LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A new report on proposed guidelines to implementing marijuana legalization in California may be changing the views of one of the state’s most high-profile pot advocates.
Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, who heads the Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy, told the Los Angeles Times the group’s findings on how to phase in legalized marijuana has “significantly tempered” his enthusiasm for unfettered legalization.
The “Pathways Report: Policy Options for Regulating Marijuana in California” (PDF) lays out nine goals, four strategies, and 45 prescriptive recommendations that call for tight regulation of marijuana sales, limiting children’s access to the drug, and the creation of a central government entity tasked with overseeing the legalization process.
Proposed regulatory measures include any retail stores selling marijuana would require ID and age restrictions for any customers entering the store. Any tax revenues collected on legalized marijuana should go to funding education, public safety and health programs, according to the report.
The Commission was formed “in light of the likelihood that a marijuana legalization initiative will be placed on the 2016 California ballot”, according to the group’s website.
Newsom told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that the reality of easier access to marijuana – which he said is “easier to find than alcohol” – is something need to consider when crafting regulatory legislation.
“People that are opposed to legalization, and I certainly respect that, I hope they’re also opposed to the status quo,” said Newsom. “We’ve gotta deal with law enforcement concerns, parent concerns, and also deal with the fact that the war on marijuana has been a failure.”
One of six different ballot measures aimed at legalization, Assembly Bill 266 would create the Office of Marijuana Regulation within the governor’s office, with help from the departments of Public Health and Food and Agriculture and the Board of Equalization, which would collect licensing fees.
The bill calls for involvement from other state agencies, including criminal background checks by the state Department of Justice and wastewater standards by the State Water Resources Control Board, according to the Associated Press.