LA DA calls marijuana legalization initiative 'terribly misleading'

Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley said today that he was opposed to a November ballot initiative aimed at legalizing marijuana in California.

"This is a bad initiative that will create tremendous harm and no good at all,'' the county's top prosecutor said in a written statement.

The initiative, dubbed "The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010,'' would allow people 21 years and older to possess, cultivate or transport marijuana for personal use and to permit local governments to regulate and tax commercial production and sale of marijuana, according to

Representatives of the Tax Cannabis 2010 campaign could not be reached for comment on Cooley's remarks.

Cooley said the measure "provides no framework'' for regulating, controlling and taxing marijuana, and "instead delegates unfettered regulatory and enforcement responsibilities to local city and county governments.''

"The local government `figure it out' approach creates confusion and misunderstanding, and actually limits state control over marijuana-related activities,'' Cooley wrote in a letter urging state Attorney General Jerry Brown to reject the proposed title and summary of the ordinance.

Cooley also noted in his statement that the measure will not generate substantial revenue for local governments or the state, and that passage of the initiative would result in the state losing federal funds because the initiative violates the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.

"The marijuana initiative is terribly misleading, poorly drafted and not in the best interests of California residents,'' Cooley said. "It will not regulate, not control nor effectively tax marijuana in California.''