Tuesday, November 18, 2014

After Midterms, California Attorney General Kamala Harris Tacks Left on Legalization

By David Downs
Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 9:57 AM

When California Attorney General Kamala Harris ran for re-election this year, she laughed at the idea of ending cannabis prohibition in California.

click to enlarge Kamala Harris
  • Kamala Harris
Now that Harris has won the race for top cop, she’s no longer laughing. In an interview with BuzzFeed news posted this week, Harris sounds less like a cynical cop, and more like an aspiring candidate for the US Senate or the House of Representatives. About 51 percent of Americans and an even larger proportion of Californians support taxing and regulating pot.

Harris tells BuzzFeed:
“I am not opposed to the legalization of marijuana. I’m the top cop, and so I have to look at it from a law enforcement perspective and a public safety perspective. … I think we are fortunate to have Colorado and Washington be in front of us on this and figuring out the details of what it looks like when it’s legalized.”

"I don’t think it’s gonna take too long to figure this out. ... I think there’s a certain inevitability about it.”


Harris said endorsing legalization “would be easier” and “everybody would be happy.” But she calls that endorsement “irresponsible.”.

Colorado must fine-tune its edibles laws and police need a way to “measure someone being under the influence in terms of impairment to drive,” she said. (Colorado's road fatalities have fallen post-legalization.)

Harris also may try to run in 2018 to replace Gov. Jerry Brown who opined that stoners could drag down California's competitiveness. That's something to laugh at now, BuzzFeed reports.

"'I don’t have any moral opposition to [legalization] or anything like that. Half my family’s from Jamaica,' Harris said with a laugh."

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