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En route to searching for something else, I came across a story in a more local California 'paper' talking about a Democratic legislator proposing a Bill To Oversee Medical Pot In California

It's from Tom Ammiano of San Francisco, again.

Democrat Tom Ammiano of San Francisco said his proposal "omnibus cannabis bill" regulating the dispensaries of medical marijuana and all aspects of delivering the product to legal medicinal users.

This is no sweeping legalization bill; it's more of a tweaking of legislation that is in place but is very inconsistently interpreted and enforced.

Unfortunate sidenote here: Law Enforcement is the major problem here - I am certian others will disagree, of course, but law enforment attitudes vary greatly in the state, ranging form somewhat tolerant to 'ain't never gonna change'.

It's as if oppressing marijuana and the cannabis plant is a major part of what law enforcement exists to do.

And with over 800000 arrests each year it's hard to argue that it isn't Job # 1 with them.

I have gotten ahead of myself:

But as The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee reported Sunday, California's medical marijuana industry provides the state's lagging economy with approximately $1.3 billion in transactions, paying out hundreds of millions of dollars in salaries, rent and overhead costs.

Ammiano said because attitudes towards the medical marijuana industry vary in California from city to city, the Legislature needs to clarify the rules. The dispensaries are welcomed in some places and raided in others.

Inconsistent policing. Wastes time, money, agitates sick people.

And suppresses business:There are jobs to be created, economies to stimulate, and there's some real tax revenue to be had from legalization and regulation.

I don't believe it's all that much but is certainly something that should not be sneezed at or squashed just because of an arcane superstition ideology (as reefer madness is).If you are turning down a steady revenue stream in this economy, you must be daft.

The chief deputy district attorney in Sacramento County is apparently daft:

"I certainly would say we don't believe in retail sales," she said. "That's drug dealing. I don't care how it comes down to it. That's what it is."

Selling liquor is drug dealing but it is 'legal' and 'regulated' and the police get to have a big part in 'regulating' the 'drug'. Taxes are generated and paid, jobs are sustained, violent crime is thwarted.

Same goes for tobacco - you must know the drill by now.

Here's the deal with regards to law enforcement's non-stop opposition to reform: If cops stop arresting 800000 people a year for nothing, what will become of them and their budgets? (Just forget about the lure of forfeiture for the moment...)

That is pretty much the law enforcement objection to cannabis law reform. And THAT is an ugly attitude: let us keep arresting people for this so we can keep our jobs.

Reforming marijuana regulations and eliminating prohibition will create jobs, generate tax revenue, save millions and millions of dollars in law enforcement budgets, as well as choke out a considerable slice of the black market pie that illegal marijuana trafficking caused.

Democratic Talking Point
Democrats should be talking about this because it is full of win and they should conspire to take credit for it. Interested and bold Democrats can help more than they know SIMPLY by saying

It's time we discussed reforming those laws

You don't have to propose legislation right now. Just saying that we need to discuss this will be leadership enough at this point in time.

Many Thanks to Mr. Ammiano!

Originally posted to Toking Points Memo on Mon Feb 14, 2011 at 07:44 AM PST.

Also republished by DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform.

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