These are heady times for advocates of legalized marijuana
in California — and only in small part because of the newly relaxed
approach of the federal government toward medical marijuana.
State lawmakers are holding a hearing on Wednesday on the effects of a
bill that would legalize, tax and regulate the drug — in what would be
the first such law in the United States. Tax officials estimate the
legislation could bring the struggling state about $1.4 billion a year,
and though the bill’s fate in the Legislature is uncertain, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has indicated he would be open to a “robust debate” on the issue.