California, Nevada lawmakers back marijuana legalization

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In another sign that marijuana is increasingly mainstream, a California congressman and thirteen Nevada lawmakers took the step of publicly endorsing cannabis legalization measures in the state.

It’s a growing trend among elected lawmakers and officials, one that could simultaneously advance the economic interests of the marijuana industry.

The group in Nevada includes state Senate Minority Leader Aaron Ford plus nine other sitting senators and assemblymen, who jointly endorsed Question 2, the initiative to legalize adult-use marijuana.

The measure will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot. The group also includes one retired assemblyman, a Clark County commissioner, and North Las Vegas City city councilman.

“Question 2 gives Nevada an opportunity to break free of years of failed public policy when it comes to marijuana prohibition,” Ford said in a statement.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is behind Question 2, welcomed the political backing.

“With so many current and former elected officials coming out in support of Question 2, we are confident the people of Nevada will take the opportunity to regulate marijuana like alcohol this November,” said Joe Brezny, a campaign spokesman.

California Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) also announced support for the recreational legalization measure in his state.

“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,” Huffman said in a statement. At least two other California congressmen have come out in favor of marijuana legalization: Republican Dana Rohrabacher and Democrat Ted Lieu.