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From the Los Angeles Times:

Buoyed by the widely held belief that cannabis is California's biggest cash crop, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano contends it is time to reap some state revenue from that harvest while putting a damper on drug use by teens, cutting police costs and even helping Mother Nature.

"I know the jokes are going to be coming, but this is not a frivolous issue," said Ammiano, a Democrat elected in November after more than a dozen years as a San Francisco supervisor. "California always takes the lead -- on gay marriage, the sanctuary movement, medical marijuana."

Backers estimate that legalization could bring in more than 1 billion dollars in taxes each year, plus cut hundreds of millions from the state budget dedicated to enforcing the existing prohibition.

The cost of one ounce of marijuana would be boosted by about $50.

"Singer smoke it
And players of instruments too
Legalize it, yeah, yeah
That's the best thing you can do
Doctors smoke it
Nurses smoke it
Judges smoke it
Even the lawyers too"
-- Peter Tosh

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