The following message was submitted by Jim Rosenfield, a California activist who works with Clifford Schaffer and Judge Gray on the Hoover Resolution, H.R. 3100, and other activist projects.
Please let me know if you are a California drug policy activist and if you'd like to join in working on statewide issues. Specifically, let me know if you are taking action on this appeal.
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LEGISLATIVE ALERT for CALIFORNIA ACTIVISTS
GOV WILSON PRESSES FOR "SMOKE A JOINT, LOSE YOUR LICENSE"
************ EMERGENCY **************
********** STOP AB 79X NOW ***********
Gov. Wilson has just re-introduced his bill to require a six-month driver's license suspension for all drug offenses, including possession of pot, whether or not the offense is driving-related.
The bill, AB 79X (by Ass. Robert Frazee) will be heard by the Assembly Transportation Committee on APRIL 11. Please write, call or fax the committee members and urge them dis-approve AB 79X.
Ass. Richard Katz, Chairman (Panorama City)
Tom Umberg (Santa Ana - the Dem. candidate for state Attorney General)
Barbara Lee (Oakland)
Martha Escutia (Huntington Park)
Robert Frazee (Carlsbad)
Jan Goldsmith (Poway)
Jim Costa (Fresno)
Dan Hauser (Arcata)
Kathleen Honeycutt (Hesperia)
Betty Karnette (Long Beach)
Pete Knight (Palmdale)
Juanita McDonald (Carson)
Bruce McPherson (Santa Cruz)
Grace Napolitano (Norwalk)
Ted Weggeland (Riverside)
Address to: Assemblymember___, State Capitol, Sacramento 95814.
AB 79X is designed to put the state in compliance with a federal law (PL101-516, co-sponsored by Pete Wilson when he was Senator), aimed at rolling back marijuana decriminalization. Under this law, states must either enact "Smoke a Joint, Lose Your License" OR ELSE pass a specific resolution to opt out of it. If the state does neither it loses federal highway funds.
According to the law, both the Governor and legislature must agree. Two years ago, the legislature unanimously passed a bill opting out of driver's license suspensions for non-driving related offenses, but Gov. Wilson vetoed it, demanding "Smoke a Joint, Lose Your License" instead. As a result, California stands to lose $51 million per year in highway funds.
Opponents have argued that "Smoke a Joint Lose Your License" is irrational, and would cost the state tens of millions of dollars in extra court and enforcement costs by forcing minor offenders into court to defend their licenses. So far, the legislature has refused to cave in to Wilson; this time, however, the bill is being heard by the more conservative Transportation Committee, instead of the Public Safety Committee and has a good chance of being approved.
For more info, contact California NORML: (415) 563-5858.
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