California Gov. Jerry Brown on Legal Pot: 'We Need to Stay Alert'

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

California Gov. Jerry Brown said Sunday that legalizing recreational marijuana could make states and the nation less competitive if too many people are lighting up.

When asked if legalization was right for California, Brown, who just announced that he's seeking a fourth term, told David Gregory on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he wants to see Colorado and Washington — two states that have legalized pot — "show us how it's going to work."

"How many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world's pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together," Brown said.

He said that California has medical marijuana, "which gets very close to what they have in Colorado and Washington." California voted to legalize medical marijuana use in 1996.

Brown, 75, who was interviewed remotely from San Francisco, also talked about California's historic drought, climate change and his political career.

The Democrat said he expects former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to nab the party's presidential nod in 2016.

"She's got more experience, both domestic and international," Brown said. "I mean, it's her nomination if she wants it, as far as I'm concerned."

— Daniel Arkin