On March 21, 2016, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom endorsed the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state. In an op-ed to The Modesto Bee, Newsom called the war on drugs an “expensive failure” and came out in support of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, a ballot initiative that would legalize recreational marijuana.
“A successful marijuana framework would also reduce the size of the black market, offer legal protection to good actors who strive to work within the law, and raise enough revenue to provide resources for substance-abuse treatment, education, public safety and environmental protection,” Newsom said.
In 2013, Newsom convened the Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy, which examined the public health and safety issues involved with marijuana legalization. Along with Newsom, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act has also been endorsed by multiple organizations, including NORML, the NAACP and the California Medical Association.