California Democrats Back Marijuana Legalization In Party Platform

California Democrats have approved a party platform including a plank calling for marijuana legalization, marking a major shift for the state party.

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[quote_right]”This is not a debate about hippies. This is not a debate about stoners. We can’t diminish this issue or the people involved in this debate by belittling them and trivializing them”[/quote_right]

The San Francisco Chronicle reports state party delegates moved Sunday to adopt a platform that includes support for “the legalization, regulation and taxation of pot in a manner similar to that of tobacco or alcohol.” The platform was adopted by a near-unanimous voice vote.

California Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom, formerly the mayor of San Francisco, made the case (watch the video above, 7 minutes in if you want to skip the introduction) for the position change during the Democrats‘ 3-day convention in Los Angeles.

“It’s time for all of us to step up and step in and lead once again in California, just as we did in 1996. We did just that with medical marijuana,” Newsom said during his Saturday address to the convention. “But for almost 20 years now, we’ve sat back admiring our accomplishment while the world, the nation, and states like Colorado and Washington have passed us by. … It’s time to legalize, it’s time to tax, it’s time to regulate marijuana for adults in California.”

Newsom continued, “This is not a debate about hippies. This is not a debate about stoners. We can’t diminish this issue or the people involved in this debate by belittling them and trivializing them. Let me be clear. You can be pro-regulation without being an advocate for drug use.”