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Head of American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten Supports Legalizing Pot

April 12, 2010

Teachers union boss Randi Weingarten thinks it’s high time marijuana is legalized.

Weingarten – head of the American Federation of Teachers and former president of New York‘s United Federation of Teachers – came out in support of a California proposition to legalize pot for personal use.

“Everything in moderation is pretty much fine,” Weingarten said when asked by “Real Time” host Bill Maher whether she’d back the measure.

“Wow,” said fellow guest Washington Post editorial writer Jonathan Capehart. “Teacher-approved!”

Weingarten quickly added that she only endorsed pot smoking “if it’s legal.”

The California initiative, known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act, would allow anyone over 21 to possess 1 oz. of marijuana and grow plants in an area no larger than 25 square feet.

It also allows marijuana to be grown and sold and imposes taxes on production and sales.

Asked by Maher about parents who toke up but don’t want their children to, Weingarten said, “When something becomes a forbidden fruit, you have to spend a whole lot of time making sure that, when you say no, people don’t think you mean yes.”

Later, Weingarten told the Daily News, “I don’t condone children using marijuana, or any other illegal drug, just as I don’t condone underage drinking. And should marijuana become legal, I believe it should remain off-limits and illegal for children.”

The 52-year old New York City native said, “As a baby boomer, I smoked marijuana. But as a baby boomer with asthma, my experimentation with it was short-lived.”

While advocates of legalization have applauded Weingarten, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America blasted her stance.

“Legalizing marijuana would just add another substance, along with alcohol, to the menu of intoxicants that are already too available – and harmful – to kids,” said Partnership spokeswoman Josie Feliz. “It’s hard for us to look on legalization as a positive.”

Voters will decide on the California initiative in November.

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