Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom brings marijuana forum to Fresno State

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom held his fourth and final pot forum at Fresno State on Wednesday. The forums are part of an effort to get an initiative on the 2016 ballot to legalize marijuana.

In a room full of opposing ideas, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom started conversation with a simple statement, "this is complicated and good people can disagree," he said.

The issue on the table: marijuana and an initiative to legalize it, "I want to make sure it's the right initiative," Newsom added, "I want to make sure we're doing this work in advance."

The work has already started to solve several problems that could pop up if prohibition were to end. First, how to keep pot away from kids. Second, how to tax marijuana and third, how to eliminate the black market.

Luis Ojeda listened in and gave us his two cents, "If it does become a reality, we're making sure we're working together to make sure it's efficient and that's it's a good process."

Not everyone is convinced, including a group of local police chiefs. Parlier Police Chief, David Cerda said legalization could lead to more problems, "We believe it's a bad policy and there's a lot of collateral issues that come along with that in regards to crime."

There are decades of opposing opinions. Newsom wanted to bring them all together to work towards something, everyone can live with.

Hezekiah Allen, the director of the Emerald Growers Association said, "The only way we're going to build a legal, healthy cannabis industry in California is through forums like this and the leadership of the lieutenant governor."

Information from the forums will be used for a report and ultimately help write an initiative for next year's ballot.

Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.