Feinstein Leads Opposition to Prop. 19, But Sting is For It and Rohrabacher's Not Sure

Illustration by Jay Brockman
Dianne Feinstein, our U.S. senator who is not up for reelection this November, joins Reps. Darrell Issa (R-San Diego) and Lynn Woolsey (D-Marin) and gubernatorial candidates Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman in coming out against Prop. 19, the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot.

The pro-legalization side has Bay Area House Democrats George Miller, Pete Stark and Barbara Lee, as well as Sting and Montel Williams.

Surprisingly, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) leads the undecideds.

Ryan Grim, the author of This Is Your Country On Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America, has an interesting breakdown on Prop. 19 supporters, opponents and fence-sitters on today's Huffington Post. That and some recent high-profile comments on the voter initiative form the basis for the following:


Feinstein signed the ballot argument against Prop. 19 and issued a statement Monday through the opposition campaign calling the measure "a jumbled legal nightmare that will make our highways, our workplaces and our communities less safe."

Remember when a CHP officer who'd guarded then-Gov. Moonbeam said he smelled pot at one of Jer's parties? That was then, and this is Brown running for Gov 2.0 on the tough law-and-order cred he established as state Attorney General. Speaking at the California District Attorneys Association Conference in Monterey late last month, Brown said legalizing marijuana would open the flood gates for the ruthless and deadly Mexican drug cartels. "Every year we get more and more marijuana and every year we find more guys with AK-47's coming out of Mexico going into forests and growing more and more dangerous and losing control," Brown said.

Photo by Christopher Victorio
You want law-and-order, Brown Noser? Whitman published a statement on her campaign website  in March that calls marijuana "a gateway drug whose use would expand greatly among our children if it were to be legalized." It was part of a five-point crime statement that also supported the Three Strikes law, the death penalty and prison reform--if by prison reform you mean building more prisons--and opposition to any more gun control laws.

Woolsey is a head-scratcher: Her district includes Sonoma County, where respondents are likely toking up as they take Prop. 19 polls. Or maybe it isn't surprising; her district includes pot growers who stand to lose millions, maybe billions, if buds go legit and prices are driven down. Woolsey explains her opposition to her being a "mother and grandmother," who is "concerned" about any law that might contribute to substance abuse among the young. But the Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair also reiterated her support for medical marijuana.

"Medical marijuana in California is a complete failure and a fraud," Issa says to explain his opposition to legalization. "It's not about people with terminal diseases; it's about recreational use." This conservative supports more government regulation--of medical cannabis anyway. But he also is "not completely averse to looking at those laws" that prohibit marijuana." He equates pot to booze, which he notes is well regulated. Um . . . so why are you opposed again, Darrell?

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