(Jan. 12, 2010) -- LB-area Assemblyman Warren Furutani (D., Carson-LB) broke with fellow Democrats on the Assembly Public Safety Committee this morning (Jan. 12) and voted against advancing a bill (AB 390) that would legalize and tax marijuana in California.
However, a Committee majority voted (4-3) to advance the bill to the Assembly's Health Committee.
The Committee majority's voted approval followed opposition testimony by several witnesses who spoke against the bill in unequivocal terms (audio excerpts below). Representatives of multiple law enforcement groups -- including the LB Police Officers Association -- also stated their opposition to the bill for the record.
Committee members spoke -- including Assemblyman Furutani -- who favored amending the measure into a "study bill" that could examine the impacts of legalizing marijuana.
But that wasn't the motion on the floor, which was to advance the measure to the Assembly's Health Committee...and the Public Safety Committee did so a 4-3 vote (with Assemblyman Furutani voting with two Repubs against doing so). It's currently unclear whether the Assembly Health Committee will hear and vote on the measure by a Friday (Jan. 15) deadline.
LBReport.com monitored online audio of the Assembly Public Safety Committee and provides extended salient excerpts on-demand below:
Action on the bill comes amid increased focus on marijuana-related issues.
In many CA cities, unregulated marijuana outlets (collectives and the like) have proliferated. LB's City Council (like L.A.'s City Council) is currently considering a proposed ordinance to regulate marijuana collectives...with City Attorney Bob Shannon's caveat that no city can regulate or legalizes marijuana sales or other actions that aren't legal.
City Attorney Shannon has previously noted that current CA law makes it difficult for cities to balance the competing interests of protecting the public while permitting (statewide voter authorized) access to marijuana for valid medical reasons but not authorizing its sale.
The City of Long Beach (by its City Council) has taken no position to date on AB 390.
To view video of all items discussed by the Public Safety Committee on Jan. 12, click here.