Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and other elected leaders on Thursday called on California voters to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, saying the current laws are unfairly entangling minorities more than white users.
“What we have is a system that disproportionately targets people of color,’’ Newsom said during a news conference in Los Angeles. “The folks that are being arrested don’t look like me.”
Proposition 64 on the Nov. 8 ballot would allow those 21 and older to possess and use up to an ounce of marijuana and would implement a 15% excise tax.
U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein on Thursday endorsed state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris for U.S. Senate, cementing Harris as the chosen candidate among California’s top Democrats and dealing another stinging blow to the campaign of rival Rep. Loretta Sanchez.
The two senators join a coveted list of popular Democrats who have thrown their support behind Harris in the race between two Democratic opponents, rejecting the Orange County congresswoman.
President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Gov. Jerry Brown have all backed Harris. The California Democratic Party has spent more than $560,000 on Harris’ Senate campaign, but not offered a penny to help Sanchez.
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and hip-hop artist will.i.am on Wednesday joined efforts to support a California ballot measure that would abolish the state death penalty.
At a campaign event in San Francisco, Branson urged voters to vote yes on Proposition 62, saying the United States should lead by example.
"You might ask why an English man is here talking about the death penalty," he said. "About 45 years ago the last person was executed in England and that person turned out to be innocent. And I think everyone in Britain hung their head in shame."
The moderator in Wednesday's U.S. Senate debate had a no-nonsense approach to time limits, but when it came time for Rep. Loretta Sanchez to wrap up her closing, it took him a good 10 seconds before he could quiet her enough to move on to California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris.
After being interrupted by the moderator several times, Sanchez finally stopped, pausing to strike a pose as Harris looked on.