California could soon become the next state to legalize recreational marijuana use and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom has 58 opinions about that.
That’s according to a report from a Blue Ribbon Commission chaired by Newsom that investigated what would happen if California legalized recreational marijuana use for adults.
The commission hopes its 58 suggestions emphasizing children’s access to marijuana, business regulations, and reducing criminal activity will help guide the coming debate in the state.
Supporters of legalized recreational marijuana in California hope to have a ballot measure ready for the 2016 election.
The commission’s report doesn’t come out and support legalization of recreational marijuana, but Newsom, who is running for governor in 2018, is on record as a marijuana advocate.
“I’m more cautious as a parent, more cautious as a policymaker. We don’t want this to be the next Gold Rush. We’re not arguing for a free market. We’re arguing for a very regulated market that has real oversight, that is flexible.”
After the report came out, the Newsom for California Governor 2018 group circulated an email asking Californians to sign a petition supporting the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Newsom points to a 2014 survey of high school seniors where more than half used marijuana, as proof the nation’s war on drugs isn’t working. His commission recommends legalizing recreational marijuana use for adults to keep it out of the hands of children.
Strong age limits and regulations would prohibit minor’s access to the drug.
“That is the failure of the status quo: When we shirk marijuana use to illicit markets, drug dealers can continue selling marijuana to kids without IDs and targeting the youngest, most impressionable members of our communities.”
Four states and the District of Columbia have already legalized recreational marijuana use and 12 other states are poised to vote on the issue in the upcoming 2016 election.
The budding $3 billion dollar industry is expanding into new areas like TV commercials, the first of which aired in Colorado Monday July 20.
It’s these new areas of business that Newsom’s commission focused on, recommending strong licensing and training standards be established from the start.
This is NOT a flippant debate. Join the convo by pledging your support for RESPONSIBLE marijuana legalization in CA: http://t.co/MzXHOYR2Fh
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) July 22, 2015
The commission recommended taxing marijuana retail shops for educational use, public health programs, and increased public safety.
A new survey released by the Public Policy Institute of California reported that 54 percent of California residents favor legalizing recreational marijuana while 44 percent oppose it.