Gavin Newsom to head Marijuana legalization panel

October 18, 2013

mariLt. 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.




  1. azuresees says:

    And all this time I thought Gavin threesome was against pollution. Hell, he had plastic bags banned in SFO, while at the same time he and his city money spent thousands to provide heroin addicts with PLASTIC syringes…Syringes that ended up discarded on the playgrounds of public parks. A freaking bio hazard, yet he saw fit to do this. Now he wants to legalize pot (which I’m not necessarily against), which is a smoke pollutant? S’plain that you hypocrite? Typical liar politician… A self aggrandizing weather vane. We need to drain the political swamp and have three year terms…I reeeeally despise a career politician….

    • jimmy_me says:

      Many things have changed since medical marijuana became legal. More and more people opt for non-smoking options for their product.

    • Word says:

      azuresees says: “A self aggrandizing weather vane.”

      Your not going to be happy, whatever happens.

  2. storox76 says:

    Better yet, Come to California where we have no moral values.

    • zaphod says:

      speaking for yourself

    • bobfromsanluis says:

      Ah yes, it is so morally superior to throw people in jail for smoking a substance that would grow out in the wild if the conditions were “just right” …

  3. aft50s says:

    What many, who are in favor of this legislation, do not realize is that whether it’s use is legal or not in California, an employees rights are not protected.
    An employer who has a zero tolerance policy backed up with random testing can terminate that employee. This has already been through the courts with regards to medical MJ and the employer won.

    There will be lots of jobs available once its passed…

    • kayaknut says:

      I’m sure the public unions will fight this, it’s currently next to impossible to fire a public employess, having one high isn’t going to make it any easier

    • sloslo says:

      “An employer who has a zero tolerance policy backed up with random testing can terminate that employee. ”

      And why not? That seems fine by me. If they have a stated policy and the employee willfully breaks it, then they absolutely should be terminated. There are plenty of jobs that will terminate an employee if they test positive to having alcohol in their system. If you don’t like a company’s policies – don’t work there! If you want a job that allows you to be stoned all the time, I’m sure you can find one.

      • standup says:

        Obviously you don’t smoke marijuana like I do and understand it effects. If you have alcohol in your body, you are under the influence to some degree. Marijuana metabolites stay in your system for days, weeks, or months while being stored in your fatty tissue even though you are the farthest thing from being under the influence. I smoke to go to sleep, wake up feeling like a million bucks without having to bend over for big pharma and all their poisons that come along with sleeping pills. Plus, I have zero chance of overdosing.

        • sloslo says:

          It’s interesting how consuming a substance makes you think you are an expert on all of its effects. I’m sure the people who used cocaine on a regular basis in the early part of this century also thought they were an expert on its effects, felt it did no harm, and were assured that they had “zero chance of overdosing”. Similarly, the Marlboro man generation though cigarettes had absolutely no affect on their health. Clearly you know all there is to know about pot because you regularly get baked.

          Yes, every addict thinks they are an expert on their drug of choice. I find it quite amusing that the same crowd that thinks “smart meters” are affecting their heath, immunizations causes autism, and fluoride in the water has detrimental health affects, yet burning and inhaling the fumes of marijuana somehow magically has absolutely zero ill affects.

          P.S. Yes, I am sure it is obvious to anyone reading that I do not smoke marijuana like you do. :)

    • Sarah Bellum says:

      While it’s true that users of medical cannabis aren’t protected under current law, recreational users might be protected once legalization takes place because California forbids employers from taking job-related action against employees for otherwise legal activities conducted on their own time unless the job involves safety or security-sensitive work or the extracurricular activities adversely affect job performance.

      • storox76 says:

        All Jobs involve safey issues. If it is in the bloodstream it will be impossible to accurately detect how recent the usage may have been. There is zero tolerance for alcohol in most places of business and it should be the same for marijuana even if the law is passed.

        • Sarah Bellum says:

          Most places of business don’t care if you drank last night as long as you don’t show up hung over the next morning. The same should apply to weed.

          • storox76 says:

            I don’t know what world you are living in, but, drinking until impaired affects job performance the next day. Employers care. And that is beside the point. If you had read my post, I noted that you can not accurately detect the recency of the usage of marijuana as it stays in the bloodstream longer. 1 oz of alcohol is processed and removed from the bloodstream in about 1 hour, so it is not able to be detected after that. If an employee is involved in a work related accident and marijuana is detected in the bloodstream the employer may have liability for not testing. If it was consumed the prior day it will still be present.

            • Word says:

              Thats why smart employers test for attention and capabilities. A bad attitude can cause as much damage with a forklift as a lunchtime puff.

              • OnTheOtherHand says:

                True but the lunchtime puff is still dangerous if the job has any physical dangers (including vehicle operation) and can affect work negatively if that work requires focused attention. I hope that they can develop a test that shows the level of influence of THC rather than simply its presence. Pot smokers are not inherently dangerous or bad employees when they aren’t high but are potentially so when they are.

                I once had an employee who regularly got high on pot after work. I didn’t let him drive and told him that any injury accidents would result in a drug test and firing if he showed positive (almost a guarantee). His job was not intellectually demanding and he worked with a co-worker whose tolerance for inefficiency, carelessness, etc. was very limited. So he came to work only under the effect of caffeine and turned out to be a very reliable employee.

                • Word says:

                  Did you not read? “can cause as much damage with a forklift as a lunchtime puff.”

                  Then you want to lecture me that workplace intoxication is dangerous?

                • storox76 says:

                  Missing the point. I am commenting about liability issues. You cannot minimize those to support your agenda.

      • storox76 says:

        Perhaps some research on the longterm effects of marijuana is in order for you. You have described a classic case of addiction.

    • Word says:

      Seriously? “There will be lots of jobs available once its passed…” No

      This is California, people who smoke are all around you, cooking your food, filing you lawsuits, remodeling your house and driving past your house right now.

      But you can pretend there will be a big change if that’s what you are into.

    • storox76 says:

      Like the poppy used for heroin?

    • Cindy says:

      Why would there be lots of jobs available once this is passed? The people who want to smoke it do so already. There are plenty of people who simply don’t use it because they know their job depends on clean testing. It’s your kind of thinking, “people can’t think for themselves” that has created this nanny gov mentality to begin with. Just look at how our gubmint employees conduct themselves and tell me that they know what’s best for everybody else. Bud out……….and run your own life.

    • jimmy_me says:

      I will not patronize any establishment that performs drug tests on their employees.

  4. bobfromsanluis says:

    It is far past time for this naturally growing plant to be declassified as a dangerous “drug”; sure, one can get “high” by heating it, but if you do not heat it, there is no high, and there are numerous medicinal benefits to consuming cannabis. Then there are the potential impacts of growing hemp; the harvesting of hemp on a very large scale approach could eventually move us towards being a country that could be self-sustaining with regards to using the oil that could be harvested from hemp crops, plus textiles and other uses for the fibers like paper and rope.
    Then there are all of the costs associated with the enforcement and punishment of treating cannabis as a drug and arresting, convicting and incarcerating those who have cultivated, harvested, sold and distributed cannabis over the years. You may wonder the when, why and how it came to be that cannabis was classified as an “evil drug”; I too, for many years thought that the theory of Henry DuPont (of DuPont Chemicals) William Randolph Hearst and Henry J. Anslinger forming a conspiracy of sorts was the reason for the prohibition on cannabis- that theory was founded on DuPont’s pushing for nylon as a substitute for hemp as a fiber, Hearst having large timber holdings that would be threatened as a profit making venture if hemp were allowed to continue to be harvested, and Anslinger as head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics was going along with the wishes of the two rich and powerful men. Most likely this theory is completely wrong; link here to a very interesting piece written at Alternet making the case that cannabis prohibition was brought about as a means of imposing racist views on those that were the main consumers of cannabis back in the 1930s, and how the “drug wars” brought on by Ronald Reagan and Governor Rockefeller in the 1980s and 1970s were also racially motivated. It is a bit of a long read, but makes a very compelling case for the assertion.
    The truth is though, it is past time to decriminalize cannabis; our country has spent far too many tax dollars fighting the drug war and by taking away the criminalization the black market will start to dry up and over time peter out to a mere shadow of what it is now.

    • Sarah Bellum says:

      As I recall, according to Abbie Hoffman’s “Steal This Urine Test” (1987) the big breweries also were influential in having cannabis banned.

      • storox76 says:

        Ah yes, a fine upstanding citizen that Abbie Hoffman was. He also thought that the phenobarbital that he overdosed with was okay. Look how that worked out.

        • Sarah Bellum says:

          Hoffman’s eventual suicide is beside the point, and you’re a crumbum for bringing it up. The point was that the alcohol lobby was influential in having cannabis banned.

        • Word says:

          Derail , many things were different in the 60’s/70’s.

          Back seat 20/20 driving, thats the same throughout the centuries.

    • storox76 says:

      Disagree. Employers protected to an extent as it is illegal. Once legalized, the resposibility and legal liability shifts to employer if an incident occurs involving an employee under the influence.

  5. Pelican1 says:

    California’s soon to be adopted slogan: “Come to California where all you need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and you’ll be fine.”

    • r0y says:

      Ever get the impression that it is all Kabuki theater that we’re watching?

    • Word says:

      Slo has that covered
      “Lessons from Happy Town, U.S.A.”

      • OnTheOtherHand says:

        Interesting link — I didn’t realize the propaganda was that heavy. However, the person who said that Shell Creek Road with it’s spring wildflowers is 10 minutes from SLO must do all their sightseeing by air.

    • Cindy says:

      LOl, California has always had a bad reputation with the conservative east coast, be it democrats or republicans, they think California is one french fry short of a happy meal. I recall as a kid talking about how I was going to move to California when I grew up and people including my own parents would say things like, “those crazy people even have college degree’s for surfing!”. I have to admit that coming from little Rhode Island, when I arrived in Redondo, Hermosa and Manhattan Beach, it was everything that the east coasters said it was, I loved it…..

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