Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Marijuana Debate Begins in California

Powerful political and financial forces are beginning the campaign to legalize recreational use of marijuana in California in the 2016 presidential election. A new PPIC poll shows that support for legalization has climbed to 53 percent, an all-time high, although support has been above 50 percent since 2013.

Democrats favor legalization by 63 percent and Republicans oppose it by 54 percent. It has produced an early split among top Democrats, in spite of support from two-thirds of the rank and file. Governor Jerry Brown expresses reservation about legalization, but the current frontrunner to replace him in 2018, former San Francisco mayor and now lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom, is an avid supporter.

A new study of the challenge legalization of marijuana in California must address was just published. It includes a litany of issues the Colorado State Legislature has been working on starting in the 2013 session related to child safety, driving and taxation.

Contra Costa Time: Marijuana legalization in California: ACLU-Gavin Newsom panel releases road map on the issues
The Sacramento Bee: Gavin Newsom’s pot legalization panel identifies challenges
LA Times: Newsom, other supporters call for study before 2016 pot ballot measure
The Buzz: California ready for marijuana?

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