DRCNetDrug Reform Coordination Network


ALERT: Smoke-A-Joint,
Lose Your License Vote Coming Up

The two houses of the California state legislature are at odds over whether to opt-out of the unfunded federal mandate "Smoke-A-Joint, Lose Your License" or to extend it indefinitely. Under this policy, possession of any quantity of marijuana requires at least a 6-month drivers license suspension, whether or not a motor vehicle was involved.

Since March 1st, California has been in violation of federal law by not passing one option or the other, and stands to lose $92 million in federal highway aid if it doesn't pass one soon. DRCNet opposes "Smoke-A-Joint, Lose Your License" and urges reformers to call, fax or write their legislators and ask them to pass an opt-out bill.

SB131, in the State Senate, would opt-out. AB74, however, has passed the Assembly and would extend the policy indefinitely. Last Monday, the Senate voted on SB131 as an emergency measure, requiring a two-thirds majority to go into effect immediately. It failed with a vote of 23-14, but could still be passed effective 1/1/98. Another possibility is that the legislature will pass both SB131 and AB74, in which case the Governor will sign AB74, making "Smoke-A- Joint, Lose Your License" permanent. The most ominous possibility is that AB74 will pass with a two-thirds majority, going into effect immediately. What is virtually certain is that the legislature will pass one of the two.

Please call or write your State Senators NOW and ask them to oppose AB74 and support SB131. You can reach your Senator (or find out who your Senator is) by calling the legislature's main number at (916) 322-9900 during office hours. You can also look up your Senators' direct numbers at http://www.sen.ca.gov/www/leginfo/finger.html or view a list at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/sen-addresses.html on the California Senate web site.

Please help us kill "Smoke-A-Joint, Lose Your License" once and for all.

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