Cops & Judges Support Calif. Assembly Marijuana Legalization Votes on Tuesday -- Law Enforcers Say Ending Prohibition Will Improve Public Safety

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On Tuesday, California state legislators will take historic votes on legalizing, regulating and taxing the sale of marijuana. A group of cops and judges who previously sent people to jail for marijuana offenses is supporting the legalization bill.

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The mere fact that there will be votes in the Assembly to regulate and control the sale and distribution of marijuana would have been unthinkable even one year ago. And if the bill doesn't pass this year, it will soon. Or, the bill will be irrelevant because the voters will have passed the measure to regulate and tax marijuana that will be on the ballot this November.

A group of police officers, judges and prosecutors who fought in the failed "war on drugs" is cheering this Tuesday's upcoming marijuana legalization votes in the California Assembly's Public Safety and Health committees as a sign of increasing public frustration with the harms caused by prohibition and the widespread desire for a new approach.

Judge Jim Gray, who retired last year from the California Superior Court in Orange County and is a speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) said, "The mere fact that there will be votes in the Assembly to regulate and control the sale and distribution of marijuana would have been unthinkable even one year ago. And if the bill doesn't pass this year, it will soon. Or, the bill will be irrelevant because the voters will have passed the measure to regulate and tax marijuana that will be on the ballot this November."

Judge Gray testified at an informational hearing on marijuana legalization in the Assembly's Public Safety Committee last October. Video is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDKarCeC_Ic

On Tuesday, January 12, the Public Safety Committee will conduct a formal hearing on Assemblyman Tom Ammiano's marijuana legalization bill, AB 390. Following the hearing the committee will vote and, if the bill is approved, there will then be a second hearing and vote in the Health Committee.

Separately, marijuana legalization advocates recently announced that they have collected enough signatures to place an initiative on the ballot this November that will allow California voters to end marijuana prohibition. Elsewhere, legislators in Washington State are also holding a hearing on marijuana legalization this week and the Rhode Island Senate is currently conducting a blue ribbon commission overview of that state's marijuana laws.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) is a 15,000-member organization representing police, prosecutors, judges, FBI/DEA agents and others from around the world who want to legalize and regulate all drugs after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence. More info available at http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com.

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