Capitol Alert

Activists endorse California marijuana legalization bid backed by Gavin Newsom, Sean Parker

California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom at Founders Den where he has an office space in San Francisco in July. Newsom is backing a marijuana legalization ballot initiative.
California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom at Founders Den where he has an office space in San Francisco in July. Newsom is backing a marijuana legalization ballot initiative. The Chronicle

A handful of legacy activists in the state’s marijuana community have agreed to support the recreational legalization effort backed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and expected to receive financial support from former Facebook President Sean Parker.

The campaign announced that a majority of the board of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform has agreed to withdraw support for its preferred proposed measure, ReformCA, and that six board members have formally endorsed the so-called Adult Use of Marijuana Act to legalize and tax marijuana.

The members include Richard Lee, the founder of Oaksterdam University in Oakland and proponent of 2010’s unsuccessful Proposition 19 legalization effort; Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition; Stacia Cosner, deputy director for Students for Sensible Drug Policy; Nate Bradley, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association; and David Bronner of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, a top-selling brand of natural soaps.

The Newsom-Parker effort has been working to forge a united front to avoid potentially competing measures on next fall’s statewide ballot.

“We have carefully reviewed amendments submitted by the proponents of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, and we’re convinced it’s time to endorse that initiative and unite everyone behind a single, consensus measure to achieve a legal, regulated system, which a majority of voters have consistently said they want,” Bronner said in a prepared statement.

Added Lee: “It’s important that we all get together to support one initiative.”

The campaign also said that Larry Bedard, former President of the American College of Emergency Physicians, has pulled out as a co-proponent of ReformCA measure and supports the Newsom-Parker bid, which has been amended in recent days to bolster various safeguards for children, unionized workers, local governments and small businesses.

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago

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