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Nancy Pelosi will vote to legalize pot in California

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she plans to vote for Proposition 64. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she plans to vote for Proposition 64. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said Friday she plans to vote for California's Proposition 64, making her one of a small number of high-level politicians to support legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.

“I will vote for it, but I have not made a public statement about it until right this very second,” Pelosi said when asked about the measure, which is favored to pass Tuesday. She did not elaborate.

Pelosi told the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board and Times reporters that she has not taken public positions on many of the state ballot measures because she is focused on other races in her fundraising and public appearances. She has endorsed Proposition 62, which would repeal the death penalty, along with Proposition 51 to borrow $9 billion in school bonds and Proposition 52, which restricts diverting funds away from Medi-Cal.

She also said she personally supports Proposition 56 to raise tobacco taxes by $2 per pack. She said she hasn't gone public with positions for all of the measures because she feels some things should be done by the Legislature.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has long supported the marijuana ballot measure and has called, mostly without success, for other state elected officials to endorse it. The subject came up in a recent California congressional debate that found the Democratic and Republican candidates on different sides. 

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein opposes Proposition 64.

Times staff writer Christina Bellantoni contributed to this report.

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