Two state legislators push for new pot laws, including restrictions on firing medical marijuana patients
The Legislature's two most marijuana-friendly lawmakers told activists gathered in Berkeley over the weekend that they are continuing to press for legislative changes in Sacramento.
State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) noted that he introduced a bill last week to prevent employers from firing most medical marijuana patients who test positive for the drug, and he pledged to reintroduce a bill to allow California farmers to grow industrial hemp.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) said he would try again to move his bill to legalize marijuana sales, but that he was also considering a piecemeal approach.
About 300 activists gathered for the conference Saturday sponsored by the California chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
The conference was aimed at reaching out and gathering support from marijuana-legalization activists and medical marijuana growers and dispensary operators for a new campaign to put a marijuana-legalization initiative on the California ballot.
Supporters of Proposition 19, which lost 54% to 46% in November, want to start drafting a new initiative in the spring and to complete it by July, turning then to the expensive and time-consuming task of building support and qualifying the measure for the November 2012 ballot.
-- John Hoeffel