Marijuana Reform Bills Advance in California Legislature

SACRAMENTO – The state Assembly voted 41-33 to approve a bill by Asm. Reggie Jones-Sawyer (AB 1578) barring California law enforcement officials from cooperating with federal officials seeking to interfere with California’s marijuana laws. The bill’s sponsor Asm. Reggie Jones-Sawyer spoke at the ASA / Cal NORML lobby day on June 5 and enjoined the crowd to contact their state Senators to support the bill. Take action on AB 1578

With the deadline for passing bills out of their house of origin at hand, two other measures backed by cannabis advocates passed the Assembly: AB 64, Asm. Bonta’s reform package that fills gaps in current medical and non-medical regulations; and AB 1410 by Asm. Wood, allowing licensed growers to pay their cultivation tax through distributors.

A bill opposed by cannabis advocates also passed the Assembly: AB 62 by Asm. Wood, which would ostensibly ban smoking of tobacco products in public housing but would also ban vaping and smoking of marijuana, medical and otherwise, leaving patients with no place to legally partake of their medicine.

In the Senate, a bill by Sen. Jerry Hill (SB65) re-affirming infraction penalties for driving while using marijuana (less serious than DUI) was unanimously passed after being amended to address objections by cannabis advocates.

About 200 Californians attended Citizen Lobby Day,, meeting with elected representatives and staff to lobby for employment rights, access to cannabis by pain patients on opioids, and fair taxation and regulation of cannabis. Asm. Jones-Sawyer was honored for his sponsorship of AB 1578. (Pictured: Senator Skinner with some of her constituent lobbyists.)

Did your Assemblymember vote in favor of AB 1578 to protect state-legal marijuana from federal enforcement? Write to thank them or express your disapproval. Find your representatives here.

The vote was on party lines with Democrats in favor and Republicans against, except where noted:

Ayes: Aguiar-Curry, Berman, Bloom, Bocanegra, Bonta, Burke, Calderon, Chiu, Cooley, Dababneh, Daly, Eggman, Friedman, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gipson, Gloria, Gomez, Gonzalez Fletcher, Gray, Holden, Jones-Sawyer, Kalra, Lackey (R-Palmdale), Levine, Limón, Low, McCarty, Mullin, Nazarian, O’Donnell, Quirk, Rendon, Reyes, Rubio, Santiago, Mark Stone, Thurmond, Ting, Weber, Wood,

Noes: Acosta, Travis Allen, Arambula (D-Fresno), Baker, Bigelow, Brough, Caballero (D-Salinas), Cervantes (D-Corona), Chávez, Chen, Cooper (D-Elk Grove), Cunningham, Dahle, Flora, Fong, Frazier (D-Fairfield), Gallagher, Grayson (D-Concord), Harper, Irwin (D-Oxnard), Kiley, Maienschein, Mathis, Melendez, Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), Obernolte, Patterson, Quirk-Silva (D-Buena Park), Ridley-Thomas (D-LA), Salas (D-Bakersfield), Steinorth, Voepel, Waldron

No Votes Recorded: Chau (D-Monterey Park), Choi (R-Irvine), Chu (D-Milpitas), Mayes (R-Rancho Mirage), Medina (D-Perris), Rodriguez (D-Chino)

Take action on AB 1578 in the Senate

Stay Informed! Join California NORML’s Email Alert List