Effort to legalize recreational marijuana use gains ground in California - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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Effort to legalize recreational marijuana use gains ground in California

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  • Lawmakers hear testimony on legalizing pot

    Lawmakers hear testimony on legalizing pot

    (Marijuana seized from a grow operation in the 3900 block of Cedar in September 2009(Marijuana seized from a grow operation in the 3900 block of Cedar in September 2009
    OLYMPIA, Wash. - Lawmakers are set to hold a public hearing on a measure to legalize and regulate marijuana.>>
    OLYMPIA, Wash. - Marijuana advocates packed a public hearing to support changes in the state's drug laws. Lawmakers are considering two bills dealing with pot this year. One would legalize marijuana for those 21 and older, and regulate it like alcohol. Another would decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot for adults. The committee won't take action on the bills until next week.>>
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    SEATTLE, Wash. - Five activists have filed a ballot initiative that would legalize all adult marijuana possession in Washington state. Its sponsors include two Seattle lawyers as well as the director of Seattle's annual Hempfest. The group calls itself Sensible Washington, and says it's time that the state's government stop wasting money on police, court and jail costs for people who use or produce marijuana.>>
  • State considering legalizing marijuana

    State considering legalizing marijuana

    OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington is one of four states where measures to legalize and regulate marijuana have been introduced.>>
    OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington is one of four states where measures to legalize and regulate marijuana have been introduced. Bills were introduced in California and Massachusetts earlier this year and this month, New Hampshire and Washington state pre-filed bills in advance of their legislative sessions that begin in January. Marijuana is illegal under federal law.>>

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California will be ground zero this fall in a heated national debate about whether to legalize recreational use of marijuana.

Proponents argue that marijuana use is already widespread, and legalizing it would bring in much needed tax revenue for California's cash-strapped government.

Many lawmakers at the state capitol agree, having cast a largely-symbolic vote this month for a legalization bill that later died.

"Marijuana prohibition is not working," argues Aaron Smith of the Marijuana Policy Project. "Marijuana is everywhere in this state. One in ten Californians admit to having used it in the last year."

Opponents have promised an aggressive campaign of their own against the bill.

A coalition of law enforcement and church leaders are already pointing to Alaska's record.

When pot was legal there from 1978 to 1990 juvenile use skyrocketed.

They say they don't want the same thing to happen in California.

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