Ex-State Senator Don Perata, who is running for mayor of Oakland, now supports legalizing marijuana statewide, according to the Chron. Perata is scheduled to be one of the headline speakers today at the Tax Cannabis 2010 kickoff campaign, a planned statewide initiative that would allow California adults to legally possess up to one ounce of pot and let the state tax marijuana proceeds. The initiative was written by Richard Lee, founder of Oaksterdam University, a medical marijuana educational facility in Oakland's Uptown district.
It's no secret that the Express has been highly critical of Perata over the years, but he deserves a lot of credit for helping push the campaign to legalize and tax marijuana. It's also a shrewd move politically, because pot legalization is likely going to be very popular with progressive Oakland voters in next year's election.