Please forward this to everyone you know and send a letter to the judge:
Honorable Judge McGlynn
Tehama Superior Court
Juvenile Justice Division
445 Pine Street
Red Bluff, CA 96080
To the Honorable Judge McGlynn January 29, 2013 Tehama County, CA
RE: Daisy Bram
As a mother of a young child, I appreciate and share the concern the court would have for a child in a bad environment, unable to care for themselves. I would hope the court can also recognize when the only evidence of abuse appears now by the Butte County deputy district attorney Jeff Greeson, by tormenting this family repeatedly. Keeping a family with young children together must have more weight than the personal vendetta of a person of authority, who disagrees with personal choices that are allowed by law.
In the case of Drake M. (case # B236769), Division Three of the Second Appellate District, California Court of Appeal ruled on December 5, 2012 that while parents who abuse drugs can lose custody of their children, a parent who uses marijuana for medical reasons, with a doctor's approval, isn't necessarily a drug abuser. This ruling illustrates a growing recognition of the legitimate use of medical marijuana in this state and other states. The kids must be safe; however parents should be able to use legally prescribed medications when children appear not to be at demonstrated risk of harm.
DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis Young, after reviewing all the available evidence on marijuana, declared, “In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.” When compared to the dangers of children consuming prescription drugs and alcohol, or the ramifications of a drunk or drugged parent, any home is actually safer if responsible parents utilize marijuana as a harm reduction technique from these other drugs.
The appellate court found that the record did not support the finding that the children would be at substantial risk of detriment if returned to that mother based on her use of marijuana. (Jennifer A. v. Superior Court, supra, 117 Cal.App.4th at p. 1346.) Medical marijuana use alone is not sufficient to take a child away. I truly hope that this ‘de facto’ policy of DCFS is changed, and that no more parents and children have to suffer needlessly. Please limit how authority figures can manipulate laws to separate children from their parents that use marijuana for medical reasons with your ruling.
As a nursing mom, I would also like to remind the court that for little humans, and the mothers who breastfeed their young, have a sacred right to be together, and these young families are now dependent on the court to keep mothers and her young together for nourishment, physical and emotional protection. Can you imagine how you might feel with the center of your universe disappeared for weeks without explanation, without connection, without trust that is so vital to the young years? Babies need constant attention from trusted caregivers to thrive. This situation would be enormously taxing for any adult, perfectly capable of expressing themselves, but a baby who is otherwise being cared for? The stress and emotional toll this has on a mother and child is damaging to say the least, and worst case scenario would produce life-long developmental problems.
I pray this letter will prevent some of the harm I have seen to these children in foster care, when they should have been with their loving parents. Daisy Bram is a loving and caring mother. Please return her children as soon as humanly possible.
Dale Sky Jones Executive Chancellor Oaksterdam University Oakland, CA 94612
By: Betty Aldworth
Phoenix, AZ – In a poll conducted January 9 and 10, Public Policy Polling found that 59% of Arizonans support the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, and 59% would vote “yes” on a future initiative to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. The poll of 600 Arizona voters was commissioned by the National Cannabis Industry Association. View the results at http://thecannabisindustry.org/AZ-survey-011113.pdf
Despite multiple delays caused by governmental inaction and meritless lawsuits, the strictly controlled non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries mandated by 2010’s Proposition 203 are beginning to operate. Aaron Smith, Executive Director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, stated "Allowing seriously ill patients access to medical marijuana demonstrates compassion, but supporting a well-regulated medical marijuana system also benefits the broader community by allowing patients to obtain their medicine through safe and legal dispensaries rather than the criminal market. State officials should see this survey as a mandate to fully implement the law rather than continuing to waste taxpayer money on futile obstructionism.”
Smith highlighted the benefits of regulated marijuana sales, which include redirecting law enforcement efforts toward violent and serious crimes, creating sustainable jobs, generating tax revenues, and better restricting youth access to marijuana, noting that “It's no surprise that nearly six out of ten voters support regulating the state's entire marijuana market in order to keep marijuana behind the counter at licensed, tax-paying facilities rather than on the streets and under the control of violent drug cartels.”Source
~The Los Angeles City Council has been struggling to regulate medical marijuana for more years than I can remember. Under the "leadership" of Carmen Trutanich
the city has spent countless time and money and has yet to come up with a solution while it bleeds $42,000.00 an hour more than it takes in. In utter frustration, two groups collected enough signatures to force the issue by putting initiatives on the ballot in May.
The Committee to Protect Patients and Neighborhoods
is the group that sponsored the first qualifying initiative. The initiative would permit only the medical marijuana dispensaries that existed before the city’s 2007 moratorium – or about 100 pot shops. Many in the organized medical marijuana community, including the Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance
and Americans for Safe Access
, back this measure. Significantly, this measure also has the support of the powerful United Food and Commercial Workers Union
, which wants to organize pot shop workers.
The second proposed initiative is called "Regulation of Medical Marijuana for Safe Neighborhoods and Safe Access." It seeks to impose some order where there is none following a recent referendum that essentially overturned the city's pot shop ban
. The initiative would bring back rules seeking to ensure that pot is not sold near schools (shops would have to be at least 1,000 feet away) and other areas frequented by children. Shops would have to cease operation from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. Organizers hope to create "a fair and reasonable registration process" for shops and "provide priority to those registrants who have acted and which continue to act in a responsible and law-abiding manner ... "
On Friday, a motion was introduced at the Los Angeles City Council to put the limited immunity medical marijuana ordinance which was passed by Planning in November on the May ballot as a voter initiative. The motion is below and attached, along with the recommendation on the agenda item.
The matter has been scheduled for next Wednesday's City Council Agenda, it is Item 34 on the agenda. Please try to attend and voice your concerns. Please dress professionally and don't be this guy------------->The recommendation on the agenda item is
REQUEST the City Attorney to prepare the necessary election ordinance and ballot resolutions to place an ordinance proposition on the May 21, 2013 ballot that would include provisions substantially similar to those of the draft ordinance attached to City Attorney Report No. R12-0364 (Nov. 19, 2012), with additional and/or modified provisions as deemed appropriate, in consultation with the Council President, and including if appropriate an increase in the existing tax on medical marijuana collectives to $60 per each $1,000 of gross receipts.
Here is the actual motion:
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I saw this idea of anti marijuana addiction re education at work about a year ago when I was attending court ordered Deferred Entry of Judgement classes in Redondo Beach. Every Wednesday night for 18 weeks I met with a health department leader and other unfortunate drug war casualties. I could see that they were setting up a whole new industry, probably backed by big insurance companies. The class would start off with roll call and paying your weekly fee. Then we would watch a video or the teacher would read some course work to us. Then he would give us some questions that we were required to answer. Most of them were things like "how does your addiction affect your daily life".... At first I quietly just didn't answer most of them or I just wrote in, "I'm not addicted. I use cannabis as a medicine. It helps me control my migraines." Then the teacher started calling me out thinking that I would buckle from public shame. You have to realize that the folks there were given a free pass from the court and they are afraid to blow it. A DEJ means that after you complete the program, you can say that you were never arrested. It's a way to run a LOT of drug related cases quickly through the judicial system. But I didn't buckle. I stood up for myself. And soon I had a lot of people in the class talk to me after and admit that it was a BS program but you do what you have to do. In the end, the instructor graduated me early to get rid of me and didn't even pee test me because he knew it would come up dirty and I had court documents stating that I could not only smoke cannabis but grow it. What they were doing was working on creating statistics that would support a HUGE money grab and create a story of crisis that doesn't really exist!~ss
*****************************************************************************************Meet SAM, the New Group Hell-Bent on Halting Marijuana Legalization
(SAM) has among its "leadership team" admitted addict Patrick Kennedy and conservative commentator David Frum.January 10, 2013
The passage of marijuana legalization measures by voters in Colorado and Washington in November has sparked interest in marijuana policy like never before, and now it has sparked the formation of a new group dedicated to fighting a rearguard action to stop legalization from spreading further.
The group, Smart Approaches to Marijuana
(SAM or Project SAM) has among its " leadership team
" liberal former Rhode Island Democratic congressman and self-admitted oxycodone and alcohol addict Patrick Kennedy
and conservative commentator David Frum. It also includes professional neo-prohibitionist Dr. Kevin Sabet and a handful of medical researchers. It describes itself as a project of the Policy Solutions Lab, a Cambridge, Massachusetts, a drug policy consulting firm headed by Sabet.
SAM emphasizes a public health approach to marijuana, but when it comes to marijuana and the law
, its prescriptions are a mix of the near-reasonable and the around-the-bend. Rational marijuana policy, SAM says, precludes relying "only on the criminal justice system to address people whose only crime is smoking or possessing a small amount of marijuana" and the group calls for small-time possession to be decriminalized, but "subject to a mandatory health screening an marijuana-education program." The SAM version of decrim also includes referrals to treatment "if needed" and probation for up to a year "to prevent further drug use."
But it also calls for an end to NYPD-style "stop and frisk" busts and the expungement of arrest records for marijuana possession. SAM calls for an end to mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana cultivation or distribution, but wants those offenses to remain "misdemeanors or felonies based on the amount possessed."For now, SAM advocates a zero-tolerance approach to marijuana and driving, saying "driving with any amount of marijuana in one's system should be at least a misdemeanor" and should result in a "mandatory health assessment, marijuana education program, and referral to treatment or social services." If a scientifically-based impairment level is established, SAM calls for driving at or above that level to be at least a misdemeanor.
Less controversially, SAM advocates for increased emphasis on education and prevention. It also calls for early screening for marijuana use and limited intervention "for those who not progressed to full marijuana addiction." ~Where is the proof that marijuana is addicting?? What about alcohol addiction or oxycodone addiction? ss
For a taste of SAM's kinder, gentler, neo-prohibitionist rhetoric, David Frum's Monday CNN column
is instructive. "We don't want to lock people up for casual marijuana use -- or even stigmatize them with an arrest record," he writes. "But what we do want to do is send a clear message: Marijuana use is a bad choice."
Marijuana use may be okay for some "less vulnerable" people, Frum writes, but we're not all as good at handling modern life as he is.
"But we need to recognize that modern life is becoming steadily more dangerous for people prone to make bad choices," he argues. "At a time when they need more help than ever to climb the ladder, marijuana legalization kicks them back down the ladder. The goal of public policy should not be to punish vulnerable kids for making life-wrecking mistakes. The goal of public policy should be to protect (to the extent we can) the vulnerable from making life-wrecking mistakes in the first place."
Marijuana legalization advocates are having none of it. And they level the charge of hypocrisy in particular at Kennedy, whose family made its fortune selling alcohol. The Marijuana Policy Project
(MPP) has called on Kennedy to explain why he wants to keep "an objectively less harmful alternative to alcohol illegal" and has created an online petition
calling on him to offer an explanation or resign as chairman of SAM."Former Congressman Kennedy's proposal is the definition of hypocrisy," said MPP communications director Mason Tvert. "He is living in part off of the fortune his family made by selling alcohol while leading a campaign that makes it seem like marijuana -- an objectively less harmful product -- is the greatest threat to public health. He personally should know better."
Nor did Tvert think much of SAM's insistence that marijuana users need treatment.
"The proposal is on par with forcing every alcohol user into treatment at their own cost or at a cost to the state. In fact, it would be less logical because the science is clear that marijuana is far less toxic, less addictive, and less likely to be associated with acts of violence," Tvert said."If this group truly cares about public health, it should be providing the public with facts regarding the relative harms of marijuana and discouraging the use of the more harmful product," Tvert said. "Why on earth would they want keep a less harmful alternative to alcohol illegal? Former Congressman Kennedy and his organization should answer this question before calling on our government to start forcing people into treatment programs and throwing them into marijuana re-education camps."
DENVER – The nation's largest marijuana policy organization, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), slammed former Congressman Patrick Kennedy's plan to force marijuana consumers into treatment and marijuana "education" classes, which his new organization, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), is scheduled to unveil in Denver on Wednesday.
"The proposal is on par with forcing every alcohol user into treatment at their own cost or at a cost to the state," said MPP communications director Mason Tvert. "In fact, it would be less logical because the science is clear that marijuana is far less toxic, less addictive, and less likely to be associated with acts of violence."
MPP is calling on Kennedy, whose family made a fortune selling alcohol, to explain why he wants to keep an objectively less harmful alternative to alcohol illegal. Specifically, MPP is asking Kennedy to address the question on SAM's website and provide facts regarding the relative harms of marijuana and alcohol. MPP also launched an online petition this morning asking Kennedy to provide an explanation or resign as chairman of SAM, which received more than 1,500 signatures within the first hour of being posted – http://chn.ge/13e9Qjl
"Former Congressman Kennedy's proposal is the definition of hypocrisy," Tvert said. "He is living in part off of the fortune his family made by selling alcohol while leading a campaign that makes it seem like marijuana – an objectively less harmful product – is the greatest threat to public health.”
"If this group truly cares about public health, it should be providing the public with facts regarding the relative harms of marijuana and discouraging the use of the more harmful product," Tvert continued. "Why on earth would they want keep a less harmful alternative to alcohol illegal? Former Congressman Kennedy and his organization should answer this question before calling on our government to start forcing people into treatment programs and throwing them into marijuana ‘education’ camps."
Also read http://blog.mpp.org/prohibition/mpp-slams-former-congressmans-plan-to-force-marijuana-consumers-into-treatment-and-marijuana-education-classes/01082013/
By David L. Nathan
, Special to CNN
updated 9:41 AM EST, Wed January 9, 2013Editor's note: David L. Nathan, a clinical associate professor at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, was recently elected as a distinguished fellow in the American Psychiatric Association. He teaches and practices general adult psychiatry in Princeton, New Jersey.(CNN)
-- David Frum is one of today's best and most reasoned conservative political voices, so his recent CNN.com op-ed
on marijuana policy was just a little disappointing. Not because he advocates the drug's decriminalization -- he rightly thinks locking people up or arresting them for casual use is a bad idea -- but because he opposes its legalization for adults.
I agree with much of what he says about pot's potential harm, especially for the young and the psychiatrically ill. Like Frum, I am a father who worries about my kids getting sidetracked by cannabis before their brains have a chance to develop. But I am also a physician who understands that the negative legal consequences of marijuana use are far worse than the medical consequences.
Frum would reduce the punishment for marijuana use for adults but nominally maintain its illegality in order to send a message to young people that pot is a "bad choice," as if breaking the rules wasn't as much an incentive as a deterrent for adolescents. Kids are smart enough to recognize and dismiss a "because I said so" argument when they see one. By trying to hide marijuana from innately curious young people, we have elevated its status to that of a forbidden fruit. I believe a better approach is to bring pot into the open, make it legal for people over the age of 21, and educate children from a young age about the actual dangers of its recreational use.
Throughout my career as a clinical psychiatrist, I have seen lives ruined by drugs like cocaine, painkillers and alcohol. I have also borne witness to the devastation brought upon cannabis users -- almost never by abuse of the drug, but by a justice system that chooses a sledgehammer to kill a weed.
Alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, caffeine and refined sugar are among the most commonly used, potentially habit-forming recreational substances. All are best left out of our daily diets. Only marijuana is illegal, though alcohol and tobacco are clearly more harmful. In several respects, even sugar poses more of a threat
to our nation's health than pot.
I agree with Frum that chronic use of cannabis correlates with mood changes
and low motivation, especially when started in adolescence. In individuals with psychosis, it may trigger or worsen their symptoms
. But these dangers are far surpassed by the perils of alcohol
, which is associated with
pancreatitis, gastritis, cirrhosis, permanent dementia, physiological dependence and fatal withdrawal. In healthy but reckless teens and young adults, it is frighteningly easy to consume a lethal dose of alcohol, but it is essentially impossible to do so with marijuana. Further, alcohol causes severe impairment of judgment, which results in violence, risky sexual behavior and more use of hard drugs.
Those who believe cannabis to be a gateway to opioids and other highly dangerous drugs fail to appreciate that the illegal purchase of marijuana exposes consumers to dealers who push the hard stuff. Given marijuana's popularity in this country, the consumption of more dangerous drugs could actually decrease if pot were purchased at a liquor store rather than on the street corner where heroin and crack are sold.
There is another more pressing reason to legalize and regulate marijuana, even for the sake of our children: the potential for adulteration of black-market cannabis and the substitution of even more dangerous copycat compounds
. Much like Prohibition-era fatalities from bad moonshine, harmful synthetic marijuana substitutes are proliferating, with street names like K2 and Spice. The Drug Enforcement Administration struggles to combat these compounds by outlawing them, but I see no decrease in their popularity among my patients. Natural marijuana poses much less danger than synthetic cannabinoids -- legal or otherwise.
So who had the bright idea of banning cannabis in the first place? Was it physicians? Social service organizations? No. The credit goes to the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which in 1937 pushed through laws ending the growth, trade and consumption of all forms of cannabis, including the inert but commercially useful hemp plant. America's ban on the so-called "Weed of Madness" was based on bad science and fabricated stories of violence perpetrated under the influence. The madness of cannabis can be ascribed not so much to its users, but to those who sought to criminalize the drug so soon after the monumental failure of alcohol Prohibition.
That's not to say our marijuana laws have failed to change drug use in America. Cannabis is more widely used today than at any time before its prohibition, even though it was domesticated in antiquity and has been cultivated ever since. Pot prohibition has also greatly increased illegal activity and violence. Otherwise law-abiding private users became criminals, and criminals became rich through the untaxed, bloody and highly lucrative illicit drug trade.
But America can fix this mess through marijuana legalization. Federal, state and local governments can regulate the cannabis trade as they do with alcohol and tobacco -- monitoring the production process for safety and purity, controlling where it is sold, taxing all aspects of marijuana production and consumption, and redirecting resources from punishment to prevention.
Forget the antiquated dogma and judge pot prohibition on its own merits. If you still believe that cannabis should be illegal, then you must logically support the criminalization of alcohol and tobacco, with vigorous prosecution and even imprisonment of producers and consumers. Does that sound ridiculous? Then you must conclude that the only rational approach to cannabis is to legalize, regulate and tax it.Follow @CNNOpinion on Twitter.
Aaron Sandusky sentenced to 10 years in federal prisonBy Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/07/2013 10:23:43 AM PST
Updated: 01/07/2013 11:19:59 AM PST
Aaron Sandusky has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.The former G3 Holistic Inc. medical marijuana dispensary president was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles for operating medical marijuana dispensaries in Upland, Colton and Moreno Valley.
"In this case, as the defendant was warned, the court's hands are tied," U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson said.
"Whether you agree with the defendant's position or not."
Sandusky was found guilty in October of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana plants, to possess with intent to distribute marijuana plants, and to maintain a drug-involved premises; and one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana plants, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.Anderson recommended that Sandusky serve his time in Victorville federal prison.
Sandusky's hands and feet were shackled in Roybal Federal Building and Courthouse. He was clad in a white prison suit and green jacket.
"I want to apologize to those with me and their families who have been victimized by the federal government who has not recognized the voters of this state," Sandusky said in court.
State voters approved Proposition 215 in 1996, allowing medical marijuana in the state, while state Senate Bill 420, which details the amount of marijuana a person can possess for medical purposes, prevents cities and counties from banning marijuana dispensaries. But federal law says marijuana - medical or otherwise - is illegal."I want to apologize to the families who are suffering and who have to go through this," Sandusky said.
"There are no winners here. Not the state, not the federal government, not the patients who need medical marijuana."
Government lawyers said four additional charges that Sandusky was facing will be dismissed.
Government attorneys had no comment at the courthouse.
During the court appearance, someone yelled "We love you, Aaron."
The sentencing was also greeted with sobs from attendees.
Despite being shackled, Sandusky was able to give two thumbs up as he left the courtroom. He showed no emotion throughout the appearance.
Sandusky turns 43 on Tuesday.
"It's not going to be a real happy birthday," G3 Holistic patient Christopher Kenner said. "I hate to think this is the last time I'll see him."
Federal authorities in June arrested Sandusky and additional operators of the Inland Empire chain of marijuana stores and others associated with a warehouse, where marijuana was cultivated for the stores, on federal drug trafficking charges.
A six-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury charged three owners and operators of G3 Holistic stores. The indictment also charged three people who allegedly worked at a large grow operation in an Ontario warehouse that supplied marijuana to the three G3 stores.More details to come.Please sign the petition to pardon him now!!!
The stark choice given a medical marijuana grower highlights the injustice of mandatory minimums.Jacob Sullum
| January 2, 2013
Chris Williams, a Montana medical marijuana grower, faces at least five years in federal prison when he is sentenced on February 1. The penalty seems unduly severe, especially because his business openly supplied marijuana to patients who were allowed to use it under state law.
Yet five years is a cakewalk compared to the sentence Williams originally faced, which would have kept the 38-year-old father behind bars for the rest of his life. The difference is due to an extremely unusual post-conviction agreement
that highlights the enormous power prosecutors wield as a result of mandatory minimum sentences so grotesquely unjust that in this case even they had to admit it.
Of more than two dozen Montana medical marijuana providers who were arrested following federal raids
in March 2011, Williams is the only one who insisted on his right to a trial. For that he paid a steep price.
Tom Daubert, one of Williams' partners in Montana Cannabis, which had dispensaries in four cities, pleaded guilty
to maintaining drug-involved premises and got five years of probation. Another partner, Chris Lindsey, took a similar deal
and is expected to receive similar treatment. Both testified
against Williams at his trial last September.
Williams' third partner, Richard Flor, pleaded guilty
to the same charge but did not testify against anyone. Flor, a sickly 68-year-old suffering from multiple ailments, died
four months into a five-year prison term.
For a while it seemed
that Williams, who rejected a plea deal because he did not think he had done anything wrong and because he wanted to challenge federal interference with Montana's medical marijuana law, also was destined to die in prison. Since marijuana is prohibited for all purposes under federal law, he was not allowed
even to discuss the nature of his business in front of the jury, so his conviction on the four drug charges he faced, two of which carried five-year mandatory minimums, was more or less inevitable.
Stretching Williams' sentence from mindlessly harsh to mind-bogglingly draconian, each of those marijuana counts was tied to a charge of possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking offense, based on guns at the Helena grow operation that Williams supervised and at Flor's home in Miles City, which doubled as a dispensary. Federal law prescribes
a five-year mandatory minimum for the first such offense and 25 years
for each subsequent offense, with the sentences to run consecutively.
Consequently, when Williams was convicted
on all eight counts, he faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 80 years
for the gun charges alone, even though he never handled the firearms cited in his indictment
, let alone hurt anyone with them. This result, which federal prosecutors easily could have avoided by bringing different charges, was so absurdly disproportionate that U.S. Attorney Michael Cotter offered
Williams a deal.
Drop your appeal, Cotter said, and we'll drop enough charges so that you might serve "as little as 10 years." No dice, said Williams, still determined to challenge the Obama administration's assault on medical marijuana providers. But when Cotter came back with a better offer
, involving a five-year mandatory minimum, Williams took it, having recognized the toll his legal struggle was taking on his 16-year-old son, a freshman at Montana State University.
"I think everyone in the federal system realizes that these mandatory minimum sentences are unjust," Williams tells me during a call from the Missoula County Detention Facility. But for prosecutors they serve an important function: "They were basically leveraging this really extreme sentence against something that was so light because they wanted to force me into taking a plea deal." Nine out of 10 federal criminal cases end
in guilty pleas.
The efficient transformation of defendants into prisoners cannot be the standard by which we assess our criminal justice system. If the possibility of sending someone like Chris Williams to prison for the rest of his life is so obviously unfair, why does the law allow it, let alone mandate it?
Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason
magazine and a nationally syndicated columnist.
Follow Jacob Sullum on twitter @jacobsullum
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said he supports the legalization of marijuana in California.
In a New York Times article about the fading stigma of the drug in the Golden State, Newsom told the New York Times' Adam Nagourney, "These laws just don't make sense anymore. It's time for politicians to come out of the closet on this."
Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco who challenged Jerry Brown for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2010, is the highest-ranking state official to endorse legalization of marijuana.
Under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the state passed laws lowering penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana, making possession of less than an ounce similar to a routine traffic violation.
In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, which authorized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. But state voters narrowly rejected a measure in 2010 an initiative to decriminalize the drug.