DiFi to co-chair campaign against Prop. 19

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca will co-chair the campaign against Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization measure on November’s ballot – largely honorary positions meant to leverage the pair’s widespread name recognition to mobilize votes against the initiative.

Feinstein – who had announced her opposition to the measure in July, perhaps dooming efforts to get the California Democratic Party’s executive board to endorse it – said in a news release today that the state “California will not see a single positive result if Proposition 19 passes. It is a poorly constructed initiative that will cause harm to Californians on our roadways, and in our schools, workplaces and communities. I look forward to working with Sheriff Baca to ensure we defeat Proposition 19 in November.”

Baca said the measure “places a huge burden on law enforcement. It would create a patchwork of thousands of conflicting local laws, with no state standards. I agree with Senator Feinstein that no good can come from this jumbled legal mess.”

This year’s Democratic and Republican nominees for U.S. Senate, governor and state attorney general all oppose the measure, too.

The “Yes on 19” campaign did, however, announce today the endorsement of the California Council of Churches, representing 21 denominations and 1.5 milion members from the mainstream Protestant and Orthodox Christian communities.

“Proposition 19 is the moral choice for California,” the Rev. Rick Schlosser, executive director of California Church IMPACT, the council’s affiliated lobbying and advocacy arm, said in a news release. “The prohibition of marijuana has failed. It’s created a culture of criminality around a substance that is less harmful than both alcohol and tobacco, which are both legal, controlled, and taxed. Let’s control marijuana like alcohol by passing Proposition 19 in November.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.