Cannabis users, meet Warren Furutani. Remove him from your Christmas card list.
Furutani is a colleague of Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, whose landmark legislation to legalize and tax marijuana for recreational and un-bankrupting the state purposes has its first hearing today at the Assembly’s Committe on Public Safety. Ammiano’s the chair of the committe; Furutani is one of its seven members, and on Friday, citing “constituent concerns,” Furutani withdrew his support for the bill.
That’s a disappointment, surely, as Furutani is a Democrat, represents an area where pot clubs are prevalent, and his committed support would have ensured the bill’s safe passage through the seven-member committee.
However, Ammiano staffers say there’s still enough votes to ensure the bill lives another day — just enough votes, in fact.
“We had thought Furutani was in play, rather than being an automatic no,” Ammiano spokesman Quintin Mecke said Monday. “But right now, we feel we have enough support to get out of committee.”
The bill, AB 390, has confirmed support from San Mateo County Assemblymember Jerry Hill, the East Bay’s Nancy Skinner, and late committee addition Jared Huffman (San Francisco’s Fiona Ma used to sit on the committee, but asked to be reassigned some months ago, Mecke said).
“But that being said, it’s hard to read the tea leaves in Sacramento,” Mecke said. “Much can change in 24 hours.”
Meaning Furutami could change his mind, yes — but who knows what other lobbying goes on in after hours in Sacramento’s mean streets? For that matter, is there a marijuana lobby? Do they wear hemp suits?
If you’ve nothing better to do today, see these and other questions laid to rest beginning at 9 a.m. on the Cal Channel.
Even if Ammiano’s bill gets out of this committee, there’s other bridges to cross before the bill can become law and potheads save California. Before AB 390 hits the Assembly floor for a vote, however, it’ll undergo scrutiny in the Committee on Health, cos, you know, when a medicine becomes a mere fun drug, there are health issues n shit.