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California Assemblyman introduces a bill to legalize Marijuana

California is broke. Seriously broke.
So broke that it’s issuing IOU’s to its residents instead of tax refunds.
Apparently we’re 42 billion in the hole.
Now I’ve never really looked into how state or federal budgets really work, and I really have no idea if it’s even possible to recover enough money to fix a problem that large. It all looks pretty hopelessly fucked up me. At the very least we have to seriously rethink how we’re getting by both as a state and as a nation. It’s pretty obvious to anyone paying attention that the way we’re operating right now is just a mess. We’ve clearly got to think outside the box, and that is exactly what Assemblyman Tom Ammiano is proposing we do. He introduced a bill Monday morning that would legalize Marijuana in California and tax it to the tune of 1 billion dollars of revenue for the state per year.

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2009/02/get_up_stand_up_ammiano_introd.php

The exact wording of what the bill proposes is this: “”Remove all penalties under California law for the cultivation, transportation, sale, purchase, possession, and use of marijuana, natural THC and paraphernalia by persons over the age of 21,” “prohibit local and state law enforcement officials from enforcing federal marijuana laws”

Pretty fucking ground breaking shit. Can it actually be passed? I have no idea.
I don’t understand any of that shit. All I know is that Tom Ammiano is a bad motherfucker, and that we need more assemblymen like him. What he’s doing is making sense of a highly charged issue, and I think he couldn’t have picked a perfect time.
Marijuana is the #1 cash crop when compared to the average production values of other crops in the united states at over 36 billion dollars a year in sales, and all that shit is under the table and un-taxed. That’s a lot of money the state and local government is missing out on, and in this day and age they simply can’t afford to keep it illegal.

If there’s anything good coming out of this fucked up economic situation we’re in, at least it’s forcing people to look at marijuana as a source of possible revenue for the state, instead of just a source of revenue for private prisons, which it is now. Some sources online list non-violent drug offenders as constituting over 20% of the federal prison population, with a large percentage of those being in jail for marijuana.
That’s completely and totally insane in an informed culture like the United States of America in 2009.
This isn’t 1930, and you can’t hide from the facts anymore.

Cigarettes kill over 400,000 people a year in this country alone.
Alcohol kills over 75,000.
150 people die all over the world each year because coconuts fall on their fucking heads.

Marijuana? 0.

That’s 0 EVER.

The estimated amount of Marijuana that you would have to smoke to kill yourself is somewhere around 1,500 pounds. That’s all just an estimate really, because researchers have never been able to successfully give an animal enough pot to kill them.
There are a lot of horrible, evil drugs out there in this world that can ruin a person’s life and tear families to pieces when one of its members is caught in it’s ruthless clutch and they should be eradicated from our society.
Marijuana isn’t one of them.
It’s time to finally end all this stupid shit and let grown adults have the freedom to choose what experiences they’re going to have.
That’s really what it boils down to at the end of the day; it’s just an experience. If it’s not going to kill you, what is it going to do? It’s going to give you a very particular experience that you’re not going to find any other way.
It’s a plant that gives you a different perspective. It’s a turbo charger for your imagination, it soothes pain and calms nerves, it makes sex feel 100 times better, it makes you more compassionate and more affectionate, it connects you to nature in a way that makes you feel like you’re seeing the world for the very first time, it’s the source of 99% of the comedy I write, and it’s never killed a single person EVER.

All that, and if they catch you with it they can lock you in a cage. If that’s not fucked, I don’t know what is.
It seems like a frivolous issue, but I truly believe that legalization would completely change the direction of our society.
Marijuana’s effects promote compassion and an appreciation for your fellow man.
If there’s ever a time when we need something like that, now is it.

The New Jersey State Senate passed a medical marijuana bill on Monday as well.
It now moves on to be heard by the Assembly.
Shit is changing people, right before our eyes. I think someday in the future children will study this culture that we have today and laugh at us the same way we laugh when we read about people that thought the world was flat.