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Marijuana: California Gubernatorial Candidates Not High on Legalization

With three marijuana legalization initiatives filed so far (another one was filed last week) and a marijuana legalization bill pending in Sacramento, California is the epicenter of the ever-louder national debate about freeing the weed. But despite all the noise, despite siren calls from proponents that legalization could earn the state billions in taxable revenues, despite recent polling showing a majority of Californians supporting legalization, not one of the major party candidates in the race to replace Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is currently willing to go on record supporting it.
California State Capitol, Sacramento
On Saturday, the San Francisco Chronicle asked the leading candidates where they stood on marijuana legalization, a move that would once again cement California's vanguard status on liberalizing repressive marijuana laws. In 1975, then Gov. Jerry Brown (now attorney general and candidate for the Democratic Party nomination) signed one of the country's first marijuana decriminalization bills. Thirteen years ago, California again led the way, this time with the nation's first successful statewide medical marijuana initiative.

But Brown is singing a different tune these days, and when it comes to the current crop of gubernatorial candidates, he's just part of a one-note chorus.

"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," said Brown. "As far as telling everybody to -- what did Timothy Leary say, 'Tune in, turn on, and drop out'? - that will not be the recommendation of the attorney general."

Republican candidate Tom Campbell, a former US congressman who has been harshly critical of the war on drugs in the past, disappointingly had also changed his tune when it came to marijuana legalization. He opposes it because law enforcement sources told him legalization could benefit Mexican drug cartels, which control both marijuana and methamphetamine imports, he said. "If you legalize the one, you run the risk of creating a distribution mechanism for the other," he reasoned.

Former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman, another powerful Republican contender, flat out opposes legalizing pot. "I am absolutely against legalizing marijuana for any reason. We have enough challenges in our society without heading down the path of drug legalization," she said.

The third major Republican contender, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, stands opposed, too, his spokesman said. "The idea of legalizing drugs is one more bad idea from a bygone era," said Jarrod Agen. "Nor can California smoke its way out of the structural budget deficit. Only those who are smoking something think tax increases will lead to economic growth," he added.

The only contender whose opposition to legalization appears even slightly mushy is San Francisco's Democratic Mayor Gavin Newsom. Newsom is willing to call the drug war "an abject failure" that consumes "precious, limited, public safety dollars" by treating nonviolent drug offenders like violent felons. But when pressed directly on the issue of marijuana legalization, Gavin spokesman Nathan Ballard would say only that Newsom doesn't think it's a "responsible way to balance the state's budget."

Well, that leaves all the major contenders competing for the 44% of California voters who don't want to see marijuana legalized. One could be forgiven for thinking, however, that someone is eventually going to realize that he will gain more votes than he loses by courting the 56% who do want it legalized.

(This article was published by's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Help Change Tom Campbell's Mind on Marijuana

California gubernatorial candidate Tom Campbell is running on a platform of freedom, individual liberty, and small government. His teacher, mentor, and friend, the late Milton Friedman, was a strong opponent of the war on drugs.

Let's help Tom Campbell change his mind and support legalizing marijuana for adults. To find out how you can help, visit Tom Campbell and Marijuana


what a bunch of dumbasses.

"He opposes it because law

"He opposes it because law enforcement sources told him legalization could benefit Mexican drug cartels, which control both marijuana and methamphetamine imports, he said. "If you legalize the one, you run the risk of creating a distribution mechanism for the other," he reasoned."

That's one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. Legalizing marijuana would do exactly the opposite. These Mexican drug trafficking organizatoins smuggle in and distribute most of the cocaine, meth and heroin consumed in this country. Right now they just piggy back it in and move it through the same channels they move their marijuana through. Most people who use illegal drugs just use marijuana, but they buy it from the same black market where all the other illegal drugs are sold. If we legalize marijuana and run it though legal channels, we'll take millions of participants from the black market for illegal drugs. It's mostly just a black market for marijuana. Relatively few people use the other drugs. Without marijuana that black market would be much less than half what it is today, less than half the money and far less than half the number of participants.

Do liquor stores sell cocaine or meth or heroin? Licensed and regulated "pot stores" wouldn't sell these drugs either. The Mexicans can't just switch to drugs like cocaine or meth or heroin, because they already supply most all the U.S. demand for these drugs. If we legalize pot, we'll deprive them of most of their income and make it such that it is more difficult for them to sell their other far more addictive drugs that cause so many problems for our communities. Most all the marijuana buyers and sellers will be gone from the black market for illegal drugs. Who will sell their drugs for them? Who will buy them? Obviously there will still be a market for these drugs and people buying and selling them, but one of the biggest assets these organizations have today is the massive market for marijuana, all the pot sellers they can tap to sell their other drugs and all the pot buyers they know won't go to the police and say, "my pot dealer tried to sell me cocaine."

What The Fuck Happened To Jerry Brown?

They used to call him 'Governor Moonbeam', but this is the craziest statement I've ever heard from him.

"If the whole society starts getting stoned"?!?

What if we legalized booze, and the whole society fell into a drunken stupor? Oh, that's right, we did, and they haven't.

We've been hearing garbage like this forever. 'Legalize Pot? Sure, if you want America to become a nation of stoned-out zombies,' they say. As soon as the laws go off the books, every man, woman, and child in America will start smoking so much pot that we will become a nation of stoned-out zombies.


In a nation in which 100 million people have smoked pot, 40 million of whom still do, I ask you: Where are the armies of zombies? Where are zombies? Is no zombies. Show me zombies!

We, all of us, need to spend more time making the point that it's not a crime.

this is not a problem its an opportunity.

lets not all get on a big downer about this we all know politicians are whores for the vote dont we? so why dont we make lemonade since we have a bucket of lemons here!
If everyone who smokes or believes Marijuana should be legal and taxed writes the candidates like I just did to mr Campbell and lets them know we will only support a candidate who supports legalization we will have a candidate! then we need to get out and support that candidate and get everyone we discuss the situation with to get out and vote we especially need to motivate young voters. In the sixties we stopped a war by being active and letting our government know we wouldnt take no for an answer! we now have the opportunity to stop another war we need to keep ths topic in their faces and let all our politicians know that to do other wise than support legalizationis unacceptable to the voters of this state.We need to let them know we are not Cheech and Chong types no disrespect to two of my favorites comedians but that stereo type wont help us in this battle. I always let them know that I own several properties work a full time job and have a side business that employs people and generates tax dollars and im an active voter. We need to show that we are a force to be reckoned with and that we are productive citizens who generate tax dollars and VOTE!
We also need to keep encouraging mr Amiano I hope I spelled his name right and Barney Frank in their efforts to end this hypocrisy. We can do this despite my poor spelling I hope you follow me here. we can do this if we get together and prove the marijuana smokers of this state have had enough and that the amotivational syndrome we are supposed to be suffering from is is bullshit!

Jerry Brown, law enforcment, drug testing the whole lot.

Mr Brown Is supported by police officers associations and much of his campaign funding comes from these agencys he would be hurting himself if he supported legalization they dont suport.
We all know that drugs have become big business since the declaration of war was issued. The drug testing business alone is worth billions and if you dont think there are lobbists working for that industry working just as hard as we are for legalization to keep marijuana illegal you are sadly Naive. The majority of testing is aimed at Marijuana they stand to loose the lions share of this business when legalization happens.
Law enforcment would not recieve the funding they now get when legalization happens how about the courts and lawyers? what about asset forfiture? many people have a big stake in keeping this poor innocent little weed illegal they stand to loose a lot. But all that funding comes from us one way or the other the cost always trickles down to the taxpayer,voter or consumer in which case we are one and the same. This is a democracy we are the people in we the people we can make a change here if we strike while the irons still hot!

NEVER depend on a politician for anything.

Cally has the ballot initiative process (think Prop #215)

and any reasonable marijuana initiative will pass ; so forget about the talking heads there. Look how they have managed the state so far.

Jerry Brown:"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,"

I don't think he ever smoked cause he thinks it makes "angry husbands
and wives"

I don't like to call people names but I'm sorry Brown is a certified moron and he's the AG there.

There's little chance of survival for our species...........

Amerika's survival

There's something horribly wrong with our system where a major plolitican says that marijuana makes men & women angry; when he knows full well the opposite is true.

He was in the Summer of love/Woodstock, Rondstadt, etc.

This is bigger than cannabis reform. We the people are doomed to misery with the government system we have now and it must come through the net where we have direct vote (why do we need them now?)

We have the ballot initiative in 26 states and we must use it to change the system; not just cannabis reform. IT was probably the "system" that made it illegall in the 1st place.

Republican candidate Tom

Republican candidate Tom Campbell, a former US congressman who has been harshly critical of the war on drugs in the past, disappointingly had also changed his tune when it came to marijuana legalization. He opposes it because law enforcement sources told him legalization could benefit Mexican drug cartels, which control both marijuana and methamphetamine imports, he said. "If you legalize the one, you run the risk of creating a distribution mechanism for the other," he reasoned.

No, Tom, part of the reason for legalization is to take the drug trade away from the criminal element. No one is reccomending we embrace the Mexican cartels and let them sell marijuana.

support of full legalization of marijuana and hemp

It is truly sad to see that so many politicians are still the puppets of special interests groups like the religious right, law enforcement, big business. When a politician comes out and supports the continued prohibition of a plant that has been used medically , recreationally and industrially for 10,000 years !!! you have to look at where they get their campaign contributions. Marijuana and Hemp are 2 of the most useful plants God has placed on this earth for a reason. Do your homework America it is time to change.

Candidates Refusal to recognize Marijuana

In the immortal words of Wavy Gravy, "NOBODY" for Governor.

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