The San Francisco Chronicle today ran a front page, above the fold piece on the 2010 California gubernatorial (potential) candidates' opinions on legalizing cannabis. While the opinions themselves aren't so surprising, the fact that a Republican candidate has the most progressive opinion on the subject is.
More on the flip.
Former two-term California governor - and the state's Attorney General - Jerry Brown has this to say:
If the whole society starts getting stoned, we're going to be even less competitive. And we're going to have more broken families and more angry husbands and wives.
Uhh, whatever you say Mr. Attorney General.
Current San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's response was a bit more contemporary but still non-committal and a hedge:
I welcome an open dialogue in California on the relative merits of legalization of cannabis. ... While marijuana has positive medicinal properties, it also has adverse effects.
While two Republican candidates, Meg Whitman and Steve Poisner, are strongly opposed, Rep. Tom Campbell:
has denounced the government's war on drugs in past campaigns, saying the billions of dollars that go to eradication and imprisonment would be better spent on treatment. Opponents, including Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, whom the former South Bay congressman unsuccessfully challenged in 2000, have attacked him as soft on drugs and a would-be legalizer.
That's right, the Dems' own dinosaur Sen. Feinstein - a war on drugs relic - challenging a progressive and rational drug policy while cheer-leading on the prison industrial complex.
Last week the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal ordered the state of California to release over 40,000 prisoners because their numbers far exceed the state's ability to adequately house them.
Yet, despite the confluence of the state's economic crisis and the Ninth Circuit's order, not one Democratic potential gubernatorial candidate dare adopts - or even considers supporting - the common sense policy of legalizing cannabis, if not for anything more than to help them comply with last week's prison order. Indeed, on this issue, top of the ticket CA Dems are afraid of their own shadows - or too in bed with the state's powerful law enforcement lobby.
But in the end, if the politicians won't redirect our drug policy, the voters - via initiative - will.