California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom calls for legalizing pot


SACRAMENTO-- Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom called for the legalization of marijuana on Saturday.

“It’s time to decriminalize, tax and regulate marijuana,” he told delegates at the California Democratic Party convention. “It’s time we own up to the fact that our drug laws have done far more harm than good. The war on drugs is an abject failure.”

Newsom, who is known to have an eye on higher office, poked fun at the fact that he is the state’s acting governor because Gov. Jerry Brown is in China on a trade mission.


“I’m thrilled to be here … on the sixth day of the Newsom administration,” he said. “This is the right time and the appropriate time to reflect on our cornucopia of landmark accomplishments over these magical six days.”

Newsom, also known for his perfectly coiffed hair, joked that he had created hundreds of new jobs “notably in the now-booming hair-gel industry.”

He raised a recent controversy involving Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, who is viewed as his biggest competition for higher office. President Obama had to apologize this month when he called Harris the most attractive attorney general in the nation.

“I gotta confess, this one’s tough for me, I was disappointed, so disappointed, that the president didn’t mention the best-looking LG in history,” Newsom said. “But Cruz Bustamante has that all locked up.”

Bustamante was California’s lieutenant governor from 1999 to 2007.

Newsom unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2010 and has said he would run in 2014 if Brown did not seek reelection. Brown has not announced that he will seek another term, though political observers widely anticipate the move.

Twitter: @LATSeema