With the exception of sales tax and the hidden cost of taxation in the price we pay for goods I do not pay tax on the food I cook, the beer I make, and do not wish to pay tax on any cannabis I raise or that I have someone raise for me. Enough studies indicate the degree to which it is benign. Having few of the hooks that narcotics do, arguments for taxation for the purpose of protecting us or to pay for public health (read: tobacco and alcohol) are wanting. It is medicine, and not a luxury; yet.

    People complain that pharmaceutical companies abuse their influence and power to reach deep into our wallets. Taxation simply substitutes government for pharma.

    Changes permitting patients and caregivers to have more and store more than is currently allowed would effectively kill any argument that adequate supplies are in question. Decriminalization would accomplish this. Civil disobedience is an option.

    Destruction of public land in illicit cultivation is a non issue. Having spent lots of time in the outdoors and preferring to go to those places least used by the public, I have yet to see any real effects of this. Could it be that mother nature is resilient enough to cover producers’ tracks? Please put that away now.

    Medical patients are too often cash poor. Most of us have been financially compromised, if not bankrupted, by a health care industry that rapes and pillages. No first world country but Amerika conspires to permit that, by either omission or commission. Who in hell are these people that we should grovel and offer something so unnecessary and harmful to us? Have we not been hurt enough?

    Behaving like a mangy dog begging for table scraps is unbecoming. That is the caricature that comes to mind when the argument for taxation comes up. We do not need to grovel to have the state permit use.

    Render to Ben Franklin the things that are Ben Franklin’s. But for crissake, let me keep an easy to produce plant someone found in the woods

  68. Gregs,

    Well sometimes you have to take what you can get.

    For the past 70 years we have been taking nor getting anything, and this legalization, even though it will be taxed, is at least a step in the right direction.

    Someday, the people will as a whole, have enough of a unified opinion and power to tell the government what it wants (freedom to use/cultivate nontaxable marijuana) and the government will eventually deliver. But the opinion isn’t unified, or powerful enough just yet.

    So we have to at least accept the taxation, so that the future people of America can pursue the freedom.

    Legalize Marijuana!

  69. 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.

  70. 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.

  71. 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  72. # 70 made me laugh

    The market will take care of itself.

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

  73. 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…

  74. 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?

  75. 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.

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

  77. 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!

  78. 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

  80. 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

  81. 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?

  82. 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

  83. 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.

  84. 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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