California lieutenant governor: ‘Do the damn right thing’ and legalize marijuana

Via Raw Story California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday called on politicians to be honest about legalizing marijuana, claiming many lawmakers and officials secretly opposed the drug’s outlaw status.

“I am sick and tired of politicians saying one thing in private and saying another in public,” he said on HuffPost Live. “Love me or hate me, I can’t participate in that. I didn’t on gay marriage, and I watched as so many politicians, particularly in my party, said I’m with you on gay marriage, and then years went by and they were still arguing for second-class citizenship of the gay and lesbian community.”

Newsom claimed the same was true of the war on drugs, which he described as an “abject failure.” He noted that drug prohibition had been particularly harmful to racial minorities, who are imprisoned at a disproportionately high rate for drug offenses.

“It’s time for politicians of all strips to come out of the closet in this respect and say what they think on the issue, do the damn right thing on this.”

Newsom opposed Proposition 19 in 2010, which would have legalized the recreational use of marijuana in California. Last December, however, he declared he no longer supported the prohibition of cannabis.

“These laws just don’t make sense anymore,” he said.

Marijuana, Not Yet Legal for Californians, Might as Well Be

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NYT Let Colorado and Washington be the marijuana trailblazers. Let them struggle with the messy details of what it means to actually legalize the drug. Marijuana is, as a practical matter, already legal in much of California.

No matter that its recreational use remains technically against the law. Marijuana has, in many parts of this state, become the equivalent of a beer in a paper bag on the streets of Greenwich Village. It is losing whatever stigma it ever had and still has in many parts of the country, including New York City, where the kind of open marijuana use that is common here would attract the attention of any passing law officer. Continue reading

Colorado, Washington Pot Legalization Deals Drug War Major Blow

From Huffington Post

By Matt Sledge

Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana in the prohibition era on Tuesday, dealing a major blow to the war on drugs. Medical marijuana was also legalized in Massachusetts, underlining long-running trends in public opinion toward more permissive attitudes on drugs.

“To put this into historical context, there is no historical context,” said Tom Angell, spokesperson for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “It’s the first time any state has ever voted to legalize marijuana — and two of them did it.”

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