Two Democratic state lawmakers with deep law enforcement ties announced their opposition on Tuesday to legalizing recreational marijuana use.
Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, a former Sacramento County sheriff’s official who regularly warns about the consequences of drug use, and Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, the Democratic senator most aligned with law enforcement, warned in a statement about impaired drivers and exposing children to marijuana.
Joining Cooper and Galgiani in opposition were Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, and Sacramento County District Attorney Anne-Marie Schubert.
“This initiative will endanger the most vulnerable members of our community,” Schubert said in a statement.
Championed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and funded by benefactors like billionaire tech entrepreneur Sean Parker, the highly professional and organized effort to authorize marijuana contrasts sharply with a failed 2010 effort.
Newsom and allies formally launched their campaign in earlier this month, announcing they had submitted enough signatures to qualify the legalization measure. The rollout swiftly drew a response from a coalition of opponents that includes the Police Chiefs Association, California Hospital Association, California Teamsters, California State Sheriffs’ Association and California Peace Officers Association.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom says the proponents of 2010's Proposition 19 deserve credit for starting a national dialogue. He says this year's campaign is better prepared. He spoke on May 4, 2016 at the campaign launch in San Francisco.
Gov. Jerry Brown offers a thought about marijuana and guns. (Video courtesy Cal Channel)
Tommy Chong made a fortune co-starring in '70's and '80's stoner flicks, including "Up in Smoke," "Cheech & Chong's Next Movie" and "Nice Dreams." Now he markets his own brand of marijuana products and reflects on pot legalization and changing times.