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California: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom Asks Trump To Cooperate With State On Marijuana Regulation

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom sent a letter to President Trump on Friday asking him to not increase federal enforcement of laws against recreational marijuana use.

The letter was copied to Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, and follows yesterday's comments made by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who told reporters, "I do believe that you'll see greater enforcement” against recreational-use marijuana.

“The war on marijuana has failed,” Newsom wrote in the letter. “It did not, and will not, keep marijuana out of kids’ hands.”

“The government must not strip the legal and publicly supported industry of its business and hand it back to drug cartels and criminals,” Newsom wrote to Trump. “Dealers don’t card kids. I urge you and your administration to work in partnership with California and the other eight states that have legalized recreational marijuana for adult use in a way that will let us enforce our state laws that protect the public and our children, while targeting the bad actors.”

Newsom was a leading supporter of Proposition 64, approved by voters last November, which made recreational marijuana use legal in California for adults 21 and over. The state plans to begin issuing licenses to growers and sellers early next year.

Newsom also had an issue with comments made by Spicer linking marijuana use to opioids.

California: Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Endorses Marijuana Legalization Initiative

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

On Monday, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa became the latest high-profile politician to endorse an initiative on next week’s ballot that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in California.

Villaraigosa is considering running for governor in 2018 amid a field that already includes Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a leading proponent of Proposition 64.

“I took my time on this measure because I wanted to make sure it included protections for children and public safety,” Villaraigosa said in a statement. “In evaluating the measure in its entirety, I am convinced there are enough safeguards to make it a workable proposition.”

The Proposition 64 campaign welcomed Villaraigosa’s endorsement at a time when a recent poll indicated slightly fewer than half of Latino voters support the measure.

“We’re glad to have it,” said Jason Kinney, a spokesman for the campaign.

California: Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom Explains Why He Supports Legalizing Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

California’s Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom participated in a one-hour meeting with the Press Democrat editorial board on October 11. He admitted that there he doesn’t like pot, and has never used it, but still sees a lot of benefits to be gained from legalizing cannabis through Proposition 64. “I’m not pro-marijuana. I’m just vehemently anti-prohibition,” he said to the board.

Newsom began working on a committee in 2013 that was formed specifically to study the possibilities of marijuana legalization in California. “We began our work by saying ‘we don’t believe this should be California’s next Gold Rush,” he mentions about the committee’s original goals, explaining that legalizing marijuana shouldn’t be mainly about generating revenue. “This is not what we should be doing with a drug that is of concern, particularly for our children and youth and as it relates to public safety. We shouldn’t be promoting it as a government entity and revenue generation.”

He told the Press Democrat that Prop 64 will protect and preserve the growing high-quality cannabis, rather than resulting in “the cannibalization and monopolization, large multi-national folks coming and destroying that,” Newsom stated.

California: Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) Qualifies For November Ballot

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The campaign in support of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) on Tuesday applauded the announcement by Secretary of State Alex Padilla that the measure has officially qualified for the November 8 General Election ballot in California.

“Today marks a fresh start for California, as we prepare to replace the costly, harmful and ineffective system of prohibition with a safe, legal and responsible adult-use marijuana system that gets it right and completely pays for itself,” said Jason Kinney, spokesperson for the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

“This measure reflects years of hard work, diverse stakeholder input and broad, bipartisan public support," Kinney said. "A growing majority of Californians support a smarter approach to marijuana and we’re gratified that voters will finally have the opportunity in November to pass comprehensive, common-sense policy that protects children, local control, public health and public safety, saves state and local taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, funds critical local programs, and serves as a model for the rest of the nation.”

The coalition of endorsers in support of AUMA is the largest ever formed in support of marijuana policy reform in the state, according to organizers.

California: Newsom Warns Marijuana Legalization No Sure Thing

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom joined leading cannabis activists Tuesday in warning that if California voters don't support legalizing recreational adult marijuana use in November it could set momentum back at least a decade on the issue.

“It’s not a done deal by any stretch of the imagination,” Newsom told a meeting of legalization supporters. “Any of you think this is done in California, you couldn’t be more wrong.”

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act is expected to qualify for the California ballot in the next week or so. With that and the possibility of cannabis measures going before voters in eight other states this fall, “we’ve never had so much at stake in one election night,” Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association told those attending the opening of the organization’s convention Tuesday in Oakland.

“If we don’t win California and at least half of the other states in play right now, the public narrative around our industry will dramatically change for the worse and for quite some time, setting us back a decade or more,” Smith said.

If voters in all nine states support cannabis measures, Smith said that means that 1 in 4 Americans will live in a state where recreational adult use of marijuana is legal and 3 of 4 would live in a state where medicinal use is legal.

California Democratic Party Endorses Adult Use of Marijuana Act

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November ballot measure becomes the first marijuana legalization initiative in state history to receive the official endorsement of a major political party

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The campaign in support of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), which will appear on the November 2016 statewide ballot in California, on Monday announced that it has received the official endorsement of the California Democratic Party (CDP).

The largest statewide Democratic Party organization in the nation, the CDP joins the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, the largest local Democratic Party organization in the nation, and the San Francisco Democratic Party in endorsing AUMA.

While the CDP has long had as part of its official platform putting an end to the failed and costly policy of marijuana prohibition in California, this is the first time in state history that a major political party has officially endorsed a specific cannabis legalization ballot measure.

“This landmark action by the California Democratic Party underscores the responsible and consensus approach of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act and strengthens what is already the largest, most enthusiastic and most diverse coalition ever assembled in support of a marijuana legalization effort,” said Brian Brokaw, AUMA campaign manager.

California: 3,000 Marijuana Professionals To Gather At National Cannabis Industry Association Summit

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As California prepares to consider cannabis legalization, the influential Cannabis Business Summit and Expo starts Monday in Oakland, featuring California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Numi Tea CEO Ahmed Rahim, industry leaders, federal lawmakers, and three days of education and networking.

More than 3,000 cannabis professionals from 16 countries will gather at the third annual conference at Oakland Marriott City Center, June 20-22, including a "who's who" of industry leaders and policy makers. The Summit takes place at a crucial time in history, with California's Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) ballot initiative expected to be certified for November voting, and the campaign fully underway.

California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom will deliver the policy keynote address on Tuesday, June 21, at 11 am. Newsom, who is running for Governor of California in 2018, is a key supporter for marijuana reform and legalization and a high-profile advocate for the benefits of embracing a legitimate cannabis industry.

California: Adult Use of Marijuana Act Endorsed By North Coast Congressman

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

North Coast Congressman and longtime environmental leader U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) on Wednesday announced his support for the statewide ballot measure known as the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA).

Prior to his election to Congress in November of 2012, Huffman served six years in the California State Assembly and was co-chair of the Legislative Environmental Caucus. He previously served as a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. As a congressman, he serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources.

"The Adult Use of Marijuana Act is a necessary statewide reform that brings a billion-dollar industry out of the shadows and into a regulated market," said Rep. Huffman, whose district spans from the Golden Gate Bridge north to the Oregon border and includes the Emerald Triangle, the three-county region that produces some of America's best domestically grown marijuana.

"The measure takes historic, first-of-its-kind steps to reverse the devastating environmental and water damage that has been done by illegal marijuana grows in our state," Rep. Huffman said. "AUMA is not just good social justice and public health policy. It's forward-thinking environmental reform as well."

California: LA County Democrats Endorse AUMA Marijuana Legalization

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Largest Democratic County Committee in California says ballot measure will “protect children” and “provide critical funding for public health”

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The campaign in support of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) on Wednesday announced the official endorsement of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party (LACDP), the largest Democratic county committee in California and the largest local Democratic Party organization in the nation.

The LACDP represents more than 2.4 million registered Democrats and a population larger than 42 other states in the 88 cities and the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

“Los Angeles County Democrats support the Adult Use of Marijuana Act because it will end the failed policies of prohibition which have disproportionately harmed communities of color, it will protect California’s children and it will provide critical funding for public health and public safety programs,” said Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair and California Democratic Party Vice Chair Eric C. Bauman.

Supporters of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act say the measure includes strong safeguards for children, businesses and local governments, strict anti-monopoly provisions and the toughest warning label and marketing-to-kids laws in the nation.

California: NCIA Hosts 3rd Annual Cannabis Business Summit In Oakland June 20-22

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The National Cannabis Industry Association, a national trade association representing the businesses of the legal marijuana industry, will hold its third annual national conference, the Cannabis Business Summit and Expo, in Oakland, California, on June 20-22, at the Marriott City Center.

California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom will deliver the policy keynote address on Tuesday, June 21. Newsom, who is running for Governor of California in 2018, is a key supporter for marijuana reform and legalization and a high-profile advocate for the benefits of embracing a legitimate cannabis industry.

Numi Organic Tea CEO and co-founder Ahmed Rahim will deliver the business keynote on June 21, sharing insights into his company's embrace of the "triple bottom line" approach, best practices in moving toward organics and fair trade, and the importance and benefits of connecting with the local community.

This year the Cannabis Business Summit moves to California from Denver, bringing business owners, entrepreneurs, investors, and policy influencers to the largest legal marijuana market in the U.S. This move comes at a crucial time in history, with California's Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) ballot initiative expected to be certified for November voting, and the campaign fully underway.

California: Measure To Legalize Recreational Marijuana On Fall Ballot

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A measure to legalize recreational marijuana use in California appears destined to be on the ballot this fall.

A coalition of marijuana advocates announced Tuesday that it has collected over 600,000 signatures, more than enough to qualify the initiative.

Supporters of the measure, including Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, plan to kick off a campaign for voter approval of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act today, Wednesday, in San Francisco.

The measure would allow adults ages 21 and older to possess, transport and use up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes and would allow individuals to grow as many as six plants.

"This November, California voters will finally have the opportunity to pass smart marijuana policy that is built on the best practices of other states, includes the strictest child protections in the nation and pays for itself while raising billions for the state,” Newsom said in a statement.

The coalition includes some law enforcement and civil rights leaders. It needed to collect 365,880 signatures of registered voters to qualify the initiative, which would also impose a 15% tax on retail sales of the drug.

California: Adult Use of Marijuana Act Endorsed By Congressman Ted Lieu

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Congressman and military veteran U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) on Monday announced his support for the statewide ballot measure known as the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA).

The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Lieu has won awards as a military prosecutor, an advisor to U.S. Air Force commanders and as a law student and private attorney. As a congressman, he serves on the House Budget and Oversight Committees.

Last year, Lieu introduced bipartisan legislation to save taxpayer dollars by blocking the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from financing its Domestic Cannabis Eradication and Suppression Program through civil asset forfeitures.

“I’ve reviewed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act and believe it creates a legal, responsible and regulated framework for adult use of marijuana that is fiscally responsible, smartly builds on what California has already done with medical marijuana and provides necessary protections for children, workers, local governments, law enforcement agencies and the environment,” said Rep. Lieu.

“As a policy, marijuana prohibition has wasted taxpayer resources while failing to protect our communities,” Lieu said. “The Adult Use of Marijuana Act represents a vastly superior and long overdue new approach.”

California: Anti-Marijuana Activist Is Determined To Stop Legalization

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Anti-marijuana activist Roger Morgan is determined to stop marijuana legalization in California -- and because of failure of Prop 19 in 2010, he feels he has a good chance.

Morgan is leading the Stop Pot 2016 campaign, the primary political opposition to the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), the cannabis legalization initiative backed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Napster founder Sean Parker, reports Zach Weissmuller at Reason.com.

Morgan's "Safe and Drug-Free Community Act" aims to keep commercial cannabis illegal, and to more heavily regulate medical marijuana in California.

In an often-contentious interview with Weissmuller, the two discuss what science does and doesn't say about the effects of cannabis on the brain; the unintended consequences of prohibition; and what lessons California voters can draw from legalization in places in Colorado, Washington state, Oregon, and Alaska.

California: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom Says Golden State Will Legalize Marijuana In 2016

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

California voters will legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for adults in the 2016 general election, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom predicted on Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday. "I'm leading the effort," Newsom added.

"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 said, reports David Downs at SF Gate.

"We gotta do it right and be thoughtful and deal with the legitimate concerns folks have about our children, and not allowing Big Tobacco come in and do Big Marijuana," Newsom said. "So we want to do it in a very thoughtful way and we want to have that opportunity next year."

Lt. Gov. Newsom has been working with a Blue Ribbon Commission on legalization; its findings were released this summer. An initiative is expected soon.

A winning marijuana legalization initiative campaign could cost half a million dollars or more, and that's just for paid signature gatherers, never mind the ads. Those will run a cool $10 million or so -- and that's assuming no major opposition.

California: Gubernatorial Candidate Gavin Newsom Supports Marijuana Legalization

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom is preparing for a 2016 gubernatorial campaign, and if an expected ballot measure to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana meets his criteria, he will endorse it and effectively become the public face of the campaign, betting his political future on the popularity of cannabis in the Golden State.

Newsom, a Democrat, is the highest-ranking official in California to support recreational legalization, reports Seema Mehta at The Los Angeles Times.

Although legalization will almost certainly be popular with liberal and young voters, some political analysts believe his support for legalization could present a challenge.

"He could motivate large numbers of young people who aren't regular voters to turn out for him," said director Dan Schnur, of the University of Southern California's Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. "But taking a leadership role on this could make older swing voters nervous, even if they agree with him on the issue. It's a potentially risky play."

Voters in California legalized medical marijuana in 1996 but in 2010 voted against recreational use, 53.5 percent to 46.5 percent. Since then, polling has shown that public support for legalizing pot has grown, reaching 53 percent in a March survey by the Public Policy Institute of California — a record high in that organization's surveys.

California: Richard Branson, Lt. Gov. Newsom, and SF DA Gascon To Discuss Failed War On Drugs

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Event will feature special screening of Film Breaking the Taboo

Film Narrated by Morgan Freeman, Features Interviews with Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter Former Presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Sweden, Victims of Drug War, Leading Experts and Advocates

Sundog Pictures will be holding a special screening of its groundbreaking documentary Breaking the Taboo, about the failed War On Drugs, in San Francisco. The screening will be held at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, March 25 at the New People Cinema, 1746 Post Street, San Francisco.

The special screening will be followed by a panel discussion from 6:15 until 7 pm about opportunities to help people convicted of drug offenses get back on the right path and reduce the burden that drug convictions place on American prison systems. The discussion will feature Virgin Founder Sir Richard Branson, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, Laura Thomas of the Drug Policy Alliance and Dorsey Nunn, executive director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children.

California: Democratic Party Platform Calls For Marijuana Legalization

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Pointing out that it could put billions of dollars into state coffers and provide much-needed jobs, California Democrats on Sunday insert a plank in their party platform calling to "support the legalization, regulation and taxation of pot in a manner similar to that of tobacco or alcohol," reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

On the marijuana issue, California Democrats "support the legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana, in a manner similar to that of tobacco or alcohol," the official party platform reads, reports Seema Mehta at the Los Angeles Times.

The change -- a monumental political shift -- comes as 3,000 state Democrats met over the weekend at a three-day convention in Los Angeles, where they heard a Saturday appeal by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom on the issue, reports Carla Marinucci at SF Gate. The former San Francisco mayor told the Democrats that the state should be leading, not following, on an important issue that, according to the latest polls, is experiencing a surge of popular support among Americans.

California: Poised To Legalize Marijuana - Will It Be 2014 Or 2016?

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Nearly two-thirds -- 65 percent -- of Californians support the legalization, regulation and taxation of recreational marijuana in the state, according to a new Tulchin Research poll.

The poll, taken during the last two weeks with 1,200 likely 2016 voters, showed a "solid majority" back proposals to legalize adult recreational cannabis, according to the San Francisco-based pollster, reports Kathleen Miles at The Huffington Post.

The poll found 32 percent oppose pot legalization, and 3 percent are undecided.

The poll results were released during a Thursday news conference by California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, and American Civil Liberties Union representatives. Newsom and the ACLU announced the launch of a two-year research project on proposals to legalize recreational cannabis.

Newsom will head a panel of 16 experts, including academics, doctors and policy wonks, who will study the political and legal issues involved in legalization.

"This is about real people," Newsom said. "Communities are devastated because of this abject thing called the Drug War. Forget the politics; this is the right thing to do."

"But we need to answer the tough questions before we put it on the ballot," Newsom said. "I want the research in order to be more convincing to others."

U.S.: Rolling Stone Profiles Ethan Nadelmann, 'Most Influential Man In The Battle For Marijuana Legalization'

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Insightful Rolling Stone Profile Calls Nadelmann “The Real Drug Czar” and “Most Influential Man in the Battle for Legalization”

Former Senior Bush Advisor: “He is the Single Most Influential Policy Entrepreneur on Any Domestic Issue”

Rolling Stone Special Edition on Marijuana Includes Article by Bill Maher, Feature on Colorado and More

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The war on people who use marijuana, the momentum to end prohibition, the people leading the fight, and of course the “Greatest Stoner Movies Of All Time” are just some of the 12 stories featured in the June 20 special issue of Rolling Stone magazine.

Ethan Nadelmann, the founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, is profiled in one of the issue’s main features by Rolling Stone reporter Tim Dickinson. The insightful piece, “The Real Drug Czar,” documents Nadelmann’ s twenty-year career leading the movement to end the disastrous war on drugs. The front cover refers to him as “The Pot Movement’s Power Broker.”

The article describes the pivotal role of Nadelmann’s organization, the Drug Policy Alliance, in marijuana reform’s rapid shift from the fringes to the mainstream of U.S. and international politics – first with medical marijuana in the late 1990s and 2000s, and more recently with marijuana legalization victories in Colorado and Washington.

California: Lt. Gov. Calls on State to Lead Nation in Ending Marijuana Prohibition

(Photo: High Roulette)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, in a piece for The Huffington Post, has called on his state to lead the nation in ending marijuana prohibition and the failed Drug War, as it led in adopting the nation’s first medical marijuana law in 1996.

“It is time for California to decriminalize, tax and regulate marijuana and decide who sells it, who can buy it legally, and for how much," Newsom said. "When California became the first state to approve medical marijuana, we led the nation on progressive drug policies, and now it is time to lead again.

“Bolstered by growing public support and building on our initial leadership, Californians must renew our push for common-sense marijuana policy by developing a state level regulatory system and lead the national effort to end draconian laws that favor incarceration over education," the Lieutenant Governor said.

“Marijuana prohibition has caused irreparable harm to millions of people by saddling them with criminal records and the collateral sanctions associated with even marijuana misdemeanors, such as the potential loss of employment, housing, financial aid and child custody," Newsom said. "These sanctions and penalties fall disproportionally on African Americans and Latinos, devastating entire communities for generations."

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