California Democrats Stay Neutral on Marijuana-Legalizing Prop. 19
Bummer. But Richard Lee -- the president of Oaksterdam University who crafted Prop. 19 and has supported it with millions of his own dollars -- says the party is far from over.
Both Lee and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano -- who has attempted to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana via the legislative route -- described yesterday's decision to stay neutral not as a condemnation of the concept of legalizing pot, but a political move.
"Nobody trashed it. Everyone said it was a good thing and they were going to vote for it," Ammiano told SF Weekly. "But they felt, strategically, because so many candidates came out against it, it would put them on the spot. Everyone was worried about the Whitman phenomona."
Or, as Lee summarized it, "That's politics."
With the state Democratic Party's netural stance, local Democratic County Central Committees are free to endorse as they so choose. Lee is also touting two big unions on his side: The Communications Workers of America and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.
That's right: The folks who bring you late-night TV and munchies.
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