Gavin Newsom to head Marijuana legalization panel
October 18, 2013
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom will head a panel studying marijuana legalization in California, with an eye toward drafting a measure for the 2016 presidential-year ballot.
The American Civil Liberties Union’s new panel will monitor marijuana issues in Washington and Colorado, two states that recently legalized marijuana. The panel is also slated to hold forums for policymakers and the public.
“Enough’s enough. I can’t sit back and support the status quo any longer,” Newsom told the San Jose Mercury News, citing the high prison and police costs associated with marijuana enforcement that disproportionately affects minority communities. “I don’t want to be the guy giving the speeches after I’m gone about what we should’ve and could’ve done.”
In 2010, Californians voted against legalizing marijuana. However, new polling shows 65 percent of Californians likely to vote for legalization in 2016.