Welcome to our August archive of Essential Politics, our daily feed on California government and politics news. This year's legislative session closed out at the end of the month.
Take a look at some scenes from the legislative session captured by the L.A. Times.
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A bill to put an excise tax on medical marijuana in California was killed Thursday by a Senate panel after advocates for cannabis users said it would put a financial burden on patients.
The Senate Appropriations Committee shelved AB 2243 with knowledge that California voters will consider a 15% pot tax on Nov. 8 when they take up Proposition 64, which would also legalize recreational use of cannabis.
The legislation by Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) would have charged up to $9.25 per ounce of marijuana flowers, $2.75 per ounce of pot leaves and $1.25 per ounce of immature pot plants.
Wood said the funding is needed to help cover enforcement and environmental costs under a new system approved last year that will license the growing, transport and sale of medical marijuana.
The Assemblyman was baffled by the vote and seeking an explanation. "Something got in the way of good policy today, and I think we all deserve a real answer for what that was," Wood said.
Some in the marijuana industry said it was premature to approve a tax two years before the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation begins issuing licenses.
The measure was opposed by Americans for Safe Access and California NORML.
We generally oppose any excise tax that is going to be passed on to the patient,” Melissa Wilcox of Americans for Safe Access said after the vote.
The measure was shelved without comment, and Committee Chairman Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) did not return calls for an explanation.