OAKLAND (BCN) – A small group of former law enforcement officials and prosecutors Monday endorsed a statewide initiative on the Nov. 2 ballot that would legalize marijuana possession and the use of small amounts of marijuana for those over 21.

Speaking at a news conference on the steps of Oakland City Hall, Nate Bradley, a former police officer in Wheatland and a former Sutter County sheriff’s deputy, said he favors legalizing marijuana because he doesn’t think current drug laws are working.

“We’ve been trying to prosecute our way out of this problem for almost 40 years but we’ve made it worse,” Bradley said.

He said Proposition 19, known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Initiative, would help control the marijuana business.

James Anthony, a former prosecutor in the Oakland City Attorney’s Office who is now a criminal defense lawyer, said Proposition 19 “will empower local governments to regulate marijuana and bring in more revenues.”

Anthony said Proposition 19 presents “a moral issue.”

“When you know that a law is bad for individuals and communities but you continue it anyway, it is a sin,” he said.

Bradley said only a small percentage of active law enforcement officials are publicly supporting Proposition 19 because they’re afraid they will lose their jobs if they do so.

He said other law enforcement officials “are still holding onto the ideology that they will arrest our way out of the problem.”

(© CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)


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