Legislative News

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Current Actions – 2015

    March 1, 2015 – This year’s legislative agenda includes several bills to regulate commercial medical marijuana cultivation and sales in California. None of them have been finalized yet, and all could be substantially changed by gutting and amending. In addition other bills address cultivation and environmental issues, the use of E-cigarettes, organ transplants for medical marijuana users, drug testing for Uber drivers, sentence enhancement for butane oil manufacturing, and more.

    Past Actions – 2014

  • Medical Marijuana Regulation Bills Advance in CA Legislature
    April 23 – Two medical MJ regulation bills – SB 1262 by Sen. Lou Correa and AB 1894 by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano – passed their first committee hearings in the California legislature this week, heightening the likelihood that the legislature will finally pass some kind of comprehensive state legislation for the legal sales, production, distribution and manufacture of MMJ this year.
  • Zero-Tolerance DUI Bill Amended to Per-Se Limit; NORML Opposes – TAKE ACTION!
    Assembly Bill 2500 has been amended to impose ‘per se’ criminal penalties to individuals who drive with trace levels (2ng/ml or above) of THC or other controlled substances in their blood — regardless of whether he/she is behaviorally impaired. NORML and California NORML opposes the imposition of this legislation. Take Action on AB2500 Read Cal NORML’s testimony on AB2500
  • Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill Passes Senate Committee; Assembly Bill Up Tomorrow
    April 21 – SB 1262 (Correa), a bill introduced by the California Police Chiefs Association and the California League of Cites, passed the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee today in Sacramento and will next be heard in the Senate Health Committee.
  • Ammiano Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill Back in Assembly
    April 3 – Tom Ammiano has re-introduced his medical marijuana regulation bill under a new bill number, AB 1894. The new bill will be heard in the Assembly later this month, effectively replacing his other bill, AB 604, which had been pending in the State Senate.
  • Zero-Tolerance DUI Bill Re-Introduced
    March 2014 – For the second year in a row, a “zero-tolerance” drug DUI bill has been introduced to the legislature. The bill, AB 2500 by Assembly Member Jim Frazier (D-Oakley), would make it illegal to drive a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of THC or any other controlled substance in one’s blood.
  • Medical Marijuana Regulation Bills Introduced in Sacramento
    Regulation of the state’s medical marijuana industry tops this year’s legislative agenda for Cal NORML, as two different bills to regulate the industry have been introduced to the legislature
  • CA Hearings on AB 1588 (1000-foot school distance rule) set for March 11th
    March 5, 2014 – The California Assembly Public Safety Committee will be hearing AB 1588 (Conway) on March 11th. The bill would expand the minimum distance of dispensaries or collectives from schools to 1,000 feet from the present 600 feet.
  • Past Actions – 2013

  • California Senate Approves Industrial Hemp Bill
    Sept. 12 – The State Senate unanimously passed Sen. Mark Leno’s industrial hemp bill, SB 566.
    Sept. 9 – The California legislature is about to vote on urgently needed legislation that would clarify the legality of medical marijuana sales, production, transportation, processing and testing through a state-regulated licensing system.
  • Mixed Legislative News in Sacramento
    August 14 – The California legislature delivered good and bad news for marijuana advocates after activists walked the State Capitol for a medical marijuana lobbying day this Monday.
  • CA Bill Against E-Cigarettes Harmful to Consumer Health: SB 648 Would Restrict Use of Medical Marijuana Vaporizers by Prop 215
    July 16 – The California legislature is considering a bill that would ban the use of e-cigarettes and similar smokeless vaporizers in areas where tobacco smoking is banned.
  • California Senate Unanimously Approves Industrial Hemp Bill
    May 30 – Just in time for Hemp History Week, the California Senate approved Mark Leno’s industrial hemp bill, SB 566, on a 39-0 vote.
  • Ammiano Bill AB 473 Passes Appropriations Committee, Stalls on Assembly Floor
    May 30 – The Assembly Appropriations Committee approved Rep. Tom Ammiano’s medical marijuana regulation bill AB 473 with amendments on labeling and local zoning. However, the bill stalled on the Assembly floor. Rep. Ammiano has vowed to continue the fight.
    May 20 – The California Senate approved a bill to clarify the state’s law protecting medical marijuana collectives. The bill, SB 439 by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (Sacramento), protects collectives and cooperatives that operate in compliance with the Attorney General’s guidelines, and makes it clear that their workers can receive compensation for their labor and expenses.
  • CA State Senate Committee Approves Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill; Balks at Correa Zero-Tolerance Drug DUI Bill
    April 30 – The State Senate Public Safety Committee approved Sen. Steinberg’s bill to regulate medical marijuana, SB 439, and refused to pass Sen. Correa’s “zero-tolerance” drug DUI bill, SB 289.
  • MMJ Regulation Bill AB 473 (Ammiano) approved by committee
    SACRAMENTO Apr 23. – The Assembly Public Safety Committee approved Tom Ammiano’s MMJ regulation bill AB 473 on a party line vote. The bill would create a new Division of MMJ Regulation and Enforcement in the Dept of Alcoholic Beverages Control to regulate commercial sales, production, manufacture, testing and transport for MMJ.
  • Californians Rally Against Zero-Tolerance DUI Bill
    April 23 – “I hope everybody realizes that this bill, SB289, is basically a crime creation program,” CalNORML director Dale Gieringer said. “It would take thousands and thousands of perfectly safe drivers who happen to have the technical amounts of unprescribed drugs–particularly marijuana–in their bloodstream, and consider them automatically impaired or under the influence.”
    3/15/2013 – Hearings on Sen. Correa’s zero-tolerance DUI bill SB 289 have been set for April 23rd before the State Senate Public Safety Committee. The bill would outlaw driving with ANY detectable amount of marijuana or other controlled substances in the blood.
  • Two Industrial Hemp Bills Introduced in California
    February 26 – There appears to be an excellent chance that the California legislature will once again pass hemp legislation this year, as two bills to legalize production of industrial hemp have been introduced in the CA legislature.
  • Past Actions – 2012

  • California Senator Leno Sponsors Bill to Clarify SB 420 and Medical Marijuana
    April 11, 2012 – Sen. Mark Leno is sponsoring a bill, SB 1182, which would clarify SB 420 so as to make it clear that entities acting consistent with the Attorney General’s August 2008 guidelines may legally sell, cultivate, process, transport, etc. medical marijuana.

  • Cal NORML Opposes Zero-Tolerance DUI Bill
    March 20, 2012 – A bill to establish a “zero-tolerance” DUI standard for marijuana has been introduced to the legislature by Assemblywoman Norma Torres (D-Pomona). The bill, AB 2552, would make the presence in blood or urine of any non-zero amount of cannabinoids (the distinctive ingredients of marijuana) presumptive evidence of driving under the influence. Included would be not only synthetic cannabinoids but also non-psychoactive metabolites, which can reside in the system for weeks after last use. California NORML strongly opposes the bill. UPDATE 4/10/12 – Zero-Tolerance DUI Bill Amended to Apply to Non-Medical Controlled Substances

  • CalNORML Opposes MMJ Patient Registration Bill
    SACRAMENTO – Nora Campos (D-San Jose) has filed a bill to require that all medical marijuana patients in California register with the state. The bill, AB 2465, is sponsored by the Police Officers’ Research Association of Cal, which wants to make it easier for police to distinguish between illegal and legal marijuana users. Cal NORML strongly opposes the bill, as it infringes on patients’ right under Prop 215 to legally possess and cultivate marijuana given a physician’s written OR oral recommendation.

  • Medical Marijuana Advocates Organize to Regulate MMJ Sales and Production
    A comprehensive bill to regulate sales and production of medical marijuana, AB 2312, has been introduced by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-SF). The bill is based on a proposed ballot initiative, the Medical Marijuana Regulation Control and Taxation Act (www.regulatemarijuana.org) developed by a coalition of advocates including ASA, the UFCW, California NORML, the California Cannabis Association, the Emerald Growers Association, and others. California NORML supports AB 2312, while being concerned about the danger of hostile amendments from the legislature, whose mood has not been friendly to marijuana.

  • CalNORML Supports Driving Privileges Bill
    AB 2600 by Chris Norby (R-Fullerton) would prevent the DMV from revoking a person’s driving privileges for simple possession of one ounce or less of marijuana. At present, such a suspension is required if use of a motor vehicle was involved with or incidental to the offense.

  • CalNORML Monitors Parental Rights Bill
    As introduced, Assembly Bill 2365, by Assemblyman Brian Nestande (R-Palm Desert), would have required that family courts consider parents’ use of prescribed controlled substances, including medical marijuana and narcotic maintenance medications, in child custody proceedings. CalNORML received assurances from Assemblyman Nestande’s office and the Assembly Judiciary Committee that the reference to medical marijuana would be removed from the bill, and it was. Read CalNORML’s letter on AB2365.

  • CalNORML Supports Possession Decrim Bill
    Read CalNORML’s letter in support of SB1506 (Leno).

    Past Actions – 2011

  • Gov. Brown Signs Blumenfeld Bill
    August 31 – Governor Jerry Brown has signed AB 1300 (Blumenfeld), a bill to allow local regulation of medical marijuana collectives and cooperatives.
  • CA Assembly Approves Medical Marijuana Dispensary Zoning Bill
    The CA Assembly approved Sen. Correa’s bill SB 847 to prohibit the location of dispensaries near residential zones by a vote of 68-5.
  • Reform Bills Stall in Sacramento
    June 9, 2011 – In a difficult session for marijuana advocates, the California legislature failed to approve key bills to protect medical marijuana employees’ rights and to decrease cultivation penalties, while advancing legislation to tighten regulation of dispensaries.
  • CA Assembly Rejects Bill to Reduce MJ Cultivation Penalties
    June 3 – Despite a mandate to reduce the state’s prison population, the California Assembly rejected Assemblyman Tom Ammiano’s bill AB 1017 to reduce marijuana cultivation penalties. THIS BILL WILL BE UP FOR A RE-VOTE IN JANUARY 2012
  • Legislative Alert – Medical Marijuana Collective Bill AB 1300
    April 13, 2011 – A bill to allow local regulation of medical marijuana collectives and cooperatives has been introduced by Assemblyman Blumenfield (AB 1300).
  • California Medical Marijuana Employment Rights Bill Approved by Senate Committee
    April 5 – Legislation to prevent employment discrimination against medical marijuana patients, and continue to guard against impairment at the workplace, passed the California Senate Judiciary Committee today.
  • Vote Delayed on SB 129 – MMJ Employment Rights Bill
    SACRAMENTO, March 29 – The California Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings today on Mark Leno’s bill to protect employment rights for medical marijuana users, SB 129, but the vote was delayed for another week due to illness of a committee member.
  • Key Pot Bills Introduced in Sacramento: Employment Rights, Cultivation Decrim, MMJ Regulation on the Table
    CalNORML Reports, March 2011 – Several important cannabis reform bills have been introduced to the California legislature. They include protecting Prop 215 patients from workplace discrimination, reducing cultivation penalties, legalizing industrial hemp, and establishing full-scale medical marijuana licensing schemes.
    February 23 – Sponsored by Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster, Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) has introduced a bill, AB 1017, which would change section 11358 of the Health and Safety Code from a mandatory felony penalty to an alternate felony or misdemeanor, known as a “wobbler”.
  • Medical Marijuana Employment Bill Announced at CalNORML Conference
    January 31 – Before hundreds of attendees at the California NORML statewide “Next Steps” conference on Saturday, January 29, Senator Mark Leno (SF) announced he has re-introduced his bill to end employment discrimination against medical marijuana users.
  • 2010

    Sept. 30 – A bill to downgrade the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana from a misdemeanor to an infraction was signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • Bill Bans Collective Operations Within 600 Feet of Schools
    Sept. 30 – Gov. Schwarzenegger signed bill AB 2650 (Buchanan), which prohibits medical marijuana collectives from operating within 600 feet of a school as of Jan 1, 2011.
  • CA Assembly Approves Bill to Downgrade MJ Possession to an Infraction
    Aug. 30. 2010: The California state Assembly voted 43-33 to approve Sen. Mark Leno’s bill SB 1449 downgrading petty marijuana possession from a misdemeanor to an infraction. The bill passed thanks to support from the CA district attorneys and courts; similar legislation had been voted down by the Assembly three times in the past. Read more.

    CA Assembly Rejects Medical Marijuana Resolution SJR 14
    Aug. 30, 2010: In a disappointing display of legislative perversity, the California Assembly rejected State Senator Mark Leno’s medical marijuana resolution SJR 14. The Assembly may still have a chance to revisit the resolution in the coming extraordinary session. Read more.

    Watered-Down Dispensary Bill Passes Assembly
    June 4, 2010 – The California Assembly has passed a bill, AB 2650, that bans dispensaries within 600 feet of schools. Thanks to lobbying by MMJ advocates, the bill was greatly watered down from an earlier version which would have banned them within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, libraries, religious institutions, child care or youth centers, or other dispensaries.

    Marijuana Legalization Bill AB 2254 Submitted to Cal Legislature
    Feb 18, 2010 – Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has re-submitted his bill to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in California. The new bill, AB 2254, the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act of 2010 is identical to its predecessor AB 390, which was approved by the Public Safety Committee in January. Ammiano has announced the bill is back-burnered, pending the outcome of the TaxCannabis 2010 ballot initiative in November.

    AB 1811 (Ammiano) to legalize paraphernalia in California if used for medical marijuana
    California NORML endorsed AB1811. Read endorsement letter.
    The bill passed the Assembly Public Safety committee on March 23 by a vote of 5-2, with all Democrats voting yes and all Republicans no.

    On June 2, 2010, Gov. Schwarzenegger’s office announced its opposition to AB 1811, killing any chance that the bill will be passed by the Assembly this year. In a letter the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research explained, “The bill is unnecessary, as current law already provides protections for people prescribed medicinal marijuana. Drug paraphernalia is currently equipment used only ‘in violation of this division’ and prohibits acts ‘except as authorized by law.'” Despite this, however, Cal NORML continues to hear reports of medical marijuana patients cited for possessing paraphernalia.

    Historic Legalization Vote in CA
    Jan 12, 2010. In a historic vote, the Assembly Public Safety Committee voted 4-3 to approve Tom Ammmiano’s bill to legalize and regulate marijuana, the first time a legislative body has ever voted to repeal MJ prohibition. Read more.

    Ammiano Bill to Tax and Regulate Marijuana Would Raise Over $1 Billion for State
    February 23, 2009 – At a press conference today, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-SF) announced the introduction of AB390, The Marijuana Control, Regulation and Education Act, a landmark bill to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol and tobacco. Read more.

    July 21, 2009 – The State Senate Judiciary Commitee approved Mark Leno’s resolution SJR 14 calling for federal recognition of Cal’s medical marijuana laws by a vote of 7-3. The vote was along party lines, with Democratic Senators Alquist, Cedillo, DeSaulnier, Leno, Pavley, Wolk and Negrete-McLeod voting aye, and Repbulicans Strickland, Aanestad and Cox voting Nay. “Moderate” Republican Abel Maldonado was absent for the vote. As usual, the GOP remains stoutly in favor of big federal government over personal freedom and state’s rights when it comes to drugs.

    August 24, 2009 – The California Senate passed SJR14 by a vote of 23-15.

    AYES: Alquist, Calderon, Cedillo, Corbett, DeSaulnier, Ducheny, Hancock, Kehoe, Leno, Liu, Lowenthal, Negrete McLeod, Oropeza, Padilla, Pavley, Price, Romero, Simitian, Steinberg, Wiggins, Wolk, Wright, Yee

    NOES: Aanestad, Ashburn, Benoit, Cogdill, Correa, Cox, Denham, Dutton, Harman, Hollingsworth, HuffRunner, Strickland, Walters, Wyland



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