Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill in California Must Wait Another Year
AB 2312, the medical marijuana regulation bill sponsored by San Francisco Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, will have to wait until next year for consideration. The bill passed the Assembly last month, but stalled in the Senate.
"I want the votes and I want the governor to sign this thing," Ammiano said. "It's still in play. We have some success under our belt and the best thing is the committee itself will now partner with me, they will help shepherd this." Now a Senate committee that deals with professional licenses will hold a hearing on the bill and study the issue further. Ammiano then plans on introducing a revised bill in 2013.
The current bill had been watered down some to secure passage in the Assembly, with restrictions on how cities could ban dispensaries being softened.
"In a sense, a lot of progress has been made, but we are also happy to go back to the drawing board to make sure we are all on the same page in terms of who this bill is supposed to help," said Kris Hermes, spokesman for the medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for safe Access.
Hopefully another year will gain enough support in both chambers of the legislature to get a solid bill passed and signed into law.
There are perhaps more than a million medical cannabis patients in California and they have the right to equal and fair treatment under state law. Federal law is another matter, and the feds will continue to do all they can to cripple the state’s medicinal marijuana industry.
But the least that state politicians can do is make sure there is a solid framework of clear rules and regulations for medical cannabis operators to exist under. And everything in a new bill should advance the goal of patients in the state having full and safe access to their medicine.