CA congressman endorses rec legalization initiative

California marijuana legalization proponents scored a major backer on Monday when they announced the formal endorsement of Los Angeles Congressman Ted Lieu, who signaled his support for a recreational cannabis initiative written by billionaire Sean Parker’s coalition.

The measure, called the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), “creates a legal, responsible and regulated framework for adult use of marijuana that is fiscally responsible,” Lieu said in a press release.

“As a policy, marijuana prohibition has wasted taxpayer resources while failing to protect our communities,” Lieu said. “The (AUMA) represents a vastly superior and long overdue new approach.”

The AUMA has already gathered a solid base of support, including the Marijuana Policy Project, the Drug Policy Alliance and, most recently, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The initiative, which has yet to formally qualify for the ballot for November, was written by a group of stakeholders compiled by Parker, the former Facebook president and tech investor who has already contributed $1 million to the legalization push.

It’s generally considered the best shot at adult-use cannabis legalization in California this year, despite a host of competing initiatives.