CA Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown Playing Shut-Mouth On Marijuana


Photo: Just Another Blog (From L.A.)
Then-Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown (center) with Linda Ronstadt (the babe), Jackson Browne (right), David Lindley (left) and the Eagles in the late 1970s

‚ÄčBack in the 1970s when he was dating Linda Ronstadt, hanging with the Eagles and was the dashing young governor of California, a few roaches were allegedly — and famously — spotted by a reporter in the aftermath of a wild party at Jerry Brown’s place. For a brief, shining moment, “Governor Moonbeam” was the darling of the counterculture crowd.

Especially after his 1975 signing of California’s marijuana decrim law, Brown seemed just about as hip as a politician could be, considering. He even admitted trying pot.
But it’s funny what 30 years can do.

Photo: Scott Clarkson
Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown: “The dope business”

‚ÄčEven though the push to legalize marijuana is generating a lot of buzz in the Golden State — especially since it officially qualified to be on the ballot this November — former uber-hipster Brown, now 71 and California’s attorney general, doesn’t have anything to say about it.
Brown wants to be governor again, and is running as a Democratic candidate. As the state’s current attorney general, it is his responsibility to write the title and the short description of the marijuana legalization initiative, as it will appear on the California ballot this November.
“Until that’s done, he’s not likely to speak for or against,” campaign spokesman Sterling Clifford said.
Observers of California’s political scene aren’t betting on Brown supporting marijuana legalization, even once his ballot-writing work is complete.
Brown made headlines late last year — and ruffled the feathers of medical marijuana supporters — when he proclaimed that all over-the-counter dispensary sales of marijuana are illegal under state law.
“Unfortunately in some communities, Los Angeles in particular, there’s a lot of exploitation and just getting into the, er, drug business, the dope business,” Brown told KFI.
According to 2008 guidelines (PDF) from Attorney General Brown’s office, qualified patients and their primary caregivers can form cooperatives or collectives to grow and supply medical marijuana to members. The collectives must operate on a non-profit basis but are allowed to recoup expenses.
Dispensary operators and their defenders say that is where over-the-counter sales come in.
Brown has granted that California’s medical marijuana laws are “very confusing,” and added he hopes the state’s court or Legislature would help clarify them.
Let’s hope Moonbeam, who would be the oldest governor in the United States if elected, won’t be as confused if voters decide to legalize pot in November.