By Tim Redmond
Assemblymember Tom Ammiano is finding that the moderate Democrats up in Sacramento can be just as annoying as the Republicans. Take two of his top priorities right now, a bill to force the BART police to adopt civilian oversight, and a measure to legalize marijuana.
The BART police measure is going to the Public Safety Committee, chaired by Jose Solorio, a moderate Democrat from Santa Ana.
Some of Ammiano’s Democratic colleagues are nervous about even bringing the bill up for a hearing. “They say is an incendiary situation, that even talking about this could cause riots. I’ve told them the opposite — that if there’s any whisper that we’re screwing around with this bill up here, that when the trouble is going to start.”
The pot bill is scheduled for a hearing in Public Safety March 31, and again, Ammiano worries that “they’re not taking it seriously.” They should — all the signs around the coutnry are changing. The federal government is going to stop chasing after medical pot clinics.
This is a way for the state, which is facing even more serious red ink than the governor admits, to bring in a billion dollars or so in taxes — not to mention the amount saved by not wasting police time (and jail space) on marijuana.