Well, this is interesting! Vern, you got your wish, even though it didn’t come from Orly Taitz!
Republican Ron Gold, the presumptive challenger to Democratic Attorney General Kamala Harris, wants California to legalize and tax marijuana and use the proceeds for substance abuse and mental health treatment.
Gold, a Woodland Hills lawyer and former deputy to Attorney General Evelle Younger, told The [Sacramento] Bee that decriminalizing pot would decrease the costs of enforcing victimless crimes and allow the state to direct more resources to serious criminals.
“I just think that police resources are so few, and we have so much to do, that going after someone who is having a joint in West Hollywood is about as useful as having another Carter’s Little Liver Pill,” Gold said.
Gold’s stance puts him at odds not only with Harris but other high-profile Democrats like Gov. Jerry Brown and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Gold favors adopting a version of Colorado’s law.
“Basically, I am to the left of Harris on an issue that’s always been very popular and critical in California,” he said. “I view it as a matter of principle.”
The story goes on to say that Gold disagreed with — called “absurd,” in fact — a statement from the man who turned out to be his biggest rival for the #2 spot in the election, Phil Wyman, that state lawmakers found guilty of certain crimes should face the death penalty. So that’s two marks in his favor — or three, if you count his knowledge of the dosage effects of Carter’s Little Liver Pills!
Harris should head Gold off at the pass by declaring her own support for a Colorado-style bill. (No, a Washington-state style bill will not do — as plenty of people in Washington State can attest.) Furthermore, she should drag the likes of Feinstein and Brown with her. Brown in particular is infuriating with his imposing his own peculiar beliefs of how one should treat one’s consciousness, based largely on his years in seminary and visiting Buddhist temples. No one’s saying that that’s not fine for him; he’s the one who’s saying that an alternative to his semi-neo-Puritan ascetic views is not OK. Well, if he keeps doing that now, he runs the risk of messing up the campaign of his AG — and if Neel Kashkari is smart enough to jump on the legalization bandwagon, which he might well be, possibly his own as well.
California libertarians are feeling sort of sullen right now with the major rollbacks over the past four years by the Obama Administration, which has admittedly started to back away from the worst excesses. Harris and Brown would be smart not to write off the libertarian vote — which between OC, the Inland Empire, and much of the north coast can amount to a whole lot.
I won’t vote for the man I will now refer to as “Acapulco” Gold, because I’m not a single-issue voter and I like what Harris has done overall. But lots of other people around here will. Head them off at the pass, Kamala! What are voters going to do — go with your opponent? It’s the right political move right now — as well as being long overdue!