Friday, January 15, 2010


Sacramento, CA: Lawmakers on the California Assembly, Committee on Public Safety, voted 4 to 3 on Tuesday in favor of Assembly Bill 390: The Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act – which seeks to legalize the production, distribution, and personal use of marijuana for adults age 21 and older. The vote is the first time since 1913, when California became one of the first states in the nation to criminalize the use and possession of marijuana, that lawmakers have called for the repeal of cannabis prohibition.

"Today's vote marks the first time in nearly a century that California lawmakers have reassessed this failed criminal policy," said NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano. "Any risks presented by the use of marijuana by adults falls within the ambit of choice we should permit individuals in a free society. It's time to replace the failings of marijuana prohibition with a policy of legalization, regulation and education. Today's vote is a significant, albeit first step in this direction."

Further Assembly votes on AB 390 are
unlikely to take place this session because of legislative calendar restraints. However, the bill's sponsor, San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, has pledged to reintroduce a similar marijuana legalization measure imminently.

Registered supporters for AB 390 include: the AFL-CIO, the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and the California Public Defenders Association, among others.

Registered opponents of the bill include: the California Fraternal Order of Police, the California Narcotics Officers Association, the California Police Chiefs Association, the California State Sheriffs' Association, the California Peace Officers' Association, and the California District Attorneys Association.

Voting 'yes' in favor of SB 390 were Ammiano, Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley. Voting no were Assemblyman Warren Furutani, D-Gardena (Los Angeles County), Assemblyman Danny Gilmore, R-Hanford (Kings County) and Assemblyman Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills (San Bernardino County).

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at:, or Dale Gieringer, California NORML Coordinator at: 415-563-5858 or online at: Video footage of today's hearings is archived online on the California Channel at:

No comments: