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U.S. Congresswoman on CNN: Contemplates Legal Cannabis “Pilot Program” In California

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 12, 2009

    Politicians these days just can’t seem to stop talking about pot — and for the first time in decades, this is a good thing!

    No longer are lawmakers’ marijuana-centric conversation based upon the notion of penalizing cannabis consumers. Today, an unprecedented number of politicians are contemplating a society that is no longer bound by the chains of marijuana prohibition.

    Speaking live on CNN this morning, California Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez cited the west coast’s majority support for regulating cannabis like alcohol — as acknowledged by NORML’s recent Zogby poll — and called for a statewide “pilot program” to objectively assess the impact of cannabis legalization upon adult society.

    “Well, certainly, I have seen in my own state of California, people over and over voting … [on] the whole issue of marijuana,” Sanchez said. “So maybe it would be a good pilot program to see how that regulation of marijuana might happen in California since the … majority of Californians believe maybe that should happen.”

    Sanchez’s comments come two weeks after the introduction of proposed state legislation, AB 390: the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act, which seeks to tax and regulate the adult sales of cannabis in California. So far, thousands of members of the cannabis community, as well as several pundits from the mainstream press, have voiced their support for AB 390. Are lawmakers listening?

    U.S. Representative Sanchez most certainly is — and she’s not alone.

    If you are reading this blog, then you already know that cannabis prohibition is a fraud and a failure. You know these facts, but today millions of your friends and neighbors — and even many of your elected officials — are just now waking up to these truths. And they, like Congresswoman Sanchez, are becoming more and more outspoken in their criticisms of prohibition.

    Let’s encourage them to keep talking.

    62 Responses to “U.S. Congresswoman on CNN: Contemplates Legal Cannabis “Pilot Program” In California”

    1. congresswoman sanchez, assemblymen ammiano god bless you both for taking the lead on pot legalization! i believe all states should get involved with pilot programs. if you legalize tax and regulate not only would this help our crippled economy but these thug cartels would make no more money off drugs. this is the only picture left. this failed war on drugs has now come to what we see at the mexican border.let’s hit these bastards where it hurts and let our people go free. we cannot keep locking people up for pot and fight these creep cartels. pot should be legal. the hard drugs i don’t believe should be.but if pot is legalized that would cut into 60% of their profits. then with that money saved we could send more police army etc.. down to the border finish that fence and stop these assholes from coming into our great land.let’s get pot legal first!

    2. kevin p. says:

      this is huge. come one guys and voice your support for the marijuana legalization bill if you haven’t done so all ready by calling the california legislature. There is light at the end of this tunnel after all

    3. David says:

      Now THAT’s the sort of thing that gets me excited.This is something real that I can see, hear and feel happening as I sit here hoping for change.

      The progress out in California is where it’s at right now. They can set the precedence with a pilot program, without a doubt. If they get it right, the whole nation will see just how silly we’ve been to prohibit responsible, adult use of marijuana all these years.

      Forget the new drug czar. Forget everyone else. California’s going to enlighten the world. The rest will follow.

    4. Andrew says:

      Excellent news. I’m very glad this issue is getting as much mainstream air time as it is

    5. manik sharma says:

      I just watched this on CNN

      im so happy !

      hopefully this happens all OVER the world !

    6. Sean says:

      It seems there is always exciting news for marijuana reformers now.

    7. Bradson says:

      It’s a good idea to try a pilot program to see how legalized marijuana plays out. I sense it will be a little different than anyone can predict now, but it will be fascinating to see how a legal market affects availability, retail prices, product quality, and tax revenues. And, will hemp farming be allowed? Will non-medical home growers be taxed? Is the Federal government ready to finally allow such an experiment?

    8. JM82 says:

      Good news =)
      I hope they are able to get that pilot program started soon.

    9. After a lot of thought on the subject, I have come to the conclusion that I don’t even care if THIS government legalizes marijuana or not. It’s not even relevant anymore. The government, that is. It’s a sad state of affairs when I go to the John Stewart Daily Show to get my news instead of to mainstream media. That MSM also includes the internet version of bland irrelevance.
      Living in a world in which only idiots make the news or political office leads one to the conclusion our society is already in a state of chaos and is out of touch with the needs of it’s citizens. Capitalism isn’t dead, but it is in strong need of change. A change that our government is unwilling to enact. Do you think that Madoff is anything more than the tip of an iceberg composed of nothing but greed?
      As Bill Hicks once famously said, “All we have to do is make the choice between love and fear.” Of course, anyone who brings that question to the fore-front is instantly killed. Just think of the names, Mahatma Ghandi, Jesus Christ, Malcolm X (the end days for him, after he exposed the Black Muslim heirarchy), Martin Luther King, Jr. (my personal hero and killed in my home state. And yes, I grew up as a South Georgia Cracker. Born 5 years before the Civil Rights Act of 1965). They were all killed for preaching love over fear. That is our society.
      Until we change that thought process, we will continue to have the constant state of war we have enjoyed since WWI. Until we change that thought process, we will continue to have greed remain the driving force of all our businesses and political processes and religions. Until we change that thought process, I will continue to refuse to fund terrorism through the payment of taxes. Until we change that thought process, the U.S. can have nothing from me anymore, other than my contempt. The 10 years I gave this country in the military, I spit upon. Any country that chooses fear over love demands and will receive my contempt. And a country is comprised of all it’s citizens. Until we stand up and tell them all to back the f*ck off, we will be trampled upon and we will deserve it. This marks my date of refusing to participate in the madness that has spawned the depression we are in now. And the madness of the decline of the most wonderful shining light of liberty the world ever saw. All because this government is too corrupt and ignorant. A government that seemingly reflects it’s citizens quite accurately. Peace no more, Jim Lunsford

    10. Austin says:

      Hey all, I live in La Mesa, CA, a city of 60,000 just east of San Diego. California is totally ready for this move. As of now getting caught with under an ounce is just a slap on the wrist, and we have medical dispensaries all over the place. I personally think everything will stay the same if we legalize pot out here, the only difference is that violence will be lessened, especially in the san diego area where we get a lot of the cartels from Tijuana dealing drugs.

      This will also be a good example to our younger citizens, by telling them the truth and giving the straight facts. AB 390 would assist them in drawing distinctions between marijuana and hard drugs. Because I remember at age 11, I didn’t know if meth was really any worse than pot, because they were all illegal.

      I called my rep, and I hope if you live in the great state of California you will too. My favorite TV series is “Weeds” on shotime. It’s about a suburban house widow that deals pot to help support her family. I wounder what kind show season 6 will be when it’s legalized??? It seems like Nancy might need to find a new career, or start or her own business legally :)

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