Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

20120410_PK_POTCLUB_0627.JPGAfter legalizing medical pot back in 1996, California has lagged behind decriminalization standard-bearers such as Colorado and Washington state. Americans for Safe Access and its California counterpart are in Sacramento today, arguing for updated legal standards as part of their lobby day.

Bills of interest include Assembly Bill 473, which would establish a marijuana-regulation arm within the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and Senate Bill 283, which would keep people convicted of drug offenses from losing their eligibility for CalWORKs and CalFresh.

Separately, marijuana activists will be protesting a crackdown on dispensaries with a series of rallies across California. The demonstrations, organized by the Patient Advocacy Network, include a noon protest outside the Sacramento Federal Building. The cannabis confluence is apparently a coincidence -- Americans for Safe Access and the Patient Advocacy Network did not coordinate their efforts, a spokeswoman tells Capitol Alert.

Gov. Jerry Brown's decision to challenge the federal government over California's prison population is a "win-win" for the governor, Dan Walters says.

PEACE OFFICERS MEMORIAL: The California Peace Officers Memorial Foundation is holding a ceremony today to honor officers who have fallen in the line of duty. The service is this morning, near the California Police Officer Memorial off 10th Street. The memorialized officers are Deputy Robert Lee Paris Jr. of the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department and Officer Kenyon M. Youngstrom of the California Highway Patrol. Speakers at the ceremony will include Gov. Jerry Brown, Attorney General Kamala Harris, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, California Highway Patrol Commissioner Joseph Farrow and Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana.

LATINO SPIRIT AWARDS: The California Latino Legislative Caucus hosts its 12th annual Latino Spirit Awards celebration to honor leaders for the work in public service, film, athletics, literature and art. Honorees this year include former U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who previously served in both the state Senate and the Assembly. Click here to see the full list and their bios. They'll receive their awards on the Assembly floor.

MOTORCYCLE MANDATES: Bike enthusiasts from the American Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education are rolling into town today for a "motorcycle and freedom awareness" rally on the east steps at 11 a.m. (apparently we are in the midst of National Motorcycle Awareness Month). Expected attendees include Sens. Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar; Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield; Rod Wright, D-Inglewood; and Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres; as well as Assembly members Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks; Brian Jones, R-Santee; Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga; and Marie Waldron, R-Escondido.

EDUCATIONAL EXCHANGE: In honor of California-Mexico Advocacy Day, a delegation from our neighbors down south will be meeting with legislators today. In keeping with this year's theme of bolstering California and Mexico working together on higher education, Mexican higher education officials will be meeting with representatives from the University of California system and the Senate's Select Committee on California-Mexico Cooperation is holding a 3:30 p.m. hearing on educational exchanges.

PHOTO CREDIT: An employee collects money from customers after they bought marijuana at HopeNet in San Francisco. Paul Kitagaki Jr./ Sacramento Bee file, 2012



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