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California Lt. Governor to Chair Blue Ribbon Panel on Marijuana Legalization

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director October 17, 2013

    Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California, will chair a blue ribbon committee tasked with studying marijuana legalization in the state. This was announced at a joint press conference held this morning with the ACLU of California.

    The panel will “engage in a multi-year research effort to help voters and policy makers as they consider proposals to enact a strict tax and regulation scheme that will enable California to benefit from billions of dollars of potential revenue annually while protecting the health and safety of our children and communities.”

    Joining Newsom on the panel will be “leading legal, academic and policy experts from across the state and nation.”

    The ACLU also released new polling data which revealed that 65% of Californians support legalizing and regulating marijuana, while only 32% were opposed and 3% undecided. You can view the full poll results here.

    “This development is just a further illustration of how the debate over marijuana legalization has moved from the fringe into the mainstream,” stated NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “An overwhelming majority of Californians are ready to legalize and regulate marijuana and it is encouraging to see key figures within the state move to address the issue in a forward thinking and serious manner. With a voter initiative likely in 2016, this new survey data also confirms that the people of California are ready to move forward to end their state’s marijuana prohibition, with or without state legislators.”

    NORML will keep you updated as this effort moves forward.

    32 Responses to “California Lt. Governor to Chair Blue Ribbon Panel on Marijuana Legalization”

    1. Chris in WI says:

      Still makes me cringed to think we’re wasting time to regulate something with a better safety record then asperine or even water (acute water intoxication… Look it up!).

      If your kid gets a mouthful of weed… It’s a self-fixing issue. They will not die and will now know that tastes like crap. I mean do you lock your electrical outlets with a padlock? They’re much more dangerous!

    2. mexweed says:

      Well, I was about to write a long rant venting my disappointment, not at the good news about a blue ribbon panel, but about the bad news of another header picture over an article showing a H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide joint instead of a VAPE utensil. Not to mention a “JOINT press conference” whatever that means; also in the picture the joint is held in a hand shown resting on a knee or part of a chair, i.e. the stereotypical sit-around idleness image rather than activity and industry.

      Then I realized Erik is not to blame, the government is counting on TAX MONEY out of cannabis legalization; joints are wasteful so users BUY more herb and furnish more tax revenue than if they used a rational non-wasteful Vape Toke format; not criticizing NORML for wanting to be friendly to the authorities if that will help legalization.

      But if every user had a Long-Stemmed One-Hitter, “use” expressed in quantities consumed, not user productivity, would DECREASE taking tax revenue down with it. Uh oh.

    3. Legalization says:

      Two voter initiatives are underway in California for 2014 already. First is the CCHI 2014 campaign, the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative (cchi2014.org). The second is the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act of 2014.

    4. Jake W. says:

      Betcha not 1 of the panel is a medical consumer.

    5. phrtao says:

      In California things have gone from a situation where people were having to campaign to get attention for a legalisation initiative (in 2010) to a situation where state officials are actually looking for someone to put forward a legalisation initiative (in 2014 or 2016). If California legalises – I think the world will – especially when we remember that California produces television and cinema that is seen across the nation and around the world.
      I live in the UK and our politicians are starting to say they will look at ‘other ways’ to deal with drugs but they still hastily follow that by saying that legalisation/decriminalisation is not an option yet. It’s like they have legalisation ready (and want it ) but are waiting for a final confirmation. Maybe California legalisation will put the last nail in the coffin of prohibition – We all hope so !

    6. Anonymous says:

      You mean protecting children from drug dealers and corrupt police officers because we all know that the cannabis isn’t going to kill them, only bullets from cops and drug dealers will…

    7. Anonymous says:

      … and guy in the first comment, you need to stop buying chemically-soaked and pregnant Mexican drug cartel garbage if you think bud tastes bad…

    8. Ben says:

      Again, this is largely do to the well-thought voices of pro-legalization.

      There are others, but, as I understand it, NORML has been the flagship.

      Excellent work team. Excellent work.

      To my fellow readers, support NORML,
      and vote like you mean it.
      Lets end this stupid war on sanity.

    9. Mark Innes says:

      Do you think the draconian laws regarding cannabis would have been set aside if the states medical cannabis originally had been a “for profit” organizations?

    10. John Cail says:

      Thanks to Norml and everyone else who has put forth often thankless work toward cannabis reform. This is a monumental moment in time…so many changes coming up..freedoms, employment opportunities and maybe sooner or later the “government” no longer ruining people’s lives over marijuana and confiscating their property and homes. Maybe soon police officers will stop getting bonus checks in some states for making more marijuana arrests..and police departments will quit making financial profits the same way.
      Things soon might actually be “Fair” for people to choose to use cannabis responsibly… and maybe the FEDs might actually decide to start doing their jobs honestly by admitting to “We the people” that marijuana does in fact ‘have known medical uses’ even if it means some of them loosing jobs because theres much less revenue being brought into them through property confiscation and assets seizures. Jeez and imagine the millions of dollars a year “our country” might save if it quit arresting average citizens, grandparents, vets, and well even autistics high school children. And we might actually bring in large amounts of tax revenue yearly…sure it wont solve our deficit problem, but i’m sure every few billion dollars helps.
      By the way.. Who the ” F ” told the feds to stop the shutdown and come back to work ? This United states is OURS not theirs. Its we the people not “the feds the people”. Feds quit Lying to the country.. marijuana does have known medical uses.. reclassify it and get up to speed with the twenty first century!

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