Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Feinstein backs effort to defeat marijuana legalization

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California’s senior senator, has lent her support to the campaign to defeat Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization measure on the state’s November ballot.

The prominent Democrat, first elected to the Senate in 1992, signed the ballot argument against the initiative. On Monday, she issued a statement through the opposition campaign calling the measure “a jumbled legal nightmare that will make our highways, our workplaces and our communities less safe.”

Roger Salazar, spokesman for Public Safety First, said the opposition committee sought Feinstein’s support.

“She’s one of the most respected figures in California,” he said. “She has a great history with law enforcement and dealing with this type of issue. We’re looking at a bipartisan effort.”

Proposition 19 would allow adults 21 and older to possess, grow and transport marijuana, and would allow cities and counties to regulate and tax commercial sales. Most of the state’s top elected officials and candidates for statewide office — from both major parties — are against the initiative.

Dale Sky Clare, a spokesman for Tax Cannabis 2010, the committee behind the measure, said it was not surprising that Feinstein and other statewide politicians opposed it.

“I’m just not putting a lot of faith in politicians to lead,” she said. “The voters have always led on this issue.”

-- John Hoeffel

Comments () | Archives (118)

Feinstein got her start "promoting decency," which meant trying to censor porn. She thinks a piece of cloth, a flag, is more important that the freedom it should represent.

And now this.

I really do think it would be a great idea to legalize it. We could tax it. Hell, were taxing cigarettes up to 10$ a pack in New York. We need to legalize it and go after the more serious drug users, such as shrooms cocaine and meth addicts, and quit wasting are time on the petty little crimes of marijuana users. We are wasting way to much money on the drug wars not to mention the emotional devastation its caused on the family's of this country. Just look into the background of the drug, look into my side and try to find my point I see everyones on why it should be illegal however i feel that there are more reasons to legalize it, rather then have it stay the same. I now this country (republicans) isnt so welcome to the idea of change but we need it.

Awww, man! But legalizing and taxing pot will solve the state's budget problems. Just like the Lottery, Indian gaming, tobacco taxes, booze taxes, gas taxes, raising the sales tax, raising the income tax, taxing millionaires, and utility taxes did!

She won't get my vote.

Sen Feinsten should remember that this is voter ballot initiative. If the people of California vote to legalize cannabis then that is their choice. It seems that elected officials forget that they are public servants, NOT public rulers.

She's an old hag, doesn't surprise me that she's against it. After all, she wouldn't allow herself to smoke it; therefore, she doesn't care a lick for its proponents.

Put her in Assisted Living. Let's get rid of these geriatric bores!

“a jumbled legal nightmare that will make our highways, our workplaces and our communities less safe.”

duh Sen. Feinstein, California has loophole legalization already..why not make it legit!? As a former medical marijuana patient in the state of CA and now living in Iowa..all I have to say is I'm putting my medical order for some dank Humboldt Kush soon! Buy California! it just makes cents!

I guess Feinstein has been bought by organized crime- both by Mexican cartels and the prison-industrial complex. If you're against legalization, whether you like it or not, you're *for* more crime and violence. Prohibition didn't work in the '30s, and it's not working now.

Yes on 19.

Just another reason why these old out of touch politicians should be voted out of office. Tell me one social issue that are politicians have gotten right.

Anyone that would support this is either a user, or a profiteer that could care less about their fellow man.

No shock here. It's politically untenable for most politicians to blatantly support legalization/decriminalization, despite the many rational arguments for it.

Some negative things to consider: Wide spread access leading to increased usage, greater availability to people of all ages/backgrounds, an increase in volume exported to other states, on and on.

Some positive benefits to consider: Massive savings to the legal system, both in time in money, from prosecuting frivolous victimless crimes; more time to focus on criminals who are a threat to society. Massive savings to the prison system. Taxes, taxes, taxes; great revenue. More jobs. Fertile grounds for new tourist economies. (Think wine tasting for cannibis -- the 2010 train-wreck pairs well with doritos and yoohoo!)

It would be insane to acknowledge the full extent of the benefits for the State, or to acknowledge that the DEA has long been losing a war on a drug that is in terms of moral relativism no worse than a night of drinking hard liquor and smoking cigarettes, which is legal in just about every corner of the country. Add to that the fact marijuana is probably not as bad for your health as the common combination of alcohol+cigarettes, and I think you have a difficult argument to sell.

If marijuana is legalized, it will be sad to see the increase in abuse, but it's also easy to imagine how it could be a good in the long run for law enforcement and society as a whole to give up on its prohibition.

Just continue too imprison people over a weed / herb.
Ms Feinstein gets cancer and needs relief from chemotherapy story will change.
Her Grandchild caught with herb them what ?

Pot will ruin California!

Yes it will. Pharmaceuticals and alcohol consumption will go down!

This will ruin California for sure!

This is discouraging. The right thing to do is allow the voters their discretion and then pick up the pieces, if any at all. But to oppose? Senator Feinstein has just forfeited any further consideration of support from this quarter. And I intend to tell her so.

California is virtually bankrupt. It needs additional sources of revenue. And it can no longer afford to put drug addicts in prison, instead of helping them overcome their addictions through mental health programs.

Legalizing marijuana and taxing it would provide an additional significant source of revenue that could be used for supporting education within California, for example. Or the funds could be used to provide medical care for the poor.

As far as drugs go, marijuana is far less harmful than tobacco. Moreover, it has some medical uses; it lowers ocular pressure for those with glaucoma, for example. Why not let individuals decide if they want to use marijuana, just as they now choose whether to drink a glass of wine or a can of beer?

It is disappointing that Feinstein takes such a puritanical stand on this issue.

What a political hack she is, and so out of touch too. The reality is that the average Californian supports access to marijuana, be it for "medicinal purposes" or an alternative to alcohol. This is not 1950, Senator.

All one has to do is go to any of the "dispensaries" and you will see, not post-hippy, Refer Madness, potheads, but working Americans, the elderly, and regular folks--VOTERS--who have finally come out of the closet (so to speak) now that access to marijuana is socially acceptable (especially with the doctor's prescription in hand). Sure, there may be some social and dependency after effects for awhile, but just like our highly successful campaign to educate people about tobacco and alcohol abuse, Californian's will moderate themselves appropriately, therefor finally minimizing the criminal and illicit elements out of marijuana use.

The issue of legalization has been debated since the 70s. Passing the law won't be political suicide, Senator.

Taxing and regulating the crops distribution would certainly lessen "unfunded mandated" prohibitions detrimental TAX on the economy. Whatever safety measures are appropriate like keeping kids away from it and testing for unhealthy impurities, would not so much take from the economy as add revenue which would pay for what it takes from society. Where the larger prohibition costs egregiously in larger law enforcement, higher prison rates...

feinstein has been in office WAY TOO LONG. a little marihuana might clear up her mind.

Hemp has a proud place in the development of the United States that has been largely washed from history. We can't even have a serious and open discussion about it because nobody in the public sphere is willing to go there.

mike: I suspect that working politicians openly supporting repeal of marijuana laws has reached that point in time where it is now a bigger political opportunity than liability. Politicians are largely spineless when it comes to "controversial" issues, they're all either too frightened of the repercussions or have fully bought into reefer madness "save the children" style philosophy. Give it ten years or less, Once public support is consistently hitting 60%, politicians will longer be able to ignore the issue.

Mario Estrada: I'm sure those who opposed the repeal of alcohol prohibition said the exact same thing.

pete atman, the people of ca voted overwhelmingly for prop 187! what happened? same will happen with prop 19, just watch.

You'll never see a dime of taxes off marijuana because the feds will crack down and shut down "legal" pot growing operations and sales if this passes.

This week the feds raided a grower of MEDICAL marijuana in San Diego who supplies the major medical marijuana clinics. Nobody will be able to grow, buy or use without fear of federal raids.

If you want marijuana legalized, either medical only or totally, you need to take this battle to the federal level. Only when Congress legalizes use of medical marijuana (or all marijuana) will you be able to have this accessible in CA.

If herb can help people with metal issues like depression and body pain and not need a doctor to prescribe something that grows naturally, why is it considered a bad thing? Pharmaceutical companies are the ones that should be in trouble for making people addicts to all kinds of medicines and keep the consumer buying them. But I guess it isn't the average pot smoker that donates large sums of money to help politicians get into office.

Here's a clue for those that think legalizing it is a good idea. Any place where drug use (or for that matter prostitution) has been "decriminalized" it has ended up being run by organized crime anyway. And it's a great front for their money laundering.

Feinstein has helped run this state into the ground. Time for her to go ruin some retirement estate.

1 2 3 4 5 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: