SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — A bill aimed at bringing order to California’s medical marijuana economy has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

Legislation to create statewide regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries passed the Assembly’s public safety committee Tuesday by a 4-to-2 vote along party lines. It was proposed by San Francisco Democrat Tom Ammiano.

Medical marijuana advocates argued that the bill’s provisions to regulate pot dispensaries would give clarity to law enforcement, local officials and patients.

Law enforcement groups against the bill said it was too open-ended and would interfere with the right of local governments to regulate medical marijuana as they saw fit.

The bill explicitly pre-empts California’s current patchwork of local regulations in favor of statewide rules.

After Tuesday’s passage, it goes next to the Assembly appropriations committee.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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