POLITICS
11/11/2012 11:13 am ET Updated Nov 12, 2012

Jerry Brown: Marijuana Laws Should Be Decided By States (VIDEO)

WASHINGTON -- California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said Sunday the federal government should respect states' rights to decide how to regulate marijuana use, in light of votes Tuesday to approve legal use of the drug in Colorado and Washington.

"It's time for the Justice Department to recognize the sovereignty of the states," he said on CNN's "State of the Union."

His state has legalized medical marijuana use, which is illegal under federal law. Colorado and Washington went even further by making marijuana legal even for recreational use.

Brown said he's not predicting another push to legalize marijuana for recreational use in California, calling drug use "dangerous."

"We already have a fair amount of marijuana use in the guise of medical marijuana," he said. "There's abuses in that field."

Still, he said Colorado and Washington should be allowed to do what they believe is right on marijuana law, adding there was adequate debate within the states on whether it was the correct move.

"We are capable of self-government," he said. "We don't need some federal gendarme to come and tell us what to do. I believe in comity toward the states, that's a decent respect."

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