Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom 'Leading the Charge' for Legalization

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom Is 'Leading the Charge' for Legalization

In one of the boldest messages of support from one of the highest-ranking government officials in the state, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom told Bill Maher that Californians will legalize recreational marijuana in the 2016 general election.

“I’m leading the charge,” Newsom said.

In partnership with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Newsom formed the Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy (BRC) — an organization “formed in the light of the high likelihood that a marijuana legalization initiative will be placed on the 2016 California ballot, and the fact that current polling data indicates that voters are likely to approve such an initiative,” according to the BRC website. “The purpose of the Commission is to facilitate a comprehensive understanding of various policy questions related to the possibility of legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana for adults in California.”

So pretty much, it’ll be a step ahead of naysayers and potential issues, prepared with both counterarguments and solutions for California legalization based on research gathered by closely monitoring legalization in states like Colorado and Washington. It is comprised of members who are both for and against legalization, but with Newsom at the head, it's pretty clear its purpose is to take on each widespread, propagandistic lie Americans have been fed about marijuana for decades and calmly provide research and evidence to prove that marijuana isn’t the devil — nor is it the gateway drug, the next Big Tobacco, addictive, as dangerous as other Schedule I drugs, causes cancer, going to turn you into an unmotivated zombie, or the doom of America’s youth. (“Think of the children!”)

“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,” Newsom told Maher. “We’ve got to do it right and be thoughtful and deal with the legitimate concerns folks have about our children, and not allowing Big Tobacco to 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.”

Watch the Q&A segment below.