Assemblyman Ammiano is a former San Francisco supervisor and used his power in 2006 to make marijuana offenses a low priority for police.
Ammiano is very aware that the State of California is having trouble taxing or saving its way out of its economic mess. He thinks maybe we can smoke our way out of the problem. He wants to slap a tax, legalize and then tax the state's number one cash crop.
He wants to legalize the sale of it, the transportation of it and then tax it $50 for every ounce. No one under 21 would be allowed to purchase it and it would still be illegal to drive under the influence of it.
Ammiano says $1 billion could be raised every year by doing this. It would also save the state money in other ways.
"It would relate to saving a lot of money on law enforcement, on incarceration& It would also help the environment because as you know, rogue plantations of marijuana are not exactly eco-friendly," said Ammiano Monday.
The federal government might not be inclined to go along if this passes at the state level. That alone is a huge "if." In the past the feds have said growers and sellers would face prosecution if pot was legalized at the state level.
Ammiano advises taking a look at Prop 215 that legalized medicinal marijuana back in 1996. He says there are 100 million Americans who have smoked pot, so there may be some support out there.
Whether this all translates into legalizing marijuana in the State of California while adding money to the coffers still remains to be seen.
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