Legal recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington has really stirred things up for the rest of the country. Legalization initiatives that just passed in Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. are an example of that. Pro pot activists are hoping for a similar outcome in California in 2016, where medical marijuana has been legal since 1996 but not recreational use.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris was recently interviewed by BuzzFeed and said, “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. We’re watching it happen right before our eyes in Colorado and Washington. I don’t think it’s gonna take too long to figure this out,” Harris said. “I think there’s a certain inevitability about it.”
While Harris had said she is “not opposed” to the legalization of recreational pot in California, she has also not endorsed any efforts to make that happen either.
Harris recently defeated pro-pot Republican Ron Gold to have a second term as Attorney General for California. She was pretty quiet about legal weed during the election, simply saying that the issue should be left up to the voters. Polls recently point that voters in the Golden State are in favor of legal weed.
While Harris has said, “It would be easier for me to say, ‘Let’s legalize it, let’s move on,’ and everybody would be happy. I believe that would be irresponsible of me as the top cop,” California Governor Jerry Brow has stayed indifferent on the issue. Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom has spoken out in favor of legalization efforts noting that he would support legalization initiatives in 2016.
The Democratic Party wants Harris as a leader. She has already been talked about as a possible replacement for current California Senator Barbara Boxer in 2016 or as a option for U.S. Attorney General. Harris has made it clear that she would not be interested in the role of U.S. Attorney General however.