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Odds on Pot-Taxing Bill Actually Passing

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As you might have heard by now, yesterday 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), and a move that could bring in $1 billion in tax revenue to our broken, drought-starved state, according to experts. Via the SF Examiner: "The legislation would be the first major shot at drug reform since 2004, when state Sen. John Vasconcellos, a staunch advocate of marijuana reform, left his post after term limits were imposed. Vasconcellos introduced numerous pieces of legislation aimed at deregulating marijuana and implemeting statewide standards for medicinal use." Could it actually happen? Perhaps, argues SF Chronicle blogger Joe Garofoli, who cites a Rasmussen Poll that says 40 percent of Americans support legalizing pot and 46 percent oppose. Most of those who support the initiative are younger, so perhaps it's just a waiting game till the older, more conservative population dies off (the same argument have been made about gay marriage ban). And as the Sacramento Bee's Dan Walters points out, legalizing weed would save us million of dollars in law enforcement, court and prison costs. And more via the LA Times: "Also in support of opening debate on the issue are San Francisco Sheriff Mike Hennessey and retired Orange County Superior Court Judge James Gray, a longtime legalization proponent. "I'm a martini guy myself," Ammiano said. "But I think it's time for California to . . . look at this in a truly deliberative fashion." [SFC/Examiner/SB/LAT]