Marijuana Advocates Welcome Commission Report

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SACRAMENTO-

The release of a report by a blue ribbon commission assigned to explore legalized marijuana issues was welcome news for Sacramento NORML, a chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

The chapter has explored the same issues outlined in the report for decades, including how pot should be taxed if it becomes legal for recreational use.

Other issues that the commission said needs to be explored is how to protect children and dealing with parents who use marijuana in front of their kids. Dealing with marijuana use in the workplace, and enforcing DUI laws with legal marijuana were also key issues.

The CHP says DUIs connected to pot use increased when pot was legalized for use for medicinal purposes. Yet very few law enforcement officers have gotten the extensive training that certifies them as Drug Recognition Experts which allow them to make DUI arrests for drugs other than alcohol.

Lt. Governor Gavin Newsome, who is running for Governor and the ACLU created the commission, which does not advocate the legalization of pot.

NORML Sacramento Executive Director Ron Mullins says the legalization of recreational pot in Washington and Colorado makes an initiative likely in California.

"I believe 2016 is inevitable," said Mullins.

The last legalization effort failed at the ballot box in 2010, but recent polling shows that legalizing marijuana has gained support over the years. A survey released by the California Policy Institute showed 55% of Californians favored legalization.

Some believe the commissions work will prevent legal chaos that occurred after the medical marijuana initiative passed.

"Being proactive will quell the fears of some of the detractors and also makes us better prepared for when it does become law," said Mullins.