SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is joining a push to legalize marijuana in California, saying it’s time the state gets serious about the divisive issue.

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Newsom will lead a blue-ribbon panel organized by the American Civil Liberties Union to potentially put an initiative on the November 2016 ballot in favor of pot legalization.

It’s not the first time Newsom has been outspoken on social issues. Newsom was at the forefront of the gay marriage issue, and his remarks were featured in ads by gay marriage opponents in the Proposition 8 campaign.

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In this case, support for legalizing marijuana is climbing since voters narrowly defeated Proposition 19 in 2010.

A statewide poll this September has 60 percent of likely voters in favor of legalization, while a poll release by the ACLU on Thursday showed 66 percent supporting regulating and taxing marijuana.

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