The Judiciary committee approved a bill that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana yesterday, though the bill was amended several times before it finally passed. House Minority Leader Larry Cafero spoke to the committee, however, and made this argument:
“What is the message we as legislators will send to them when we decriminalize marijuana?” Cafero asked. By reducing the penalty for carrying marijuana to what amounts to a speeding ticket, he said the legislature is sending the wrong message.
“It’s not a matter of efficiency or money. It’s a matter of lives,” Cafero told the committee. (Stuart)
And yet this is a road I believe we’ll eventually have to travel down. Our current drug policies don’t actually work, we need to try a different approach. Is this bill part of a better solution?
The question is likely academic. The governor vetoed a medical marijuana bill last year, and there’s no reason to think she won’t veto this one, as well, should it pass.