Here is the rundown from MPP:
Senate supports downgrading marijuana posessionIn a 21-13 vote, the Senate approved S.B. 1449, which would reclassify possession of under an ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. The penalty would remain a $100 fine. Although this bill is a step in the right direction, there are some downsides to making possession an infraction. It would eliminate the right to a public defender and a jury by trial. However, if S.B. 1449 is enacted, it would save tax dollars by ensuring that people accused of simple possession would not have to appear before a judge. It would also save low-level marijuana offenders from having to bear a criminal record. The bill's sponsor - Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), a longtime champion of sensible marijuana policies - is now in the Assembly, and will soon be assigned to a committee. Please call your Assembly member in support of this bill.
Assembly votes to undermine safe access to medical marijuanaIn a 54-15 vote, the Assembly approved A.B. 2650, which would prohibit medical marijuana dispensing collectives from operating within 600 feet of a school. It will now move to the Senate. This bill, which is sponsored by Asm. Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), seizes the authority of local cities and counties to set their own standards for medical marijuana. In addition, any restrictions on collectives should be accompanied by clearer recognition for dispensaries. The Marijuana Policy Project and its allies have fought to make the bill less damaging. Originally, the buffer was 1,000 feet and several other locations were included. A.B. 2650 also now grandfathers in dispensaries that are in localities with pre-existing ordinances that are less strict.
Bill to allow medical marijuana paraphernalia dies in AssemblyA.B. 1811, sponsored by Asm. Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), was defeated 33-36 in the Assembly (12 members didn't vote). The bill would have allowed marijuana paraphernalia to be knowingly sold for the medical use of marijuana. Many items used for medical marijuana, such as vaporizers, have to be sold as tobacco products. Retailers are not permitted to supply information about how these products work with marijuana. Medical marijuana patients deserve to understand how to properly ingest their medicine.