California Democrats remain neutral on Prop 19
July 19, 2010
California state Democrats decided Sunday not to endorse Proposition 19, the November ballot measure calling for the legalization of marijuana. [Los Angeles Times]
Party members gathered in San Jose, where they opted instead to be officially neutral on the marijuana issue.
Just last week, Senator Dianne Feinstein officially announced her opposition to Proposition 19. Gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown is also on record as being against legalizing marijuana.
The vote in San Jose followed a lengthy and emotional debate. In the end, however, Democrats decided not to saddle their November slate of candidates with a controversial issue they would have to defend.
“We’re concerned that our candidates, Jerry Brown, Barbara Boxer and others, who have actually come out against this are going to be compromised,” said Steve Preminger, the chairman of the Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee, “so we’re going to get lost in a discussion about the merits of whether we should legalize or not, when, really, we the Democratic Party want to put all of our efforts into electing our ticket.”
The Democrat’s executive board, which includes elected officials and party representatives from across the state, voted 101 to 85 against an endorsement.