LOS ANGELES (KCBS)— There is a strong likelihood that a measure to legalize recreational marijuana will be on the 2016 California ballot. A Blue Ribbon Committee formed by the state’s Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom held a public hearing in Los Angeles about how to best regulate the drug should it become legal.
Newsom, who hosted the meeting on UCLA’s campus, said he is not an ideologue when it comes to legalizing pot. But at the same time, he doesn’t want to see what happened with big tobacco, happening with marijuana.READ MORE: UPDATE: Police Shootings Protest In Oakland Turns Violent; Windows Broken, Fires Ignited; Businesses Vandalized
“I support the taxation legalization of recreational use for adults, but with caveats,” Newsom said.
The town hall meeting explored some of the challenges of recreational legalization including driving under the influence of marijuana and public safety challenges.READ MORE: Four Wounded In Overnight San Jose Shootings
“California is not Colorado, Washington, Oregon, or Alaska. It’s all those state’s combined plus all kinds of unique attributes,” he said.
Professor of political science at Sonoma State University, David McCuan, said supporting the legalization of recreational marijuana comes with political risk, but also offers the opportunity to establish trust.
“This issue for example talks about water and the environment. It hits issues around criminal justice. There are a number of different things in which marijuana legalization opens up the doors or avenues to other things that are of interest to Gavin Newsom,” McCuan said.MORE NEWS: Armed Bike Thieves Targeting Mountain Bikers In The East Bay Hills
He added that critics may say Newsom is pushing too far too fast on the marijuana issue— a criticism he also faced when he supported gay marriage as mayor of San Francisco.