Newsom nixed bills on free condoms for high schoolers, cannabis cafes. Here's what else he vetoed

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Tuesday, October 10, 2023
Newsom's vetoes raise questions about his political plans
Governor Gavin Newsom just signed several bills into law but it's the ones he vetoed that have many people talking. Some political experts believe this might be a sign that he's preparing to run for president.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the vetoes of several bills over the weekend.


A push to use cannabis to help revitalize California's struggling downtowns went up in smoke over the weekend.

Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed the measure to allow Amsterdam-style cannabis cafes in California.

San Francisco Assemblymember Matt Haney authored the legislation.

It would have let local governments license cannabis shops to offer food and beverages and sell tickets to live performances.

Newsom said he vetoed the bill out of concern that it could undermine the state's smoke-free workplace protections.


Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed a bill aimed at decriminalizing the possession and personal use of several psychedelics.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed a bill aimed at decriminalizing the possession and personal use of several hallucinogens, including psychedelic mushrooms.

The legislation vetoed Saturday would have allowed those 21 and older to possess psilocybin, the hallucinogenic component in what's known as psychedelic mushrooms. It also would have covered dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and mescaline.

The bill would not have legalized the sale of the substances and would have barred any possession of the substances on school grounds. Instead, it would have ensured people are neither arrested nor prosecuted for possessing limited amounts of plant-based hallucinogens.

READ MORE: Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoes bill that would have decriminalized psychedelic mushrooms


Gov. Newsom also vetoed a bill that would have capped the price insurance companies can charge for insulin.

The bill would have banned health plans and disability insurance policies from imposing any out-of-pocket expenses on insulin prescription drugs above $35 for a 30-day supply. That would have included deductibles and co-pays.

Newsom did say earlier this year California has a contract with a pharmaceutical company and will start making its own brand. The governor pointed to this when announcing his veto.

"With CalRx, we are getting at the underlying cost, which is the true sustainable solution to high-cost pharmaceuticals," Newsom said in a statement. "With copay caps however, the long-term costs are still passed down to consumers through higher premiums from health plans."

State Sen. Scott Wiener, who crafted the bill, called Newsom's veto "a major setback that will keep tens of thousands of diabetic Californians trapped in the terrible choice between buying insulin and buying food."

"This is a missed opportunity that will force them to wait months or years for relief from the skyrocketing costs of medical care when they could have had it immediately," Wiener said in a news release.

Attorney General Rob Bonta sued over the price of insulin in January and manufacturers responded by saying they'd lower the price.


In addition, Newsom rejected a bill that would have made free condoms available to all public high school students, arguing it was too expensive for a state with a budget deficit of more than $30 billion.

"This bill would create an unfunded mandate to public schools that should be considered in the annual budget process," Newsom wrote in a message.

The bill would have required all public schools that have grades nine through 12 to make condoms available for free to all students. It would have required public schools with grades seven through 12 to allow condoms to be made available as part of educational or public health programs.

And it would have made it illegal for retailers to refuse to sell condoms to youth.

Newsom said programs increasing access to condoms are "important to supporting improved adolescent sexual health." But he said this bill was one of several measures lawmakers passed this year that, when added together, would add $19 billion in costs to the state budget.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.