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Politics and Policy

California To Vote Again On Recreational Weed

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California will vote on whether to legalize recreational marijuana come November. Our California-based reporter Amy Westervelt has that story.

“How many people can get stoned, and still have a great state or a great nation?”

That’s California Governor Jerry Brown at a press conference back in 2012.

The governor’s opinion aside, more than 600,000 California voters signed a petition to get recreational weed on the November ballot. And Brown’s own Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom, spearheaded that charge. Here he is at a recent marijuana conference in Oakland.

“Whether you support legalization or not, it’s likely to happen, and when it does we need to be prepared. Right now. Can’t wait until November.”

But those who oppose legalization don’t see it as simply a political issue. Roger Morgan, executive director of the Coalition for A Drug-Free California, says he’s concerned about health and the environment.

“Parents need to know – either way they vote for this – marijuana can destroy this country. If we continue to destroy the brains of our young people, and decimate our national forests, neither have a future nor does the health of this nation.”

For local Truckee parent Charity Shelby, the decision is more about the role she wants government to play in her and her kids’ lives. “You know, whether you smoke marijuana, grow marijuana and all that? I don’t think that’s the real issue. I think the bigger issue is how much control the government has on us.”

Campaigns on both sides are likely to heat up in the months leading up to the vote. Lieutenant Governor Newsom says that while many in the media seem to take it for granted that the initiative will pass, he expects it to be a close call.

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