California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says "it's time for debate" about whether to legalize and tax marijuana, as Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) has proposed.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has upheld the 10-year sentence given to Brian Epis, the first man prosecuted in federal court for growing medical marijuana after California voters approved Proposition 215, which allowed patients with doctor's recommendations to use the drug and grow it for their own use. Epis, who was convicted of growing 1,000 plants within 1,000 feet of a school, said the marijuana was for him and four other patients. He argued that his sentence was unjust because he believed he was acting within the law. The 9th Circuit said he should have known that his operation had implications for interstate commerce, the excuse the Supreme Court cited when it upheld federal efforts to suppress medical marijuana use in states where it's legal. But that would have required some prognostication on his part, since that ruling came eight years after he was arrested.
Last month I noted that Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) also is ready to talk about legalizing pot.
[Thanks to Tom Angell for the Schwarzenegger tip.]