Pubdate: Sun, 3 May 2009
Source: Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA)
Copyright: 2009 The Press Democrat
Author: F. Aaron Smith


EDITOR: The grim outlook for state and local budgets apparently has
Assemblywoman Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, feeling the need to advocate
for an extremely unpopular proposal to allow local governments to
increase taxes ("Scant public support for Evans' tax proposal," April

Instead of supporting unpopular taxes, Evans should sign on as a co-
sponsor to AB 390 by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco. This
legislation would legalize, tax and regulate California's biggest cash
crop: marijuana.

A Field Poll conducted in April indicated that Ammiano's plan is among
the most popular revenue-enhancement proposals being considered in
Sacramento. Fifty-six percent of Californians support legally taxing
marijuana to raise revenue for the state -- more than twice the number
of those who approve of raising sales or gas taxes and certainly more
than would support Evans' proposal.

There are many reasons to rethink our marijuana laws, and economics is
only one of them.

Evans has always been a clear-headed, forward-thinking leader, and
let's hope she continues in that vein by standing for sensible
marijuana policy and AB 390.

F. Aaron Smith

California policy director,

Marijuana Policy Project

Santa Rosa