Dec 212012
 December 21, 2012

Gavin Newsom marijuanaNewsom Adds Voice to Growing List of Prominent U.S. and World Leaders Calling for Alternatives to Failed Drug War

Full-Page DPA NY Times Ad Yesterday: Thanks Colorado and Washington Voters, Pat Robertson, Former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, NJ Gov. Chris Christie, and Presidents of Colombia, Guatemala and Uruguay

California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom is the latest elected official to call for marijuana legalization. In a front page New York Times story today, Newsom said he believes marijuana prohibition is counterproductive and voiced his support for making marijuana legal. Mr. Newsom, widely considered a leading contender for California’s governor in 2016, said, “These laws just don’t make sense anymore,” and “it’s time for politicians to come out of the closet on this.”

Newsom first came to international prominence when, in 2004, as the newly-elected mayor of San Francisco, he issued a directive to the city-county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“Even as public support for legalizing marijuana and marriage equality have both increased dramatically over the past seven years, with the country now roughly split on both issues, senior elected officials have shied from speaking out in favor of the former,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.  “Gavin Newsom’s leadership is thus all the more important on this issue, as it was with marriage equality.”

Newsom joins a rapidly growing number of former and current political leaders who have come out in support of marijuana legalization and ending the war on drugs over the past year.

In Thursday’s New York Times, the Drug Policy Alliance ran a full-page ad that thanks voters in Colorado and Washington and emphasizes the growing support for drug policy reform among leaders from across the political spectrum.

This year, President Bill Clinton joined several other former presidents in sharply criticizing the war on drugs in the just-released documentary Breaking the Taboo. Meanwhile, two U.S. governors from opposite sides of the aisle who are often mentioned as 2016 presidential candidates – New York’s Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey’s Chris Christie – have embraced varying degrees of drug policy reform. Gov. Christie broke ranks with fellow Republicans by calling the drug war a failure, while Gov. Cuomo committed to ending New York’s racially discriminatory marijuana arrest crusade. Even strange bedfellows like evangelical leader Pat Robertson and former President Jimmy Carter spoke out in support of legally regulating marijuana this year. In Latin America, presidents such as Juan Manuel Santos (Colombia), Otto Pérez Molina (Guatemala), and José Mujica (Uruguay) are calling for alternatives to prohibition.

Newsom’s comments come just one week after President Obama commented on marijuana legalization in his first post-election interview – framing the conflict between federal and state law as a question to be resolved and stating that people who use marijuana in states that have legalized it should not be a “top priority” for federal law enforcement.

In November 2011, Newsom kicked off DPA’s International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Los Angeles with a rousing speech denouncing the war on drugs.

Earlier this year, Newsom interviewed DPA Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann on his Current TV show.

Press Release From The Drug Policy Alliance

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About Jay Smoker

I have been smoking marijuana for almost twenty years and I have no plans to stop anytime soon. My life was turned upside down in 2009 after getting arrested and tossed in jail for being in the wrong state with legal medical marijuana. I got fed up, and I now devote all my time to ending this insanity.I am responsible for the technical side of this project, but try to chip in when I can, either with syndicated articles or original content.Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.Feel free to email. any questions or concerns. Peace!
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003284307084 Muzzy Lu

    Marijuana was legal in America for years before it was banned, and nothing horrible happened. Cannabis will only help people in pain, and be a very mild tame recreational habit to others. Better for America that many people use marijuana than most other drugs and alcohol. Marijuana is a very healthy food if taken as an edible, not smoked. There is a great $2.99 e-book on medical marijuana: MARIJUANA – Guide to Buying, Growing, Harvesting, and Making Medical Marijuana Oil and Delicious Candies to Treat Pain and Ailments by Mary Bendis, Second Edition. This book has great recipes for easy marijuana oil, delicious Cannabis Chocolates, and tasty Dragon Teeth Mints. goo.gl/iYjPn goo.gl/Jfs61

  • bluecollarbytes

    As more wishy washy politicians gain the courage of the citizens-convictions, the tide will turn. Colorado and Washington have ‘emboldened’ some to take a new look at legalization. Even if the feds swoop in and throw people in prison and threaten landlords, politicians, growers, and civil servants, there is now an inevitability for some type of wider legalization, state by state. It’s no longer a taboo subject, which is a huge breakthrough, resulting in changing public perception.