The New York Times reports that the Service Employees International Union, one of California's most influential unions (for now), plans to endorse Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization initiative:
At the very least, the support by the S.E.I.U., which claims over 700,000 members in the state, could make it easier for other groups to rally around the measure. More practically, it means access to the union's considerable campaign apparatus, which could finance mailings, telephone calls and leaflets.
As the Times story mentions, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition held a press conference yesterday featuring former cops and judges who support Prop. 19. LEAP has a roundup of the press coverage here. Prop. 19 also has been endorsed by the California NAACP and the National Black Police Association.
Former San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara, who lists three reasons to support Prop. 19 in the November issue of Reason, elaborates in the San Jose Mercury-News. In a recent Washington Post op-ed piece, historian Héctor Aguilar Camín and former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge G. Castañeda argue that legalizing pot in California could help end the prohibition-related violence that has killed more than 28,000 people in Mexico since 2006.