NORML Is writing you today with good news from Sacramento. Over the past few days we have witnessed a flurry of legislative action pertaining to marijuana law reform — all of it positive. Let’s begin:
1. Assemblywoman Nora Campos has withdrawn legislation, AB 2465, which sought to mandate that state-qualified medicinal marijuana patients obtain a state-issued identification card. Under present law, patients may voluntarily obtain county-issued identification cards, but no such mandate exists in the language of Prop. 215. California NORML, among other groups, objected to AB 2465 on the basis that it infringed upon patients privacy and was likely unconstitutional.
2. On Thursday, April 19, Assemblywoman Norma Torres amended AB 2552 to remove language that initially sought to expose marijuana consumers to enhanced DUI penalties based solely upon the presence of THC in their blood. Assemblywoman Torres struck this language after representatives from the marijuana law reform community and the public roundly criticized the legislation as being discriminatory toward cannabis consumers, including those who use the substance therapeutically in compliance with state law. NORML and California NORML had argued that AB 2552 was unnecessary, unscientific, and would have exposed cannabis consumers to wrongful convictions. NORML wishes to thank those of you who took the time to contact your member of the Assembly to help us successfully derail AB 2552. You can read more about it here:
3. Earlier this week, the Senate Public Safety Committee approved Mark Leno’s bill SB 1506) to defelonize cases involving the simple possession of drugs (including hashish) to a misdemeanor offense. (Marijuana possession is already decriminalized under state law to a non-criminal infraction.) This measure is sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance, the ACLU, and is supported by California NORML.
4. Two separate bills seeking to clarify the production and distribution of medicinal cannabis under state law are moving forward in the legislature. On Tuesday, April 17, members of the Assembly Committee on Public Safety voted 4-2 in favor of AB 2312. The bill now awaits action from the Assembly Appropriations Committee. AB 2312 seeks to establish a state regulatory system for medical cannabis under the Dept of Consumer Affairs. The bill is based on the proposed Medical Marijuana Regulation Control and Taxation initiative drafted by Americans for Safe Access, the UFCW, California NORML, and other marijuana law reform organizations. Under this proposal, medicinal cannabis dispensaries would become state-licensed. It would also require cities and counties to allow at least one marijuana dispensary for every 50,000 residents – unless local voters specifically approve a ban or tighter restrictions.
Separate legislation in the Senate, SB 1182, will be heard before the Senate Committee on Public Safety this coming Tuesday, April 24. California NORML will be attending this hearing. SB 1182 seeks to bar from state prosecution those establishments that operate within the state Attorney General’s 2008 written guidelines for marijuana cooperatives and collectives.
Supporters of these measures believe they will provide operators, the public, and law enforcement with needed clarity regarding how and where these facilities may operate. Doing so will reduce the public’s confusion and limit expensive litigation. It may also limit the federal government’s ongoing interference in California’s medical marijuana operations.
You can read more about AB 2312 via NORML’s Take Action Center here:
You can learn more about SB 1182 here:
For more information on NORML’s pending marijuana law reform efforts in California, please visit: http://www.canorml.org.
The NORML Team
NORML and the NORML Foundation: 1600 K Street NW, Mezzanine Level, Washington DC, 20006-2832
Tel: (202) 483-5500 • Fax: (202) 483-0057 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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