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With recreational marijuana legalized in Colorado and Washington, the American Civil Liberties Union is pushing to legalize marijuana. Cal Poly’s stance on the issue has not yet been determined.

Eden Elissague
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A California public official is pushing to legalize marijuana in California.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is heading the American Civil Liberties Union’s project — a panel of experts working to figure out how to regulate and tax cannabis effectively. Their goal is to draft a measure on the 2016 presidential ballot in California, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Cal Poly spokesperson Matt Lazier declined to discuss the hypothetical of marijuana becoming legal in California, saying the university would only review its policies after the law changes.

“This is kind of a complicated question,” Lazier wrote in an email to Mustang News. “It involves a conflict between state law and federal law, which would still consider marijuana illegal, even if the state decriminalizes it.”

Voters legalized the recreational use of marijuana in Colorado and Washington in 2012. Voters shot down a similar proposition in California three years ago, although the Mercury News reported there has been an increase in support of legalization since.

Though it is legal for people to use marijuana recreationally in Colorado and Washington, state universities such as University of Washington and Colorado State University still prohibit the use of the drug on campuses.

What do Cal Poly students think about the issue?

Manufacturing engineering freshman Steven Dallezotte was concerned with safety and federal laws that make marijuana illegal.

“First of all, it’s against the federal law and it overrides state law, so they shouldn’t be putting it in anyway,” Dallezotte said. “I think it’s just not safe. I don’t want a bunch people smoking weed all around me.”

Biomedical engineering senior Kasondra Totura is in favor of legalizing the drug.

“I’m pro for legalizing it,” Totura said. “There’s bigger fish to fry. So many people do it that at this point it’s not worth it, and if they legalize it they can use the tax money and stuff towards education and other things like that they need money for.”

Some, though, expressed apathy on the marijuana issue.

“I really don’t care,” civil engineering freshman Garrick Kalmeta said. “I know a lot of people smoke weed anyway one way or another, whether it is legal or not, state or federal. Would anything really change?”

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