I'd love to write the authoritatively suggestive lede to the story that California could be on the verge of legalizing marijuana, but Jim Sanders of the Miami Herald beat me to the punch:
Legislation to make California the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use lit up a Capitol committee hearing Wednesday with three hours of lively but mellow debate.
No joint consensus was reached.
Dude, that is some seriously good stuff. But seriously, legalizing pot is a good idea for California.
There are plenty of good legalization arguments which I unpacked in detail here, but to review they include: 1) A small tax could raise more than a billion dollars for the state while expanding civil liberties; 2) It's weird to spend so many man-hours trying to prevent an activity that isn't very dangerous; 3) Law enforcement officials could be dispatched to more important beats, like the border or inner cities; 4) Everybody in Los Angeles was already inventing "medical" reasons to grab their marijuana cards anyway so we might as well tax them for their lies; 5) If West coast folk want to smuggle some across state lines ... tourism! (thanks for that one, mgoodfel).
For more excellent reasons why California should be the first state to legalize toking, read this Jeremy Singer-Vine article from Slate.