Schwarzenegger slams union over pensions, support for marijuana legalization issue

While Proposition 19 has won over some heavy duty supporters, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will not be among them after striking out against California’s marijuana legalization initiative, the New York Times reported.

Our Los Angeles medical marijuana defense attorneys have reported on our Marijuana Lawyers Blog a number of high-profile supporters, including former police chiefs, prosecutors and judges and the California NAACP.

But in an opinion article in the Los Angeles Times, the Governor said the legalization issue would make California a laughingstock, cause legal nightmares and risk public safety. He also criticized the Service Employees International Union, which has also supported the measure.

The state’s biggest union, and its 700,000 members, say support for the measure, and its resultant tax income, could help avoid cuts to healthcare, home care, education and elderly programs.

The governor says the $1.4 billion in estimated tax revenue is only a small fraction of the state’s budget deficit. Instead, the governor said changes to pension plans, which the union opposes, would be a far better and more sustainable way to fix the state’s finances. Schwarzenegger said the $550 billion in unfunded retirement debt is costing the state $6.5 billion per year.

He said the notion that we must legalize drugs to fund health care and education is false. However, the governor signed into law a bill that decriminalizes possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. The new law lowers the crime from a misdemeanor to an infraction. The maximum penalty is a $100 fine.

The governor cited cost savings in the court system and law enforcement as a primary reason for supporting the measure. But when it comes to the legalization issue, it is readily apparent that support for Proposition 19 will not be coming from the governor’s mansion.

The CANNABIS LAW GROUP is a law firm dedicated to the rights of medical marijuana patients, collectives and growers and has built a reputation for high-powered, aggressive legal representation of the medical marijuana industry in Southern California. Call 714-937-2050 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.