Leading the charge to legalize marijuana in California

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — If California legalizes marijuana, it would be the fifth state to allow pot for recreational use.

California’s lieutenant governor came to San Diego Thursday to campaign in support of Prop-64.

There’s probably no state official with more knowledge of the marijuana issue than Gavin Newsom.

California’s lieutenant governor organized a blue ribbon panel in 2013 to start looking at some of the consequences of legalizing marijuana. All of that was prep work for a decision that Newsom calls a game changer.

If the ban on marijuana was intended to root out drugs, Lieutenant Gov. Newsom said the ban hasn’t worked.

Surrounded by other advocates for legalizing marijuana, a religious leader, a former prosecutor, a mother whose son was prosecuted for marijuana use, News said he’s supporting the measure. Not because he wants to see more cannabis use, but because of what he sees as the devastating effects of making it illegal.

Gretchen Bergman is the executive director of a parents’ group that supports Prop-64.

In 1991, her 20-year-old son was arrested for marijuana possession. In asking for the prohibition to be lifted, Bergman said this will keep people like her son from being punished.

Gov. Newsom covered a broad range of topics, from taxation to local control, allowing towns and cities to pass their own rules to regulate marijuana businesses.

If voters decide to make marijuana legal, people who were convicted for some marijuana offenses can have their criminal records wiped clean.

Newsom said passing Prop-64 won’t make the drug cartels disappear, but he sees the greater good in ending the war on drugs and restoring social justice.

Opponents of the measure say they are concerned about adverse effects on public health, especially among young people.

The law enforcement community has not been supportive of the proposition, in part, because of what may occur with drivers under the influence.

Many Californians essentially feel their marijuana is already legal since it seems to be ubiquitous, easily obtained by anyone with a medical marijuana card. 

Categories: Local San Diego News, Propositions