The Democratic Party of California voted on Sunday to add the full legalization of marijuana to their party’s platform in time for the 2014 elections. Despite vocal opposition from Gov. Jerry Brown–“How many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation?”–the state’s hegemonic ruling party is determined not to be outdone by Colorado and other states that have fully legalized the drug, with impacts still unknown.
The state’s limited experience with legal marijuana for medical uses suggests that full legalization may be a very bad idea. The City of Los Angeles, with strong public support, has already started restricting and shutting down marijuana dispensaries. Federal law enforcement, determined (even under a pot-friendly White House) to enforce drug laws that conflict with state statutes, have targeted the largest and most successful dispensaries.
The new platform plank calls for the Democrats to “support the legalization, regulation and taxation of pot in a manner similar to that of tobacco or alcohol,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who opposes Gov. Brown’s high-speed rail plans, led the effort to insert the party platform’s pot plank, according to the Huffington Post, arguing that “states like Colorado and Washington have passed us by.”