Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: “It’s Time For A Debate”

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 5, 2009

    Last week NORML reported on the results of a just-released Field Research Corporation poll that found that 56 percent of California voters agreed with the statement: “Legalize marijuana for recreational use and tax its proceeds.”

    Today, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was asked about the Field poll result, which was the third poll of 2009 demonstrating majority support for legalizing pot among west coast voters.

    His reply:

    I think it’s time for a debate (regarding taxing and regulating the sale of cannabis for adults). I think all of those ideas of creating extra revenues, I’m always for an open debate on it. And I think we ought to study very carefully what other countries are doing that have legalized marijuana and other drugs, what effect did it have on those countries? It could very well be that everyone is happy with that decision and then we could look at that.

    What a difference eight weeks makes. After all, this is the same Gov. Schwarzenegger that said in February that he vehemently opposed California Assembly Bill 390: The Marijuana Control, Regulation and Education Act, which seeks to impose a tax on the commercial production and legal retail sale of cannabis.

    And today? Well, today the Governor is singing a different tune.

    “It’s time for debate. … I’m always for an open debate on it.” (You can watch a video of Schwarzenegger’s remarks here. **Note, the comments come at the very end of the video.)

    So are we!

    Since March, NORML supporters have sent over 8,000 e-mails to their members of the California state assembly in support of AB 390, sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano.  Now it’s time to start directing those thousands of e-mails, phone calls, and letters to the Governor.

    Tell Gov. Schwarzenegger: “I am one of the majority of California voters who supports taxing and regulating the use and sale of cannabis by adults. Studies consistently show that countries that have removed criminal penalties for the personal use of marijuana, such as Portugal and the Netherlands, have far lower rates of cannabis use than the united States. I agree that the time has come for an objective and public debate on this topic. I urge you to encourage the legislature to hold hearings on this important issue.”

    You can also send an automated e-mail to Gov. Schwarzenegger’s office via NORML’s Take Action Center here.

    68 responses to “Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: “It’s Time For A Debate””

    1. Preston McGuigan says:

      Hell yeah Arnold!!! It’s time to bring the truth out!

    2. Al says:

      Arnold, I hate you for your flip-flopping, I love you for your ability to become intelligent and accept reason with the rest of us. From one weight-lifter to another; Legalize IT!

    3. Cherokee Fred Hussein aka Stupid old man says:

      If you do not agree to support the majority of voters you are a dick not an Arnold!


    4. champagne2878 says:

      A-A-A-ARNOLD-ARNOLD A-A-A-ARNOLD-ARNOLD!!! ive always liked ARNOLD. Imma send him a christmas card this year.
      Now if florida could just get online. I cant afford to move to cali 🙁

    5. Anonymous says:

      Arnold, please do it. For the sake of our country.
      You took steroids (which is really bad for you) and Cannabis!
      The Netherlands is a perfect example on how legalizing this god given plant will do your state good.
      The “Not so sick” buy it illegally which helps support the mexican drug cartels that is killing mexico and spilling violence over the US boarder as we speak.
      Please, for the sake of this country and for all the smokers who have lost everything they once had.

    6. Nick M. says:

      Its about time! We are closer than ever now! Once we legalize it do you think we can do something about health care?

    7. Mark, Summerfille, GA says:

      I live way on the other side of this country in the “Bible Belt” but I know this is the right thing to do we must legalize marijuana for MANY reasons, too many for me to list here. I’m hoping that if this happens in CA the other states will notice the benefits and take on this repeal of prohibition. Then our federal government will have no choice but to accept it.

    8. Allan L. says:

      everywhere Governor or Gov. is, they should have wrote The Governator…ha.ha..

    9. Will S. says:

      This is what we need ladies and gentlemen. If we can get old Arnie behind us what’s stopping us? We can do it Cali, if not us, who? I honestly don’t think there is another state that could get legislation like AB390 passed. Sorry, let me rephase that. I don’t think there’s another state that would test the waters as the pioneer legalization state. It seems like the legalization issue has died down a bit, but hopefully this statement by the Gov. re-ignites the issue. By the way, three days left in the Navy after the last eight long years, and then I “re-ignite”. Peace everyone.

    10. Arnold could get himself re-elected after all…

      I just wish someone would start the “serious” debate (or finally engage the marijuana community) instead of just talking about having a debate.

      Does Arnold have the courage – we’ll see…