On January 1st, California will legalize recreational marijuana. And while many people are interested to see how much revenue the new law will generate, one politician is reminding people about a more important aspect of legalization: criminal justice.
California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom released a statement on Twitter about marijuana legalization in the state. He posted a link to a story about how people convicted of marijuana crimes in California will see their sentences reduced and records cleansed once the new laws begin. He noted that criminal justice reform is the most important aspect of cannabis legalization.
Legalizing marijuana is, at its core, about criminal justice reform. It's about ending the failed war on drugs and fixing a broken system that has disproportionately affected low-income and minority communities.— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) December 21, 2017
Proud of the work California is doing.https://t.co/vuhvPfAIm3
Newsom's statement drives a major important aspect of legalization that often goes overlooked. While many people point to the amount of revenue being brought in by legalized states, changing drug laws to prevent people from being arrested and sent to jail for years for harmless crimes is just as, if not more, important as the money being made.
It should also be noted that Newsom is running for Governor of California next year. Many see him as a rising star in the Democratic Party, so seeing his openness to legalizing marijuana is a very positive sign. Who knows, maybe he'll end up in the White House one day and bring this attitude to the federal government.
(h/t Gavin Newsom)