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Capitol Roundup: New Chemical Regulations; Marijuana Legalization

CPR file photo/Ben Adler

Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) speaks with reporters in this 2012 file photo

CPR file photo/Ben Adler

New Regulations Target Chemicals in Household Products

California is rolling out an ambitious new regulatory process to limit toxic chemicals in some common household substances.  The state could eventually ask manufacturers to find new ways to make products such as carpet adhesive, nail polish or lipstick.

This all comes from a 2008 law signed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, known as the “Safer Consumer Products Act.”  The state plans to pick up to five common household products that use chemicals such as formaldehyde or mercury and start regulating them.

“Manufacturers will have to work with our department to look at the design of their products and ask the question: Is it necessary for me to use a particular toxic chemical in my product?  Or is there, in fact, a safer way to design the product?” says Department of Toxic Substances Control Director Debbie Raphael.

The American Chemistry Council says it’ll be a challenge for California manufacturers to comply with the new regulations, but hopes they’ll “ensure that consumers continue to have access to effective products that remain safe when used as directed.”

Steinberg Opposes Legalizing Marijuana

California Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg says he doesn’t back the legalization of marijuana.  That’s despite a new poll showing majority support and a new voter initiative entering circulation for signatures.

“I’ve seen too many people that I grew up with ruin their lives as a result of using that drug and other drugs,” Steinberg told Capital Public Radio's Insight with Beth Ruyak Thursday.  “And I just don’t think we should legalize it.”

The latest Public Policy Institute of California survey out this week shows 52 percent of all adults and 60 percent of likely voters favor the drug’s legalization.

And on Thursday, the Secretary of State’s office cleared backers of legalizing marijuana to start gathering signatures for a November 2014 ballot initiative.  Supporters have until late February to turn the signatures in.

Steinberg has supported the medicinal use of marijuana.  He also pushed legislation that would help regulate medical cannabis, but it stalled in the final days of this year’s session.

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