Calif. Gov. Unsure Legalizing Pot Is Good Idea

By Riya Bhattacharjee
|  Monday, Mar 3, 2014  |  Updated 11:28 PM CDT
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Gov. Brown appeared on NBC s  Meet the Press  Sunday morning to talk about California s drought and his decision to run for re-election, but it s what he said about the possibility of California legalizing marijuana that has everyone talking. NBC Bay Area s Monte Francis reports from San Francisco.

Gov. Brown appeared on NBC s Meet the Press Sunday morning to talk about California s drought and his decision to run for re-election, but it s what he said about the possibility of California legalizing marijuana that has everyone talking. NBC Bay Area s Monte Francis reports from San Francisco.

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Gov. Jerry Brown Unsure Legalizing Pot is Good Idea

California Gov. Jerry Brown, who just announced that he is running for a fourth term, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that he is not sure that legalizing pot in his state is a good idea because it could affect the state and country negatively.
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California Gov. Jerry Brown, who just announced he's running for a fourth term, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that he is not sure that legalizing pot in his state is a good idea because it could affect the state and country negatively.

Gov. Jerry Brown Announces Plans to Seek Re-Election

When "Meet the Press" host David Gregory asked Brown whether it was time to legalize recreational marijuana in America's biggest state, Brown said that he would like Washington and Colorado -- the two states that have legalized recreational marijuana -- to "show us how it's going to work."

"The problem with anything -- a certain amount is OK, but there is a tendency to go to extremes," Brown said. "And all of a sudden if there's advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world's pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together."

"As a TV guy I know I have a good sound bite when I hear one," Gregory responded, laughing.

Brown said that California has medical marijuana, "which gets very close to what they have in Colorado and Washington."

California legalized medical marijuana use in 1996.

But pot advocates are confident recreational use will eventually be legal here, regardless of what the governor says.

"I think he’s being the political animal he is… trying to slow things down… even though the ball is already rolling," Scott McGlashan of San Francisco said.

Opponents argue that pot is a gateway drug to other more-dangerous street drugs. But pot advocates say that is not true and point out that marijuana is less dangerous and destructive than alcohol

There are voter initiatives in the works in three other states aimed at legalizing the recreational use of pot, but for now, California is not one of them.

A December 2013 Field Poll shows that 55 percent of California's favor marijuana legalization, compared to a 1969 Field Poll, when 75 percent of Californians wanted either strict enforcement of marijuana laws against its use or passing even tougher laws, while only 13 percent favored its legalization.

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