California lieutenant gov. endorses recreational cannabis initiative

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom formally threw his full support behind a proposed ballot measure to legalize recreational cannabis on Monday, in an editorial published in the Modesto Bee.

The move marries Newsom to the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), which has been supported – and largely funded – by tech billionaire Sean Parker. Although there are many more proposed legalization initiatives, Parker’s is the only one that seems to have the resources to mount a statewide campaign.

“AUMA strikes the right balance, setting in place strong protections for the public while allowing enough flexibility for regulators to tweak the marijuana market to make sure our kids and communities are safe,” Newsom wrote.

The move also makes Newsom one of the few statewide officials in the nation to come out in favor of legalizing adult use. In 2012, for example, the governors of both Colorado and Washington State voiced opposition to legalization.

Newsom is just the latest to get on the AUMA bandwagon – NORML, Marijuana Policy Project, the Drug Policy Alliance, the California Medical Association, the California Council of Land Trustees, and the California NAACP have all also endorsed the initiative.