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AG candidates team up to oppose marijuana

You won’t see San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, the Democratic nominee for state Attorney General, and Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, the Republican nominee for state Attorney General, holding hands and singing “Kum-Ba-Yah” on much this year, but they did it today to oppose Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization measure on November’s ballot.

Harris and Cooley, along with California State Firefighters’ Association President Kevin Nida, co-authored the rebuttal arguments against the measure, submitted today for inclusion in the state voters’ guide. Here’s what they had to say:

“As California public safety leaders, we agree that Proposition 19 is flawed public policy and would compromise the safety of our roadways, workplaces, and communities. Before voting on this proposition, please take a few minutes to read it.

“Proponents claim, ‘Proposition 19 maintains strict criminal penalties for driving under the influence.’ That statement is false. In fact, Proposition 19 gives drivers the ‘right’ to use marijuana right up to the point when they climb behind the wheel, but unlike as with drunk driving, Proposition 19 fails to provide the Highway Patrol with any tests or objective standards for determining what constitutes ‘driving under the influence.’ That’s why Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) strongly opposes Proposition 19.

Steve Cooley“Proponents claim Proposition 19 is ‘preserving the right of employers to maintain a drug-free workplace.’ This is also false. According to the California Chamber of Commerce, the facts are that Proposition 19 creates special rights for employees to possess marijuana on the job, and that means no company in California can meet federal drug-free workplace standards, or qualify for federal contracts. The California State Firefighters’ Association warns this one drafting mistake alone could cost thousands of Californians to lose their jobs.

“Again, contrary to what proponents say, the statewide organizations representing police, sheriffs and drug court judges are all urging you to vote ‘No’ on Proposition 19. Passage of Proposition 19 seriously compromises the safety of our communities, roadways, and workplaces.”

The Tax Cannabis 2010 committee supporting Prop. 19 yesterday announced the measure had won the endorsement of the 200,000-member United Food and Commercial Workers, Western States Council. The endorsement came during a meeting in San Diego of the California Labor Federation, which chose to remain neutral on the measure.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, came out against the measure earlier this week setting the stage for a showdown before the California Democratic Party’s Executive Board at its meeting this weekend in San Jose; progressives are trying to rally support for the measure ahead of Sunday’s vote.

Posted on Thursday, July 15th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Attorney General, ballot measures, Kamala Harris, marijuana, Steve Cooley | 8 Comments »