Pubdate: Fri, 8 May 2009
Source: Capital Weekly (Sacramento, CA)
Contact:  2009 Capital Weekly
Author: F. Aaron Smith


Dear Editor:

California voters are in no mood to approve the usual tactics of
borrowing and increasing sales taxes to mend the state's budget
mess. Recent Field Poll data not only predicts that Propositions 1A
through 1E are destined for defeat; it looks like voters are
strongly opposed to most other traditional revenue enhancement
proposals (Field Polls released April 29 and April 30, 2009).

There is one idea that resonates with a clear majority of California
voters: taxing and regulating marijuana. That's right, 56 percent of
voters support legally taxing the sales of marijuana to help raise
revenue for state programs -- that's more than twice the support for
increasing sales or gas taxes.

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, saw the need to think
outside the box for budget solutions when he introduced AB 390 -- the
Marijuana Control, Regulation and Education Act. By taking
California's largest cash crop out of the underground market and
strictly regulating and taxing it like alcohol, A.B. 390 will generate
a significant revenue stream for the state -- while significantly
de-fund criminal cartels.

Inevitably, we'll soon find ourselves in the same budget crisis mode
we were in a few months ago and lawmakers will be forced to make some
hard decisions while balancing the interests of their constituents
back home. It looks like one of the more politically popular choices
would be to get behind Ammiano's AB 390.

F. Aaron Smith, California Policy Director

Marijuana Policy Project 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake