An impressive and diverse coalition of community leaders and lawmakers came together yesterday for a press conference in San Francisco that highlighted the reasons they believe voters should approve Proposition 64 next month.
“This is as broad based a coalition as we’ve ever seen on this issue”, said California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. “This the beginning of the end of marijuana prohibition.”
If passed into law on November 8th, Prop 64 would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for everyone – tourists included – 21 and older. The personal cultivation of up to six cannabis plants would also be legalized, as would a regulated system of cannabis retail outlets.
“Proposition 64 is an idea whose time has come”, said Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). “We can successfully regulate marijuana and raise up to $1 billion a year for California.”
“As someone who is a parent, I know that children today have access to marijuana right now”, says Assembly member David Chiu (D-San Francisco). “We need to strengthen safeguards for children and this measure does that. Proposition 64 ensures that we are putting the right safeguards in place when it comes to marijuana and our children.”
Dan Daniels, Sr., the Coastal Area Director for the NAACP, also spoke at the conference.
“Over the last decade nearly half a million Californians have been arrested for nonviolent pot-related crimes”, said Daniels. “Even though African-Americans, Latinos, and whites use and sell marijuana at roughly similar rates, an African American is twice as likely as a white person to be arrested for marijuana.”
“Proposition 64 will strengthen our communities, and it will end the selective and aggressive enforcement which has contributed to the mistrust of blacks in the community with law enforcement.”
According to recent polling, nearly 60% of voters in California support Proposition 64.