California Democratic party narrowly votes against supporting marijuana legalization issue

The California Democratic Party has officially decided not to endorse Proposition 19, the effort aimed at legalizing marijuana, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Our Los Angeles marijuana defense lawyers continue to monitor the marijuana legalization issue as our medical marijuana dispensary defense lawyers represent more than a dozen legal medical marijuana businesses that are being threatened with closure by local ordinances.

Democrat party officials made the decision on Sunday. The Times reported the short but passionate debate in a hotel meeting room left little doubt that most planned to support the legalization measure at the polls in November. But the state party opted to adopt a neutral position on Proposition 19, which leaves the many local democratic committees and organizations free to endorse the measure.

As we reported on our Marijuana Lawyer Blog, the measure has picked up the high-profile support of the food services union, the California NAACP and a former U.S. Surgeon General.

While many supported the measure, the overwhelming argument was that statewide support could hurt Democratic candidates in close local races.

“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.”

Proposition 19 would permit those over 21 to grow, possess or transport marijuana and would permit cities and counties to tax marijuana sales.

The Democratic party’s executive board voted 101 to 85 against an endorsement.

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