By Steve Elliott
Los Angeles Mayor-Elect Eric Garcetti, who was elected last month on the same day that voters approved capping the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in town, on Sunday said that he would be OK with legalizing cannabis for general use.
During a short interview with Jorge Ramos of Univision on Sunday, Garcetti was asked if he thought marijuana should be legalized, reports Jacob Sullum at Reason.com. He replied that marijuana is important for medical use, "But if in the future, California's voters want it for casual use, for me, it's not a problem."
Garcetti, currently a member of the Los Angeles City Council, went on to suggest that enforcement of the marijuana laws is diverting law enforcement personnel from more important tasks.
"I want to use the police department's resources for more serious crimes, but they are usually tied up in these crimes that aren't as important," Garcetti said. "Still, it would need to be decided by a statewide vote."
Californians rejected legalization measure Proposition 19 by a seven-point margin in 2010. Last year, voters in Colorado and Washington approved legalization by a margin of more than 10 points in both states.
Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority notes that Garcetti made similar comments before winning the mayoral election.
"I'll respect the voters on that," Garcetti said. "If folks wanna do that, it would be fine for recreational use."