California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called on Tuesday for an open debate on legalizing and taxing marijuana. A recent Field Poll showed that 56 percent of Californians support taxing and regulating marijuana as a way to address the state’s fiscal crisis. Schwarzenegger was asked at a press conference if it was finally time to legalize marijuana.

“No, I think that it’s not time for that, but I think it’s time for a debate,” he said, according to a transcript provided by Schwarzenegger’s office. “And I think that we ought to study very carefully what other countries are doing that have legalized marijuana and other drugs, what affect it had on those countries, and are they happy with that decision.”

The Mexican ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan, recently called for the United States to hold such a debate to address cartel-related violence. Mexico has decriminalized possession of marijuana but doesn’t tax it.

Huffington Post: Arnold: Time To Talk About Legalizing Pot

(via Richard Metzger)