Almost a year-and-a-half after its launch, today the Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy led by Lieutenant Governor and Gubernatorial hopeful Gavin Newsom, along with the ACLU and a team of law enforcement officials, activists, and academics, releases a “progress report” to detail key issues in anticipation of ballot measures that might legalize cannabis as soon as 2016.
"This isn’t as black and white as some people think — on both sides of the issue," Newsom told the Chronicle, "And we have the time now to ask and answer these questions," he said, adding presumptively that "We’ve got an enormous challenge of implementing this." Although the Lieutenant Governor is among the highest-ranking state officials in the country to support marijuana legalization, the commission itself says it won't take sides on the subject.
Questions such as how legal marijuana would be taxed, kept from children, and dealt with as it pertains to driving are expected to be among those addressed. In fact, the three main policy areas the report will cover are said to be:
•Protecting the health and well-being of children and adolescents.
•Preserving the public safety of Californians on the road and in their communities.
•Creating a fair, enforceable set of taxes and regulations that enhances California’s economic and physical health.
Other issues such as how to deal with those incarcerated on marijuana charges, whether convicted felons should be allowed to work at pot-related business, and what to do with medical marijuana — whether or not to tax it as well — will also be covered in the pages of the report. On that last issue, Newsom tipped his hand slightly, saying that “People don’t want to tax medicinal, because you don’t want to tax people who are sick.”
Today is the launch of www.safeandsmartpolicy.org where the report will be posted, and Newsom has said that he would like constituents to “come right at us, challenge us with what we’ve missed,” writing to the commission at [email protected].
Related: As You Might Have Expected, Gavin Newsom Announces That He Is Running For Governor In 2018