Bill to Legalize Marijuana is Up In Smoke!

Religious Faithful, Law Enforcement and Activists Hail Victory

Jan 15, 2010, 15:01 ET from International Faith Based Coalition

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Legislature formally proclaimed Assembly Bill 390 "dead on arrival" today as lawmakers rejected an 11th hour plan to save it from demise.  Opponents of the measure hail the news as a resounding victory for the people of California.

"Tom Ammiano is trying to spin his committee's endorsement of the bill as a major breakthrough that will lead to a national legalization movement; yet his own colleagues in the Legislature are unwilling to take it any further than the seven-member Public Safety Committee," said an elated John Redman, executive director of Californians for Drug Free Youth (CADFY).  "In deciding not to advance this measure, the California Legislature recognized that AB 390 was bad public policy.  And, in spite of the four Bay Area legislators who voted for its passage in committee, the majority of lawmakers didn't even think the bill was worth taking up in subsequent committees or the Assembly floor."

Procedurally, the Assembly Health Committee had to act on AB 390 by today, January 15, 2010, to keep it alive.  Since members chose to miss that deadline, AB 390 will not reach the Assembly floor, effectively killing it.

"This victory is really for the children growing up in California's neighborhoods," said Bishop Ron Allen, founder and president of the International Faith Based Coalition, who admits to being led down a destructive path of cocaine addiction that started with marijuana.  "Our grassroots efforts paid off in reaching California voters to support our dream that our communities become free of drugs and are made safer for our kids."

"I nearly lost everything - my home, my family and my reputation - as a result of taking that first puff of pot, and I have lived to regret it every day," said Allen, who resides in drug-infested Oak Park, Sacramento.  "We've made it our mission to stamp out this destructive drug once and for all, and we will not relent until our work is finished."

As a recognized public safety expert and retired veteran CHP officer and assistant chief, Assemblymember Danny Gilmore (R-Hanford) voted against the bill.  "We're going to legalize marijuana and tax it and then use that money to educate our kids about the harms of drugs?  You got to be kidding me!"  

Added Redman, "Plain and simple, taxing marijuana is blood money. I think the Legislature came to its senses in realizing how ridiculous it would be to turn to drugs to balance the budget.  There are legitimate ways to get our economy moving again, and this is not one of them."

SOURCE International Faith Based Coalition