CALIFORNIA: With proponents arguing that it could put billions into state coffers and provide crucial jobs, California Democrats on Sunday will move to insert a plank in their party platform calling to “support the legalization, regulation and taxation of pot in a manner similar to that of tobacco or alcohol,” the Chronicle has learned.
The proposed platform change comes as 3,000 California Democrats met this weekend at a 3-day convention in Los Angeles, where they heard an appeal Saturday by California Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom on the issue. The former San Francisco mayor argued to Democrats that — as with same sex marriage — the state should be leading, and not following, on a key issue which polls show now has gained marked support among Americans.
Newsom noted that while California lead the nation in 1996 in passing voter-approved Prop. 215 to support medical marijuana, it has now fallen behind other states, including Washington and Colorado, in moving to legalize the drug. He said that legalization would have a myriad of benefits that include boosting state revenue, diverting needed law enforcement resources and funding away from unnecessary incarceration.