A West Hollywood city councilman says he's the first politician in Southern California to support a statewide initiative that would legalize marijuana for recreational use. The ballot measure, which appears to have enough signatures but which has not yet been certified for the ballot by the Secretary of State, would treat marijuana like alcohol, tax it and make available to the 21-and-older set. Polls indicate California voters support full legalization.
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"West Hollywood council member John Duran is the first elected official in Southern California to endorse The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010," reads a statement from his office.
The initiative is being pushed and funded by Richard Lee, owner of an Oakland medical marijuana dispensary and pot college Oaksterdam University. His effort netted 680,000 signatures; only 433,971 need to be validated for the initiative to qualify for the ballot.
San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco has also introduced a full-legalization measure in Sacramento.
"During Prohibition, the most dangerous form of underground alcohol was 'moonshine' that was unregulated and sometimes fatal," said West Hollywood states Duran. "Today, Mexican drug cartels produce unregulated marijuana heavily-laden with unsafe pesticides and making billions of U.S. dollars in the process. The 'reefer madness' mentality of our failed criminalization of marijuana must come to an end just as prohibition did. Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol."