John Cox, the Republican frontrunner for in the California gubernatorial race, believes cannabis consumers should be hospitalized. Yes, California. Where marijuana is legal.
In 2016, 57 percent of Californians voted for Prop 64, an initiative that legalized and regulated recreational marijuana consumption and possession and set up a system to sell and tax the substance in retail outlets. Does Cox have a plan to open up thousands of hospitals? That remains unclear.
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“I’m suggesting that people who are addicted to substances, substance abuse, should get treated, they should not be incarcerated,” Cox earlier this week in an interview with editors and reporters at The San Diego Union-Tribune.
According to a story by Union-Tribune reporter Joshua Stewart:
He said that California should implement a system akin to the one in Portugal, where people who are found with small amounts of drugs can receive mandatory medical treatment but aren’t charged with a crime.
He said that marijuana users should be put into a treatment facility because they might later begin using harder drugs.
According to recent polling, Cox is running in second or third place. In California, the top two vote-getters in the June primary proceed to the November election. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat and ardent cannabis supporter, sits comfortably in first place. Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, also a Democrat, is fighting Cox for second place.
Newsom has been a major supporter of marijuana law reform for years. Much like his early supporter of same-sex marriage, Newsom broke away from the “safe” political position and became the political face of the movement within the state. He was one of the most vocal California politicians supporting Prop. 64, the 2016 initiative legalizing cannabis in California.