On the day that a hearing for a bill to legalize marijuana in California is being heard, the New York Times delves into the issue of whether or not legalization may happen and well, the paper makes it seem like it could. The biggest obstacle remains the Department of Justice, which may have announced it'll no longer prosecute medical marijuana users, but "have also made it clear that their tolerance stops at recreational use," according to the paper. Nevertheless, the pro-pot masses are forming. "Proponents of the leading ballot initiative have collected nearly 300,000 signatures since late September, supporters say, easily on pace to qualify for the November 2010 general election. Richard Lee, a longtime marijuana activist who is behind the measure, says he has raised nearly $1 million to hire professionals to assist volunteers in gathering the signatures. 'Voters are ripping the petitions out of our hands,' Mr. Lee said." Meanwhile, the bill referenced is San Francisco-based Assemblyman Tom Ammiano proposed AB 390, a motion to legalize and tax marijuana in California (like alcohol, it would be available to only those 21 and older). According to CBS5, today's hearing is an "informational session to review recent developments in the general field of marijuana legalization, Ammiano spokesman Quintin Mecke said."
· Push to Legalize Marijuana Gains Ground in California [NY Times]