Capitol Alert

California marijuana legalization draws lawmaker opposition

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.

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.

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert

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