Largest union in California endorses pot legalization

The 700,000-member group could be a political powerhouse and a strong ally for the Proposition 19 campaign

Topics: California,

A ballot measure that would legalize marijuana in California won the support Tuesday of the largest union in the state.

The 700,000-member Service Employees International Union California has 15 locals representing workers in health care, building services and state and local government.

The possibility of members operating phone banks, walking precincts and raising money makes the union a political powerhouse in the state and a strong ally for the Proposition 19 campaign.

However, the endorsement letter from SEIU California president Bill Lloyd left unclear how much time and money the union would provide.

Most union resources will go toward supporting Jerry Brown in the governor’s race, Lloyd said, although he vowed members would help Proposition 19 any way they can.

Revenue raised by legalizing marijuana could help the state preserve jobs and avoid cuts to health care, home care, education and other services, he added.

Proposition 19 calls for allowing adults to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. Local governments could tax its sales.

The campaign has won the support of several other labor groups, including the Northern California council of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union and Communications Workers of America Local 9415.

The measure also has the endorsement of the NAACP California chapter. President Alice Huffman fought off criticism from religious leaders, saying Proposition 19 would help eliminate law enforcement practices that disproportionally target African Americans.

A group of former law enforcement officers also endorsed the measure, saying it would free up the courts and police to work on more serious crimes.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 10
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Michael Ohl/Museum fur Naturkunde

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Soul-Sucking Dementor Wasp

    Latin name: Ampulex dementor

    Truong Ngyuen

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    10,000th reptile species

    Latin name: Cyrtodactylus vilaphongi

    Jodi Rowley/Australian Museum

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Colour-changing thorny frogs

    Latin name: Gracixalus lumarius

    Judith L. Eger

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Long-fanged bat

    Latin name: Hypsugo dolichodon

    Neang Thy Moe/FFI

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Stealthy wolf snake

    Latin name: Lycodon zoosvictoriae

    Michael Janes

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Feathered coral

    Latin name: Ovabunda andamanensis

    Jerome Constant

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    World's second-longest insect

    Phryganistria heusii yentuensis

    Nantasak Pinkaew

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Slide 8

    Latin name: Sirindhornia spp

    Tim Johnson

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Slide 9

    Tylototriton shanorum

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>