Gov. Jerry Brown Unsure on Legalizing Marijuana in CA

By Paul Gaita 03/05/14

In a recent television interview, Brown maintained his cautious stance on the subject of legalizing marijuana in his state.

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Brown on Meet the Press. Photo via

Despite momentum building for legal weed in the Golden State, Governor Jerry Brown has reservations about joining Colorado and Washington in legalizing it.

Brown stated during a March 2 appearance on NBC’s "Meet the Press" that legalization might lend to a “tendency to go to extremes” and open up issues of safety and governmental solvency.  Brown also noted, “If there is advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great union?” The 75-year-old Brown, who recently launched his campaign for a fourth term as California governor, added that he was observing how other states were handling their legalization issues before making any decisions regarding marijuana laws in California.

“We have medical marijuana, which gets very close to what they have in Colorado and Washington,” said Brown to host David Gregory. “I’d really like those two states to show us how it’s going to work.” Brown also echoed the sentiments of many who are opposed to legalization by noting that “the world is pretty dangerous [and] pretty competitive. I think we may need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day – more than some potheads might be able to put together.”

A December 2013 poll showed that 55 percent of Californians approve the legalization of marijuana. In the past, Brown has shown moderate support for some marijuana issues in California, suggesting in 2012 that the federal government should allow states to decide how marijuana was regulated and vetoing a controversial bill in 2011 that would have barred medical marijuana dispensaries from within 600 feet of residential homes. But in both cases, he has stopped short of advocating the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, citing “abuses” in the field of medical marijuana that would make further legalization “dangerous.”

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites. 

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