Marijuana: Sign the bills, Gov. Brown

Ah, 1996. Clinton was in the White House, “Braveheart” won Best Picture — and California was the first state in the nation to pass a medical marijuana ballot initiative.

For some Californians — whether they were yet unborn, or whether their lives would be cut short in the 19 years of the War on Drugs before California’s lawmakers would get their act together and enact a regulatory regime for the medical marijuana marketplace their constituents had loosed upon the state — it was literally a lifetime ago.

But — for just over two weeks, now — legislation that will finally signal the beginning of the end of this legal limbo has sat on Gov. Brown’s desk, awaiting his signature. Together, as soon as they’re graced by the stroke of a gubernatorial pen, Assembly Bills 243 and 266 and Senate Bill 643 will help drag the marijuana industry — some of it kicking and screaming — at long last into the light.

“With this legislation, known as Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, the Wild West of the medical marijuana industry will be reined in, benefiting all of California,” writes Assemblyman Rob Bonta.

Some of you Humboldt County residents, having lived here in the “Wild West” since 1996, may be requesting a grain or two — or a truckload — of salt to help wash that down. But there’s more from Bonta, who, together with North Coast’s state Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood, helped craft the trio of bills now on Brown’s desk:

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