Technically one step closer… but in reality, not so much.
In a historic vote, a panel of California lawmakers Tuesday approved legislation to tax and regulate marijuana sales similar to how alcohol is sold.
But even while celebrating its passage, supporters of the bill acknowledged it would not become law this year.
Still, Stephen Gutwillig, California director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a pro-legalization group, called the vote the beginning of the end for marijuana prohibition in the country.
“This is not only the first time any legislative body in the nation has formally addressed ending decades of failed marijuana prohibition, but also actually voted to end it,” he said.
The Assembly’s public safety committee passed the bill 4-3 on Tuesday.
The committee’s vice chairman, Assemblyman Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills, called the legislation one of the worst bills he has seen the committee pass.
“It is astonishing in this day and age we could pass something this bad. It is a good sign of how far liberal this Legislature has become,” he said.
He blamed liberal members of the committee – four Bay Area Democrats – for the bill’s advancement.
But for the bill to go further, it would have to pass the health committee before Friday. That is considered an unlikely scenario, considering debate has not been scheduled.