In a New York Times feature published Thursday, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) came out in favor of fully legalizing marijuana and regulating the drug like alcohol, even though he opposed legalization in 2010.

"It’s shocking, from my perspective, the number of people that we all know who are recreational marijuana users," the former San Francisco mayor told the Times. "These are incredibly upstanding citizens: Leaders in our community, and exceptional people. Increasingly, people are willing to share how they use it and not be ashamed of it."

The story went on to describe how many Californians think of marijuana like a cocktail, and how many affluent professionals even offer it to guests at dinner parties as part of local custom.

It concludes with one final quote from the man widely expected to top the ticket of Democratic challengers to Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014: "These laws just don’t make sense anymore. It's time for politicians to come out of the closet on this."

Newsom, who's long been a proponent of the state's legalized medical marijuana scheme, opposed Proposition 19 in 2010 because he wasn't quite sure how the laws would play out during implementation. "I'm frustrated with myself on this one, to be truthful," he reportedly said. "But I'm just not there yet. I hope to be there someday, though."

In addition to helping run the state of California, Newsom hosts a Friday talk show on Current TV.


Photo: Screenshot via ABC "This Week."

Updated to correct the year of California's next gubernatorial election.