Some want legal pot to protect kids

Pollsters in California say some suburban women support legalizing marijuana because they believe their adult children will be safer.

Backers of the Tax and Regulate Initiative plan to submit their petitions to the secretary of state this month, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. They say they have more than 630,000 signatures, far more than the number needed to get the initiative on the ballot.

The measure would allow local governments to tax marijuana sales. It also includes provisions designed to safeguard children, including stiffer penalties for sales to minors and bans on smoking pot in public and when children are present.

Suburban mothers have told pollsters working for backers of the initiative legal sales would give their adult children a way to make purchases without consorting with criminals.

“One of the scary things to some people is that their kids may be buying it from someone dangerous,” Ruth Bernstein of EMC Research in Oakland said.

While a number of states have legalized medical marijuana, starting with California in 1996, referenda to decriminalize or legalize recreational use have had a tougher time. Massachusetts voters approved decriminalization in 2008 but seven other state initiatives failed, including one in California in 1972.


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