Everyone Should Have Access to Weed, Democrats Say

Everyone Should Have Access to Weed, Democrats Say
File photo by Gustavo Turner/L.A. Weekly

California's dominant political party is saying yes to drugs.

The California Democratic Party's executive board met in Long Beach over the weekend. It voted to endorse a number of ballot measures, including the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), which is headed for your vote in November.

The initiative would legalize holding up to an ounce of weed for those older than 21 — no doctor's note necessary. If it passes, cannabis could be grown, produced and sold under strict regulations already headed for the medical marijuana market.

And it would tax cultivation and sales at a rate of 15 percent.

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The Dems join the ACLU, the NAACP of California and national NORML in endorsing AUMA. Last month the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, the nation's largest local Democratic Party group, endorsed the initiative.

"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," says Eric Bauman, L.A. County Democratic Party chair and California Democratic Party vice chair. "It will protect California’s children, and it will provide critical funding for public health and public safety programs."

Two polls this year have found that about 60 percent of likely voters favor legalizing recreational pot.

It wasn't always this way. California voters rejected recreational marijuana in 2010. And both parties, wanting to be seen as pro–law-and-order, have a history of being harsh on self-medication that doesn't involve alcohol.

Now even Republicans like U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Orange County are backing legalization.

Maybe it's finally time.

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