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California Lt. Governor – California Will Legalize Recreational Marijuana In 2016


Gavin Newsom marijuana california cademI had a conversation Friday night with a reporter from a very large media company. During that conversation I expressed concern for California’s 2016 marijuana election efforts. I told the reporter that it would really suck if California failed, again, in 2016. Winning in other states would be great, don’t get me wrong, but California is the biggest ‘prize’ of 2016. A 2016 victory in California would signal the beginning of the end for national cannabis prohibition in my opinion. A loss in California would not be the beginning of the end for legalization efforts (as much as opponents like to think it would), but it would delay things on a national scale in my opinion.

Unfortunately, California has a very fractured activism base. There are several initiatives currently gathering resources and signatures, which is what has doomed past California efforts. In a perfect world they would all work together, because it’s going to take upwards of $20 million to run a successful California campaign from start to finish. California will not be easy, but a lot of people are confident that it will happen. Among those that are confident of a 2016 victory is California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom. Mr. Newsom was recently on the Bill Maher show, and he expressed that he feels California will legalize in 2016. Per SF Gate:

The statement amounts one of to the most strident predictions — from one of the world’s highest ranking politicians — about the success of such an initiative.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher Friday, Aug. 7, and during a question and answer segment said:

“As some folks may know, we’re very likely to have a ballot initiative in 2016 and we have strong confidence that we’ll win. We gotta to do it right and be thoughtful and deal with the legitimate concerns folks have about our children, and not allowing Big Tobacco come in and do Big Marijuana. So we want to do it in a very thoughtful way and we want to have that opportunity next year.”

I will post the video of the entire question and answer section below. I have found in the past that the Bill Maher show makes the video available on YouTube for a limited time, so hopefully the video stays up for awhile. The segment features two Republican strategists, and other than one of them trying to bust a joke that Rand Paul grows marijuana in Kentucky, the entire segment was very thoughtful, and the Republicans actually had amazing things to say, which were points that marijuana supporters have made for a long time:


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Johnny Green


  1. Keeping it the way it is, means you can be fired for refusing to test, you can be cited if you don’t have the MM card, and it means the number of otherwise law-abiding citizens incarcerated for growing, transporting, or selling cannabis, will most likely increase. Really, is that what you want? Say it isn’t so.

  2. The problem with legalization and taxation of marijuana, is the fact that once the state starts getting that fat stream of tax revenues, it will spend it frivolously and become heavily dependent on it. It seems that with greater taxation, comes greater spending.

  3. disqus_e2ENkEEzXX on

    Economics 101,supply and demand.
    This would make all product s = higher profits. I knew that class would some day pay off .

  4. Even if it becomes legal I will always grow or purchase from private growers, I would never ever put any government controlled anything in my lungs……KEEP IT THE WAY IT IS!!!

  5. Oregon made 11 million in retail sales in just 5 days, that shows the huge boost to the existing markets and economy. CA shouldnt lag behind Oregon, Washington,and Colorado. Pot needs to be legalize

  6. That just sounds like you guys are clumsy in general, meaning you would probably do that stuff if you were distracted in ANY way possible (on the phone, changing the radio station, rolling your windows down, etc). Some people are terrible drivers even when they’re sober. You can’t blame marijuana for that.

  7. Of course there is. You can’t chastise a politician for it if he’s helping your cause, though. He’s working for you, and unless he’s also promoting some bizarre policy you completely disagree with, you should embrace him.

    edit: basically, pick and choose your battles

  8. I agree. I was part of CCHI in 2014, and while it is a great initiative, most people are just not ready to accept such a drastic change. As humans, we are used to evolution, meaning, gradual, almost indiscernible changes. Drastic change breeds opposition.

  9. Growers defeated prop 19 because they would lose profit. Growers benefit from prohibition because it drives prices up. Growing marijuana is cheap. Defending yourself from the Federal government is expensive. If you make weed legal, most of the cost goes out the window.

  10. I love Gavin Newsom as much as the next pothead, but… wouldn’t it be easier to do this from the legislative side instead of wasting time doing this through initiatives that may ultimately fail?

    We have enough people in fairly strong political positions in favor of this, yet we are still going about it the same way we’re doing it at the Federal level. At the Federal level, we’re waiting for “the people” to vote and show that we want laws to change. At the state level (particularly in California) a lot of people, including politicians, want this to happen. So then, why beat around the bush? Why pretend that only people want it and not politicians?

    Several bills have been introduced into the Assembly and Senate, yet nothing ever happens. Maybe it’s time to exercise our voting rights and DEMAND that our elected officials do our bidding! (I realize that the initiative process is intended to do this very thing, but, it is extremely costly, and particularly hard to coordinate [only adding to the cost] in a state as large as ours).

    I voted for prop 19 in 2010. I gathered signatures in 2014, only for the whole thing to be invalidated because we didn’t get enough. At this point, I’d hate for 2016 to be wasted once again, but really, where are the career politicians? Why do we have to do what they should be doing?

    edit: got my dates mixed up

  11. Does big Tobacco include any home grown new big tobacco like the terre tech guys did with dan rush?

  12. The problem is that now it’s the rich trying to get richer. Capitalising off a new platform to make more money. Just like the initiative in Ohio. A select group of growers have a monopoly over the system.

  13. He did say “almost” no traffic problems.

    According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, marijuana adds only 5% to the risk of a car accident, after adjusting for age demographics. One study claimed that marijuana doubles the risk of a crash, but even if that were true that would be exactly the same risk as driving 5MPH over the speed limit. Everybody should drive sober, of course, but those who do drive while buzzed can handle the roads rather well.

  14. As far as I’m concerned, this battle has been going on nationwide for far too long. It’s time for a revolution, this is about constitutional freedoms, not just marijuana. The problem is that we’ve been asking for freedom instead of demanding it. The message to government needs to be loud and clear, they can either give us our country back or we’ll just take it from them. How long do we just beg for our freedoms before it’s time for action?

  15. The dosage makes the poison, not the ingredient.

    Banning alcohol was a colossal failure. Why would banning weed, pills, or anything else work? IT FUCKING DOESN’T!

  16. There is no reason why America should have legal pot in some states while denying it in others. To quote Abraham Lincoln, it must become all one thing or all the other.

  17. MCLR is very similar to CCHI, but has a better chance of passing. It sticks to a single issue (legalization) not freeing pow’s and everything else cchi does. Cchi is a noble effort, don’t get me wrong. But the single issue rule will kill that initiative. MCLR is the smarter choice to back. And i agree with you about the norcal groups. I went to a norml/reformca “round-table” meeting. It felt more like a sales pitch for their initiative than an information gathering opportunity for them. It will be interesting to see the language of their initiative when it finally comes out. Who knows…it might be acceptable. I doubt it. But ya never know. And that one is going to have the financial support that a successful initiative needs. Whether we like it or not.

  18. naturally paleo on

    You are down playing the potential effect mary jane can have. I wouldn’t say no traffic problems. When I got my gf high for the first time she obliviously drove through a red light and almost got us killed. When I’m really high off white widow I tend to be more of a clutz and have injured my self on multiple occasions. So although marijuana should be legal for various reasons there are some cons you should be aware of when making claims.

  19. Michael Stewart on

    Yes, “come together” as in “join us, not them?” the problem is that the northern initiatives are proprietary, exclusionary, and based solely on control of the industry for their profit alone. CCHI2016 Is the only “peoples initiative”, and is a un-funded grass roots cause. 20 million? Give us one million, and we are on the ballot!
    All the talkers are only interested in investment returns, because hey, if everyone could grow and use cannabis in any and all it’s forms, “they” would not be able to cash in! FREE the CANNABIS for ALL the PEOPLE!

  20. What an enlightened panel! I was especially grateful to hear the comment of the ever increasing militarization of the police and their using a non-violent cannabis user to justify the acquisition of armored vehicles. This is beyond disturbing!

    The main hurdle of our efforts to ‘legalize’ here in Cali was touched on in this very article. Our refusal to come together will only serve to prevent us from obtaining our goal. I could see two, maybe three (and that’s severely pushing it) initiatives on the ballot. But more than five?! This will only confuse already confused voters. It would require the public to research each one to decide what is ‘best’. Unfortunately I can see people getting annoyed and voting no on each one. We must come together!

  21. AFreedomFighter88 on

    All the data from the Center for Disease Control clearly supports cannabis legalization. It is absolutely clear that cannabis is safer than the legal serial killers tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs which kill over 650,000 US citizens annually. Nothing the least bit complicated or hard to understand about these statistics taken directly from the CDC dot gov web site:
    Numbers of deaths per year in the USA
    * Prescription Drugs: 237,485 + 5,000 traffic fatalities
    * Tobacco: 390,323
    * Alcohol: 88,013 + 16,000 traffic fatalities
    * Cocaine: 4,906
    * Heroin: 3,365
    * Aspirin: 466
    * Acetaminophen (Tylenol): 179
    * Marijuana: 0, none, not a single fatal overdose in all medical history and almost no traffic problems
    So, which is safer?
    Legalize, regulate and TAX!

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