There are a number of key pieces of legislation that will be considered by the California Legislator in the coming year. It is important to maintain a knowledge of these bills and their affect on current marijuana laws in the state.
Our Los Angeles marijuana lawyers are keeping tabs on four bills in particular and note that the public should be aware of the legislation as well.
Research suggests that citizen lobbyists are far more persuasive (up to six times more) than lobbyists who are paid. This means that citizen awareness and action is extremely important.
In response to marijuana advocacy groups, the California Assembly recently rejected a bill that would have made it more difficult for legal medical marijuana associations to operate in the state. The bill, AB 1588, would have increased the minimum distance of marijuana dispensaries from schools from 600 feet to 1000 feet. In addition, the bill would have increased the fine for violation of this law to $10,000.
This is an important victory for advocates and patients in California. However, the work of marijuana advocates its not done.
There are other troubling pieces of legislation in front of California lawmakers. One example is AB 2500 which would would make it illegal to be behind the wheel with any detectable amount of cannabis in your system; this is true even if there is no evidence at all that you are driving impaired. A similar bill was proposed last year and knocked down by marijuana supporters.
In addition, AB 604 would establish a new Division within California’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and task the division with enforcing and developing new regulations for medicinal marijuana activities. Although many marijuana advocates support common sense regulations there are some substantial problems with allowing the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to promulgate and oversee these rules.
AB 604 was initially brought to legislators in 2013, in a questionable fashion known as gut and amend. This method requires completely changing the language of another failed marijuana regulation bill and replacing it with the substance discussed above. The bill failed in 2013 and it needs to fail again in 2014.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.
AB 2500, February 21, 2014, Introduced by Assembly Member Frazier.
AB 604, February 20, 2013, Introduced by Assembly Member Ammiano.
AB 1262, February 21, 2014, Introduced by Senator Correa.
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