California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said Sunday that he is not convinced legalizing marijuana is a good idea because the population needs to “stay alert.” “The problem with anything, a certain amount is okay,” Brown said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “But there is a tendency to go to extremes. 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.”
Brown’s comments, which seem to paint all marijuana users with a paintbrush of “stoner” and “potheads” and being unproductive and lazy, smacks of ignorance and insensitivity that is somewhat surprising given his historically progressive ideology, and the fact that the 2008 Attorney General Guidelines for marijuana collectives was drafted on his watch as Attorney General. Perhaps Brown is perceiving the world of marijuana use through his own misguided prism of personal experience. In any case, it does not appear Brown will be an ally in California’s legalization efforts in 2016, although the reality is that may not matter since those efforts will be done through voter propositions and not legislation, as was the case in Colorado and Washington.