The American Civil Liberties Union of California announced this morning a "blue ribbon panel" to study cannabis legalization in California, and the panel will be chaired by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom.
Spokespeople for ACLU California said this morning at a press conference at their offices that the panel will be comprised of "leading legal, academic and policy experts from across the state and nation" who will "engage in a multi-year research effort to help voters and policy makers as they consider proposals to enact a strict tax and regulation scheme that will enable California to benefit from billions of dollars of potential revenue annually while protecting the health and safety of our children and communities."
The panel will consist of:
Chair: Gavin Newsom: Lt. Governor of California, outspoken advocate for marijuana reform, highest ranking elected official in CA on record calling for legalizing marijuana; most recently quoted in the NYT calling on other elected officials to say publicly what they say privately on this issue.
Sam Kamin: Law professor, Denver University; constitutional law expert, appointed to CO Governor's Task Force on Implementing that state's legalization ballot initiative.
Alison Holcomb: Campaign manager of Washington state's I-502 ballot initiative to tax and regulate marijuana; Criminal Justice Policy Director of the ACLU of WA.
Karen O'Keefe: Staff attorney, Marijuana Policy Project.
Tamar Todd: Attorney, Drug Policy Alliance; also helped draft ballot initiatives and legislation in many states including WA and CO
Craig Reinarman: Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz; author and international drug policy expert.
Marsha Rosenbaum: Former NIDA-funded drug policy researcher, author of articles concerning adolescents and drug use
Ben Tulchin: Tulchin Research
Corey O'Neil: Tulchin Research
Keith Humphreys: 2009-10 Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Stanford Health Policy Associate.
Dr. Timmen Cermak: Immediate Past President, California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM).
Dr. Peter Banys: Past president, California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM)
Neill Franklin: Retired State Police Major (Maryland State Police and Baltimore Police Department) and Executive Director of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition)
Sheriff Laurie Smith: Santa Clara County Sheriff.
Erwin Chemerinsky: Dean, University of California, Irvine School of Law; Constitutional and Federal Jurisdiction Expert, Supreme Court litigator; author of treatises and textbooks, one of the legal experts in the country concerning federal jurisdiction and federal preemption of state laws.
Dr. Seth Ammerman, Professor, Stanford University; member of American Academy of Pediatrics.
The ACLU sees this as the most sophisticated effort ever undertaken to seriously study the issue of pot legalization in the massive state. Lt. Gov. Newsom said the panel will provide some much-needed data to activists and the public to potentially shape future law. He said 2016 would be the ideal year to run an initiative.