Ammiano Bill: Growing Pot Would No Longer Be Automatic Felony

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Turns out, you might not be considered a felon
Californians caught growing cannabis without a medical recommendation -- and indeed, some marijuana cultivators with medical recommendations -- are on their way to becoming felons. Law enforcement has no choice -- cultivation is a felony.

Although that could change under a new piece of legislation announced Wednesday morning by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco). Ammiano's bill -- AB 1017, would make marijuana cultivation a "wobbler" -- an alternate felony or misdemeanor. But there is a catch: It will be up to the district attorney to decide whether to charge someone with a felony or not.
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If you can't legalize it, defelonize it
That could be a problem if you have a DA who hates the shit out of marijuana.

Exactly how San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón feels on the matter is questionable.

When he was the Chief of Police not too long ago, he once told a crowd that marijuana is not medicine, yet it should be legal and taxed just the same. But as the newly minted District Attorney, he has brought charges against licensed medical pot growers.

Gascón staffers did not return phone calls seeking comment.

As to whether Ammiano can count on a co-sponsor in the state Senate, is unclear. Quintin Mecke, Ammiano's spokesman,  was on the telephone with "other media" when SF Weekly rang him Wednesday.

Cannabis advocates are thrilled; they view the bill as one more step toward marijuana legalization.

"I think you will find there are DAs who support this bill," said Dale Gieringer, executive director of California NORML, who shopped various versions of this bill around to lawmakers over the years. "The discretion is with the DA to do as he pleases, and that's the kind of thing DAs tend not to oppose."

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Leonard Krivitsky, MD
Leonard Krivitsky, MD

Great news! When we advocate against Cannabis prohibition, we must stress not just the “denial of good” which it entails, such as the remarkable medicinal properties of the plant, its violence-suppressing potential, or its ability to induce calm and relaxed state which is “worlds apart” from the effects of alcohol and many “legal” prescription drugs. Cannabis Prohibition is an unadulterated evil, as it pushes the people to engage in a dangerous substance use, such as the stories with alcoholic caffeinated drinks just explicitly demonstrated. The cruelty and senselessness of the prohibitionists have also been made obvious recently, when an Oklahoma mom received 10-year sentence for $31worth of Cannabis, when the medicinal Cannabis providers and patients continue to be raided and harassed. What more evidence of political piracy can be presented than when the dogmatic “politicos” want to directly trample the Will of Montana voters with respect to Medicinal Cannabis, which Citizens lawfully enacted in their state, or when Las Vegas police and DEA continue to harass the Medicinal Cannabis establishments? To what level of hypocrisy and spiritual degradation can one descend when the medicinal Cannabis patients are persecuted in the city where alcohol abuse and compulsive gambling are rampant?! My only hope in the midst of all this prohibitionist outrage is that its collapse is philosophically inevitable. In particular, when the DEA and its allies blackmail politicians into voting against Medicinal Cannabis, they do so on the basis of an unreal “entity”, the so-called “gateway drug” theory that is fully discredited by now as “half-baked”! How can our so-called “representatives” put important social programs on a “chopping block” because of the “budget crisis”, while these same people waste tens of millions of dollars on the so-called “marijuana enforcement”, opposed by most of this country’s voters! The Cannabis prohibitionists are guilty of crimes against humanity, and they will be called to answer for them sooner or later!

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