Lt. Governor's Expert Panel on Cannabis Policy to Hold Public Forum in Fresno


(Fresno) - The Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy, chaired by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, will host a public forum at Fresno State on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 10.30 a.m.

Local officials will join the Lt. Governor, ACLU of Northern California, and other experts in the fields of law enforcement, health, and social sciences to examine key taxation and regulation policies related to cannabis legalization in California, in anticipation of a likely 2016 ballot initiative.

Wednesday's forum is the fourth public discussion held by Lt. Governor Newsom since the Commission released its interim report earlier this spring. Previous public forums in Los Angeles, Oakland, and Humboldt County have focused on policy issues relating to youth, public safety, and California's North Coast economy.

- WHEN -

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 10:30am - 12:30pm


California State University, Fresno

North Gym Assembly Room

Fresno, CA 93740

(Parking instructions for credentialed media: park in Lot P23 or P24, enter from Barstow Avenue to Campus Drive. Display media parking credentials in unmarked vehicles.)

The public is invited to contribute to the conversation in person or online at

Despite cannabis' classification by the federal government as a Schedule 1 illegal substance, the National Institute on Drug Abuse's annual survey for 2014 found that 34 percent of 10th graders had used cannabis, making the substance more prevalent among this age group than tobacco (23 percent). Nearly half (44%) of the surveyed 12th graders had used cannabis.

The Commission aims to inform voters and policymakers on range of issues related to cannabis legalization in California. Three key areas were identified for further analysis in a report released in March, including taxation and regulation, which will be the focus of tomorrow's forum. The report advises that many of the issues it is exploring need to be considered with the goal of preventing youth access to cannabis.


Rhys Williams, Office of Lt. Governor Newsom (415) 686-6383

Will Matthews, ACLU Northern California (415) 293-6309