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Assembly Committee Approves Bill That Would Legalize Recreational Marijuana

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
An Assembly committee today (Tuesday) approved landmark legislation that would legalize and tax marijuana for recreational use in California. 

Capital Public Radio's Steve Shadley  reports...
Assemblymember Tom Ammiano says his bill treats marijuana much like alcohol and it would charge a 50-dollar tax on each ounce of pot sold in California. 

The San Francisco Democrat says the money is needed to help the state deal with its finanicial crisis...
Ammiano:  “That money would fund drug and alcohol programs statewide. The Board of Equalization has estimated that this bill would generate nearly one-billion dollars annually. Given the current budget crisis this source of revenue of course is very important...”   
Police officers and prosecutors oppose the measure. 

San Mateo Police Chief Susan Manheimer says legalizing pot would lead to more social problems... 
Manheimer:   “Because its legalized doesn’t mean the addicting properties won’t cause more crimes as people struggle to find the money to buy marijuana...”
If lawmakers don’t legalize marijuana, voters may have a chance to do so. 

Efforts are underway to get the issue on the statewide ballot later this year. 
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