California: The Battle Warms Up Ahead of AUMA Proposal Vote

Two Democratic state lawmakers with deep law enforcement ties announced their opposition on Tuesday to legalizing recreational marijuana use.

Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, a former Sacramento County sheriff’s official who regularly warns about the consequences of drug use, and Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, the Democratic senator most aligned with law enforcement, warned in a statement about impaired drivers and exposing children to marijuana.

Cannabis plants under cultivation in the town of Desert Hot Springs, Calif. on Feb. 6, 2016. Andrew Seng [email protected]

Joining Cooper and Galgiani in opposition were Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, and Sacramento County District Attorney Anne-Marie Schubert.

“This initiative will endanger the most vulnerable members of our community,” Schubert said in a statement.

Championed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and funded by benefactors like billionaire tech entrepreneur Sean Parker, the highly professional and organized effort to authorize marijuana contrasts sharply with a failed 2010 effort.

Newsom and allies formally launched their campaign in earlier this month, announcing they had submitted enough signatures to qualify the legalization measure. The rollout swiftly drew a response from a coalition of opponents that includes the Police Chiefs Association, California Hospital Association, California Teamsters, California State Sheriffs’ Association and California Peace Officers Association.

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