Loading

California: Lawmakers Cast First Vote In Nearly 100 Years To Repeal Marijuana Prohibition

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 12, 2010

    Lawmakers on the California Assembly, Committee on Public Safety, voted 4 to 3 today 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 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 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 Committee 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, said that he would likely reintroduce a similar version of the bill later this month.

    Registered supporters for the measure included: 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 included: 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’ on the bill 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).

    Archived footage of today’s historic vote is available on the California Channel here.

    121 Responses to “California: Lawmakers Cast First Vote In Nearly 100 Years To Repeal Marijuana Prohibition”

    1. Jeremy R. says:

      now maybe other states will follow suit and do what is right instead of wasting billions on prohibition.

    2. Pain-fully Stressed says:

      california is so lucky . but now what? what about the rest of the states that do not have legalization in their states ? do u think people are goin to visit cali now for vacations and stuff more frequently? i hope this snowball into somethin big when the rest of America find out that california is beatin their debt by makin marijuana lega now. i hope other staes find out that they are losing out on somethin big that can only help them financialy. come on New York ! pay attention.

    3. Pauline George says:

      This is a good thing, one step towards legalization! If marijuana became legal, it would turn into the major cash-crop and our debt would be over!!!

    4. Pain-fully Stressed says:

      oh yea and help alot of people who are stressed like, how need a better job like me and whose families are also stresed and in pain due to stress or some other sickness. i hope states recognize this great idea and start actin on legalizing marijuana .

    5. Ry says:

      progress is here and success is in sight now. I expect California to legalize in November and following the success, marijuana could be legal by mid-2011 (if all goes well – although I can’t see legalized marijuana in Cali causing anything bad – just happy individuals excercising freedom and financial relief for the state)…

    6. Maxine says:

      I’m so happy! I’m glad that the first state to prohibit marijuana is also the first state to vote on legalizing! How ironic! However I’m confused on this paragraph, why would the bill’s sponsor feel the need to introduce a similar bill?

      “Further Committee 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, said that he would likely reintroduce a similar version of the bill later this month.”

      [Paul Armentano responds: AB 390 was introduced in 2009. Assembly rules mandate that all 2009 bills be moved to the floor by the end of the week. Since the bill can not be moved to the floor before the deadline, a new bill will have to be introduced.]

    7. Ry says:

      One more thing:

      Registered opponents of the bill included: 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.

      100% of those profit from prohibition… That’s the only incentive to keep bud illegal and hopefully it’s not enough.

    8. Rocco says:

      Way to go, California (and thanks for the insight, Ry)!!

      Keep up the activism guys, you’re leading the way for the rest of us!!

      WAY TO GO!!

    9. messages says:

      The list of organizations which are against this tells people all they need to know. Prohibition has built bureaucracies which don’t wish to be sent to the employment line like the rest of America if prohibition was repealed.

      I told my endocrinologist that I used marijuana for my crohn’s disease. It was the biggest non-event ever. He said, “You’re gonna have to move to California!” Bear in mind I have not one but 3 chronic illnesses. If it were all that dangerous or affected my health in any way but positively, I imagine his reaction would have been much different.

      [Paul Armentano responds: “The list of organizations which are against this tells people all they need to know.” It most certainly does!]

    10. Damien D. says:

      Good job on your efforts your success in california is being celebrated all over our great nation tonight. Two major wins in two days. My congratulations goes out to all who work so hard to make people realize that this substance is not bad and can be used by responceable adults.

    Leave a Reply