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Marijuana Initiative Gets Backing from State's Largest Union

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As rumored in the past few weeks, the powerful Service Employees International Union of California is readying to officially endorse Prop 19, which would legalize and tax marijuana. It's not official yet, but sources are confirming it to the New York Times, which notes that the endorsement offers "the proposition a shot of mainstream legitimacy as well as a potential financial and organizational lift." The group has 700,000 members, making it the largest statewide group.

The group, which is supporting Democrat gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown, is backing the measure because "it could help raise revenue to avoid cuts to healthcare, home care, education and services for children, families, the elderly and people with disabilities," according to the LA Times.

One state analysis found that legalizing marijuana would boost state revenues by $1.4 billion.