SACRAMENTO Apr 23. – The Assembly Public Safety Committee approved Tom Ammiano’s MMJ regulation bill AB 473 on a party line vote. The bill would create a new Division of MMJ Regulation and Enforcement in the Dept of Alcoholic Beverages Control to regulate commercial sales, production, manufacture, testing and transport for MMJ.
Testifying in favor were DPA, LEAP, and the CA Criminal Defense Attorneys. CRMM members ASA and Cal NORML also expressed support (qualified by concern about certain aspects of the legislation). Read CalNORML’s letter to the legislature on AB473.
Opposition was led by law enforcement. Speaking for the CNOA and Police Chiefs, John Lovell warned that the ABC had let liquor outlets proliferate in LA and that the same could happen w/ MMJ under AB 473.
Some patient advocates also voiced opposition, including Crusaders for Patient Rights director Lanette Davies, who expressed concern that small growers would be squeezed out by regulation.
AB 473 now goes to hearings before the Appropriations Committee before being voted on by the full Assembly.
Outside the Capitol, Sacramento NORML and ASA staged a rally against Sen. Correa’ “Zero-tolerance” DUI bill SB 289, which will be heard on April 30.