What's with the pot bill?

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By Tim Redmond

Sup. Tom Ammiano has a real simple measure coming to the board that ought to pass unanimously. It's worked fine in Berkeley for many, many years. It works fine in Seattle, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara. And yet, it faces what could be a tight board vote and a mayoral veto. Crazy.

What Ammiano wants to do is make enforcing the marijuana laws the city's lowest police priority. We're just talking about possession laws, not sales. The city's narcotics cops say it won't be a problem. It will just send a message to the chief and the street patrols that they should worry more about violent crime than about busting someone smoking a joint in the park.

So far, Ammiano can count Sups. Jake McGoldrick, Chris Daly, Ross Mirkarimi, Aaron Peskin, Gerardo Sandoval and himself in favor. That's six. But Mayor Newsom will probably veto it, so he needs two more.

Bevan Dufty and Sophie Maxwell really ought to get behind this.