Jerry Brown on Drugs



How many people can get stoned and still have a great state?

The host of NBC's "Meet the Press" asked Brown about the possibility of legalized recreational marijuana use in California. Brown responded that he was watching Colorado and Washington--the two states currently have legalized recreational marijuana use-- and that California's medical marijuana policies were "very close" to what these states are doing. "I'd really like those two states to show us how it's going to work," he said.

He also expressed worry about the "tendency to go to extremes." After legalization, he said, "if there's advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world's pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together."

California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana use in 1996, when 56 percent of voters approved Proposition 215.

Source: Washington Post on 2014 California governor race , Mar 2, 2014

Vetoed prosecutor discretion on drugs; keep it a felony

Gov. Brown vetoed SB649, which would have given prosecutors discretion in charging suspects arrested of drug possession with a misdemeanor rather than a felony. In vetoing the modest reform, Brown rejected an opportunity to alleviate overcrowded prisons and jails.

Presently, prosecutors must charge individuals arrested for possession of certain drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, with felonies. Under current California law, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is an infraction and possession of methamphetamine is currently eligible for a misdemeanor charge. Senate Bill 649, then, would have merely extended the option to possession of other substances, such as heroin and cocaine, and would not have gone so far as California has with marijuana.

The veto comes as California scrambles to figure out how to meet a Jan. 2014 deadline to reduce overcrowding in the state prison system. In 2010, California was ordered to reduce the prison population from 150,000 to 110,000.

Source: Reason Magazine on 2014 California governor's race , Oct 16, 2013

Vetoed reducing drug possession from felony to misdemeanor

Excerpts from Legislative Counsel's Digest:Status:Passed House, 41-31-6; passed Senate 24-14-1; vetoed by Governor, Oct. 12, 2013; no override vote.

OnTheIssues Explanation: "Tetrahydrocannabinols" means marijuana and its derivatives. The failure of this bill joined a series of similar bills to reduce penalties for marijuana usage. Only medical marijuana usage is currently legal in California.

Source: California legislative voting records: SB 649 , Oct 12, 2013

Other governors on Drugs: Jerry Brown on other issues:
CA Gubernatorial:
Antonio Villaraigosa
Eric Garcetti
Hilda Solis
Jerry Sanders
Neel Kashkari
CA Senatorial:
Dianne Feinstein

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Page last updated: Sep 11, 2016