California Democratic Party endorses marijuana legalization
Emily Gray Brosious
(Image credit: Nathan Griffith/Corbis)
California Democratic Party joins growing list of prominent AUMA supporters.
The California Democratic Party is now supporting efforts to legalize marijuana for recreational use in the state, as reported by The Sacramento Bee.
The decision came Sunday, June 19, at an executive board meeting in Long Beach, after Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed party members about the state’s leading recreational marijuana legalization proposal.
Newsom, a likely candidate to succeed current California Gov. Jerry Brown in 2019, has become one of the chief proponents of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AMUA), a ballot measure to legalize cannabis for recreational use in the state.
Appearing on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” last August, Newsom spoke about his support for legalizing cannabis and said he was fully backing efforts to see California voters pass the measure in November 2016.
“As some folks may know, we’re very likely to have a ballot initiative in 2016 and we have strong confidence that we’ll win. We’ve got to do it right and be thoughtful and deal with the legitimate concerns folks have about our children, and not allowing Big Tobacco come in and do Big Marijuana. So we want to do it in a very thoughtful way and we want to have that opportunity next year.”
Under the proposed law, adults 21 and older would be allowed to purchase, possess and grow limited amounts of cannabis for personal use.
Per AUMA’s website:
This measure brings California’s marijuana market out into the open – much like the alcohol industry. It will be tracked, controlled, regulated and taxed, and we will no longer be criminalizing responsible adults or incarcerating children.
The measure could raise up to $1 billion in new tax revenues annually, according to backers.
In addition to Lt. Gov. Newsom, and now the California Democratic Party, the AUMA also counts Silicon Valley billionaire Sean Parker among its leading supporters.
Parker, who co-founded the file-sharing service Napster and served as Facebook’s first president, has personally donated at least $1 million to the campaign.
Other prominent AUMA supporters include the California NAACP, California Medical Association, Marijuana Policy Project of California, California Cannabis Industry Association and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, among others.
According to recent polling data from the Public Policy Institute of California, 60 percent of likely California voters say they support legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. Just 37 percent oppose such a move.