Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says the time is right to debate legalizing marijuana for recreational use in California, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The comments were made as support grows nationwide for relaxing pot laws and a few days after a poll found that for the first time a majority of California voters back legal marijuana. A San Francisco legislator has proposed regulating and taxing marijuana to bring the state as much as $1.3 billion a year in extra revenue.
The governor said California should look to the experiences of other nations in relaxing laws on marijuana. Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has introduced a bill to regulate marijuana like alcohol, with people over 21 years old allowed to grow, buy, sell, and possess cannabis – all of which are barred by federal law. California voters in 1996 legalized marijuana for medical use with permission from a physician. Ammiano said he was pleased the governor is “open-minded” on the issue and added that he was sure the two could “hash it out.”