State of California Archives: on Drugs


John Chiang: Set up state bank for pot industry

California expects to bring in $1 billion in annual tax revenues from the cannabis industry starting next year, when retailers can begin adult-use sales. The problem is how to handle all that cash. California Treasurer John Chiang announced a series of proposed strategies to help the newly legitimized recreational and medical cannabis industry--still largely barred from using banks because of federal laws making cannabis illegal--manage large amounts of money and pay taxes.
Source: The Press Democrat on 2018 California gubernatorial race Nov 7, 2017

Antonio Villaraigosa: Supports marijuana legalization

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday became the latest high-profile politician to endorse an initiative that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in California. "I took my time on this measure because I wanted to make sure it included protections for children and public safety, in evaluating the measure in its entirety," Villaraigosa said in a statement.
Source: Los Angeles Times on 2018 California gubernatorial race Oct 31, 2017

Delaine Eastin: Supports legalization, but would tax more

We tried making marijuana illegal, and that hasn't worked so well. I just don't think it makes sense for us to be thuggish about something that is not intrinsically evil. I think the initiative could have been written more strongly. I probably would have taxed the product more, I would have put the money into mental health programs and done something that moved the needle on some of the problems that can come out of either alcoholism or drug addiction.
Source: Ukiah Daily Journal on 2018 California gubernatorial race Sep 5, 2017

Kevin de Leon: Not his issue, but supportive of legal pot

He has a 100 percent rating from cannabis advocates for his votes on marijuana reform issues. He isn't seen as a leader on cannabis policy. If anything, some advocates say, his strength is simply that he doesn't get in the way of state legislation promoting a regulated marijuana industry. "Cannabis is not his issue, but he has voted the right way," said the California director for the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML).
Source: Leafly.com on 2018 California Senate race Sep 1, 2017

Gavin Newsom: Let California legalization continue

Newsom sent a letter to President Trump urging him not to carry through with threats to launch a federal enforcement effort against recreational marijuana firms that will be legalized in California. Newsom's letter attempts to persuade the president that a regulated market for adult-use marijuana is preferable to what has existed in the past. "The war on marijuana has failed," Newsom wrote. "It did not, and will not, keep marijuana out of kids' hands."
Source: Los Angeles Times on 2018 California gubernatorial race Jul 24, 2017

Steve Farley: Making marijuana business legitimate

Chiang formed the Cannabis Banking Working Group to explore options for banking and regulating an industry that could produce more than $6 billion in sales by 2020. Chiang said the lack of banking options have made paying taxes, paying vendors and employees, and granting benefits, such as health insurance, more difficult. Businesses have dealt in cash, an invitation for violent crimes. Chiang said business owners shouldn't have to decide between their safety and profit.
Source: Voice of San Diego on 2018 California gubernatorial race Jul 14, 2017

Travis Allen: Opposed pot law barring state cooperation with Feds

"This is insanity," Allen told his colleagues. "This is a complete violation of federal law. The hubris of California Democrats believing they can flout federal law on immigration and drug policy is beyond words." He said local law enforcement would be put in "harm's way" if there was no cooperation with federal drug enforcement officers.
Source: Los Angeles Times on 2018 California governor race Jun 1, 2017

Ed Perlmutter: Sponsored bill for pot business bank access

"Allowing tightly regulated marijuana businesses the ability to access the banking system will help reduce the threat of crime, robbery and assault in our communities and keep the cash out of cartels," Perlmutter said in a statement. "With the majority of states now allowing for some form of recreational or medical marijuana, we have reached a tipping point on this issue and it's time for Congress to act."
Source: 2018 California Gubernatorial website perlmutter.house.gov Apr 27, 2017

Gavin Newsom: Pushed Proposition 64, legalizing adult use of marijuana

This past November, Newsom proved he's a serious force to reckon with when it comes to passing groundbreaking legislation. Having started California's Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy in 2014, he campaigned for five months and got Proposition 64, legalizing adult use of marijuana in the state, passed, with 56 percent of voters in favor. Now, he's the telegenic face of a movement. "I'm happy to be associated with this change. I'm sick and tired of politics and politicians as usual," says Newsom today. "I'll be kicked out before I rust out. You can love me or hate me and disagree with me, but you sure as hell know where I stand."

"Gavin boldly stands up for social issues with unwavering commitment while relentlessly championing people who can't speak for themselves," says a longtime friend. "This issue is one of many that Gavin thinks of in a big picture way. He's an outlier and a great leader."

Source: Billboard.com on 2018 California gubernatorial race Jan 19, 2017

Gavin Newsom: I'm not pro-pot, but anti-prohibition; opposed 2010 Prop 19

Newsom grew up with a father who was "considered an activist judge in his day, particularly as it relates to drug policy. He was a very outspoken critic of the war on drugs," recalls Newsom.

Despite his progressive record, Newsom wasn't immediately pro-legalization. "I've never tried cannabis. I don't have the basis to appreciate it," he says. "I always ask for forgiveness because I really only intellectually know what I'm talking about." He emphasizes that he's "not pro-pot, but anti-prohibition," and he didn't support the previous attempt to legalize recreational marijuana in California, Proposition 19 in 2010. "I just didn't feel it was appropriately drafted," he says. "There were glaring loopholes."

Still, "the spirit of it was profound and important," and Newsom decided to start his Blue Ribbon Commission as a key first step toward a more coherent approach to legalization. That led directly to the Prop 64 campaign.

Source: Billboard.com on 2018 California gubernatorial race Jan 19, 2017

Antonio Villaraigosa: Pro-legalization with safeguards

Villaraigosa became the latest high-profile politician to endorse an initiative that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in California. "I took my time on this measure because I wanted to make sure it included protections for children and public safety," Villaraigosa said in a statement. "In evaluating the measure in its entirety, I am convinced there are enough safeguards to make it a workable proposition."
Source: Los Angeles Times on 2018 California gubernatorial race Oct 31, 2016

Kamala Harris: Recognize the war on drugs was a failure

In 2014 Kamala Harris was asked for her opinion on legalizing recreational marijuana. Her response, which incensed the pro-pot crowd to no end, was laughter. What a difference a year makes. Now she's running for a US Senate seat. And she's changed her tune from laughter to support for an end of the federal prohibition on medical marijuana.

At the 2015 Democratic State Convention, here's what she said, "Standing up for the people means challenging the policy of mass incarceration by recognizing the war on drugs was a failure. Now is the time to end the federal ban on medical marijuana."

Harris' own pronouncements on cannabis have been evolving. Last fall she lashed out at feds' continued crackdowns in medical marijuana states, saying, "An overly broad federal enforcement campaign will make it more difficult for legitimate patients to access physician-recommended medicine." Late last year, she also said she believed that recreational pot legalization in California was inevitable.

Source: LA Weekly coverage of 2015 California Senate race May 20, 2015

Norma Torres: Food stamps for drug felons; immunity for reporting overdose

Source: Vote Smart synopses: 2014 California state voting records Sep 9, 2014

Jerry Brown: How many people can get stoned and still have a great state?

The host of NBC's "Meet the Press" asked Brown about the possibility of legalized recreational marijuana use in California. Brown responded that he was watching Colorado and Washington--the two states currently have legalized recreational marijuana use-- and that California's medical marijuana policies were "very close" to what these states are doing. "I'd really like those two states to show us how it's going to work," he said.

He also expressed worry about the "tendency to go to extremes." After legalization, he said, "if there's advertising and legitimacy, 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."

California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana use in 1996, when 56 percent of voters approved Proposition 215.

Source: Washington Post on 2014 California governor race Mar 2, 2014

Rob Astorino: War on drugs has disproportionately hurt minorities

He's "not comfortable with legalizing marijuana. I've never smoked pot in my life," he said. "But I also don't think it makes sense to lock people up, to ruin their lives, to waste millions of dollars for a small amount of drugs," he added, noting there must be a better approach than the "war on drugs" that has disproportionately hurt minorities.
Source: Inside Bay Area Buzz on 2014 California governor race Feb 21, 2014

Neel Kashkari: When you legalize something, you send a signal you approve

On the legalization of pot: "I've never tried drugs of any kind, so I'm uncomfortable with the idea of the government legalizing it. When you legalize something, you're sending a signal you approve."
Source: San Francisco Chronicle on 2014 California governor race Nov 14, 2013

Jerry Brown: Vetoed prosecutor discretion on drugs; keep it a felony

Gov. Brown vetoed SB649, which would have given prosecutors discretion in charging suspects arrested of drug possession with a misdemeanor rather than a felony. In vetoing the modest reform, Brown rejected an opportunity to alleviate overcrowded prisons and jails.

Presently, prosecutors must charge individuals arrested for possession of certain drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, with felonies. Under current California law, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is an infraction and possession of methamphetamine is currently eligible for a misdemeanor charge. Senate Bill 649, then, would have merely extended the option to possession of other substances, such as heroin and cocaine, and would not have gone so far as California has with marijuana.

The veto comes as California scrambles to figure out how to meet a Jan. 2014 deadline to reduce overcrowding in the state prison system. In 2010, California was ordered to reduce the prison population from 150,000 to 110,000.

Source: Reason Magazine on 2014 California governor's race Oct 16, 2013

Jerry Brown: Vetoed reducing drug possession from felony to misdemeanor

Excerpts from Legislative Counsel's Digest:Status:Passed House, 41-31-6; passed Senate 24-14-1; vetoed by Governor, Oct. 12, 2013; no override vote.

OnTheIssues Explanation: "Tetrahydrocannabinols" means marijuana and its derivatives. The failure of this bill joined a series of similar bills to reduce penalties for marijuana usage. Only medical marijuana usage is currently legal in California.

Source: California legislative voting records: SB 649 Oct 12, 2013

Kevin de Leon: Reduce drug possession from felony to misdemeanor

Excerpts from Legislative Counsel's Digest:Status:Passed House, 41-31-6; passed Senate 24-14-1; vetoed by Governor, Oct. 12, 2013; no override vote.

OnTheIssues Explanation: "Tetrahydrocannabinols" means marijuana and its derivatives. The failure of this bill joined a series of similar bills to reduce penalties for marijuana usage. Only medical marijuana usage is currently legal in California. (Kevin de Leon voted YEA).

Source: California legislative voting records: SB 649 Sep 10, 2013

Mark DeSaulnier: Reduce drug possession from felony to misdemeanor

Excerpts from Legislative Counsel's Digest:Status:Passed House, 41-31-6; passed Senate 24-14-1; vetoed by Governor, Oct. 12, 2013; no override vote.

OnTheIssues Explanation: "Tetrahydrocannabinols" means marijuana and its derivatives. The failure of this bill joined a series of similar bills to reduce penalties for marijuana usage. Only medical marijuana usage is currently legal in California. (Mark DeSaulnier voted YEA).

Source: California legislative voting records: SB 649 Sep 10, 2013

Mimi Walters: Voted NO on reducing possession from felony to misdemeanor

Excerpts from Legislative Counsel's Digest:Status:Passed House, 41-31-6; passed Senate 24-14-1; vetoed by Governor, Oct. 12, 2013; no override vote.

OnTheIssues Explanation: "Tetrahydrocannabinols" means marijuana and its derivatives. The failure of this bill joined a series of similar bills to reduce penalties for marijuana usage. Only medical marijuana usage is currently legal in California. (Mimi Walters voted NAY).

Source: California legislative voting records: SB 649 Sep 10, 2013

Norma Torres: Reduce drug possession from felony to misdemeanor

Excerpts from Legislative Counsel's Digest:Status:Passed House, 41-31-6; passed Senate 24-14-1; vetoed by Governor, Oct. 12, 2013; no override vote.

OnTheIssues Explanation: "Tetrahydrocannabinols" means marijuana and its derivatives. The failure of this bill joined a series of similar bills to reduce penalties for marijuana usage. Only medical marijuana usage is currently legal in California. (Norma Torres voted YEA).

Source: California legislative voting records: SB 649 Sep 10, 2013

Steve Knight: Voted NO on reducing possession from felony to misdemeanor

Excerpts from Legislative Counsel's Digest:Status:Passed House, 41-31-6; passed Senate 24-14-1; vetoed by Governor, Oct. 12, 2013; no override vote.

OnTheIssues Explanation: "Tetrahydrocannabinols" means marijuana and its derivatives. The failure of this bill joined a series of similar bills to reduce penalties for marijuana usage. Only medical marijuana usage is currently legal in California. (Steve Knight voted NAY).

Source: California legislative voting records: SB 649 Sep 10, 2013

Ted Lieu: Reduce drug possession from felony to misdemeanor

Excerpts from Legislative Counsel's Digest:Status:Passed House, 41-31-6; passed Senate 24-14-1; vetoed by Governor, Oct. 12, 2013; no override vote.

OnTheIssues Explanation: "Tetrahydrocannabinols" means marijuana and its derivatives. The failure of this bill joined a series of similar bills to reduce penalties for marijuana usage. Only medical marijuana usage is currently legal in California. (Ted Lieu voted YEA).

Source: California legislative voting records: SB 649 Sep 10, 2013

Jimmy Gomez: Reduce drug possession from felony to misdemeanor

Excerpts from Legislative Counsel's Digest:Status:Passed House, 41-31-6; passed Senate 24-14-1; vetoed by Governor, Oct. 12, 2013; no override vote.

OnTheIssues Explanation: "Tetrahydrocannabinols" means marijuana and its derivatives. The failure of this bill joined a series of similar bills to reduce penalties for marijuana usage. Only medical marijuana usage is currently legal in California. (Jimmy Gomez voted YEA).

Source: California legislative voting records: SB 649 Sep 4, 2013

Rocky Chavez: Reduce drug possession from felony to misdemeanor

Excerpts from Legislative Counsel's Digest:Status:Passed House, 41-31-6; passed Senate 24-14-1; vetoed by Governor, Oct. 12, 2013; no override vote.

OnTheIssues Explanation: "Tetrahydrocannabinols" means marijuana and its derivatives. The failure of this bill joined a series of similar bills to reduce penalties for marijuana usage. Only medical marijuana usage is currently legal in California. (Rocky Chavez voted YEA).

Source: California legislative voting records: SB 649 Sep 4, 2013

Travis Allen: Voted NO on reducing possession from felony to misdemeanor

Excerpts from Legislative Counsel's Digest:Status:Passed House, 41-31-6; passed Senate 24-14-1; vetoed by Governor, Oct. 12, 2013; no override vote.

OnTheIssues Explanation: "Tetrahydrocannabinols" means marijuana and its derivatives. The failure of this bill joined a series of similar bills to reduce penalties for marijuana usage. Only medical marijuana usage is currently legal in California. (Travis Allen voted NAY).

Source: California legislative voting records: SB 649 Sep 4, 2013

Julia Brownley: Decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana

Q: Should the possession of small amounts of marijuana be decriminalized?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders, such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?

A: Yes.

Q: Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?

A: No.

Source: California Congressional 2010 Political Courage Test Oct 30, 2010

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Interstate commerce laws do not apply to personal marijuana

However, Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared to support the arguments of the plaintiffs (USA Today, 11/30). “As I understand it, none of this homegrown marijuana will be on any interstate market,” O’Connor said, adding, “And it is in the area of something traditionally regulated by states. This limited exception (to the drug laws) is a non-economic use--growing for personal use” (Los Angeles Times, 11/30). Ginsburg said that “nobody’s buying anything--nobody’s selling anything.
Source: www.californiahealthline.org, comments on marijuana ruling Nov 30, 2004

Sandra Day O`Connor: Interstate commerce laws do not apply to personal marijuana

However, Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared to support the arguments of the plaintiffs (USA Today, 11/30). “As I understand it, none of this homegrown marijuana will be on any interstate market,” O’Connor said, adding, “And it is in the area of something traditionally regulated by states. This limited exception (to the drug laws) is a non-economic use--growing for personal use” (Los Angeles Times, 11/30). Ginsburg said that “nobody’s buying anything--nobody’s selling anything.
Source: www.californiahealthline.org, comments on marijuana ruling Nov 30, 2004

  • The above quotations are from State of California Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Drugs:
  Republicans:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Democrats:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: Feb 12, 2018