Pot & CA Governor Race: ‘Neither Party Offers Significant Choice’


Photo: Orange Juice
CA gubernatorial hopeful Meg Whitman: “I am absolutely, 100 percent not in favor of legalizing marijuana for any reason”

​When it comes to gubernatorial candidates in California, marijuana advocates are seemingly forced to choose between dumb and dumber in the June 8 primary election.

“Neither party offers a significant choice,” according to the Drug Policy Forum of California, a pro-legalization group.
“I am absolutely, 100 percent not in favor of legalizing marijuana for any reason,” said GOP front-runner Meg Whitman.
Whitman, the former CEO of eBay, donated big bucks to help defeat Proposition 5, the Non-Violent Offenders Rehabilitation Act of 2008. EBay subsidiary PayPal has a policy of blackballing even legal medical marijuana businesses, according to DPF.

Whitman’s chief rival for the Republican gubernatorial nomination is California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizer, who is just as backward when it comes to cannabis.
Poizner’s website trumpets that he will “fight all efforts to legalize marijuana and will be a strong advocate against its recreational use.”
Although Poizner’s actual views may be somewhat more moderate — when teaching at Mount Pleasant High School, he once invited NORML to debate marijuana legalization before a civics class — his campaign has gone to great efforts to pander to hardcore right-wing conservatives.

Photo: Scott Clarkson
Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jerry Brown: “I’m not going to jump on the legalization bandwagon… I’m not going to support it”

​Attorney General Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown, who is facing only token opposition for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, signed California’s trailblazing marijuana decriminalization law in 1975, but has done little since then for the cannabis cause, according to DPF.
As attorney general, Brown does deserve credit for issuing reasonable guidelines (PDF) for medical marijuana enforcement.
But on the other hand, Moonbeam actively campaigned to kill the Three-Strikes Reform initiative and the Non-Violent Offenders Rehabilitation Act (Prop 5).
“I’m not going to jump on the legalization bandwagon,” Brown said. “We’re going to get a vote of the people soon on that, but I’m not going to support it.”
Among Brown’s lesser-known competitors for the Democratic nomination for governor, MoveOn.org founder Peter Schurman endorses the Tax Cannabis 2010 initiative.