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Schwarzenegger: Marijuana debate is needed

May 6, 2009 at 2:40 PM   |   Comments

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DAVIS, Calif., May 6 (UPI) -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says it's time to seriously debate the merits of legalizing and taxing the recreational use of marijuana.

Although the Republican does not support a legalization move, he did say Tuesday in Davis, Calif., that in a time of economic crisis that has plunged the state's budget into red ink, the time is right to discuss the idea, The Sacramento Bee reported Wednesday.

"Well, I think it's not time for (legalization), but I think it's time for a debate," Schwarzenegger said. "I think all of those ideas of creating extra revenues, I'm always for an open debate on it. And I think we ought to study very carefully what other countries are doing that have legalized marijuana and other drugs, what effect did it have on those countries?"

The governor's comments came after a statewide poll indicated 56 percent of registered California voters supported legalizing and taxing marijuana to raise revenue for the cash-strapped state.

Thirteen years ago, California voters authorized marijuana's use for medical purposes, the newspaper said.

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