Randall Benton / Sacramento Bee file

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, seen at a convention speech last year, does not favor legalization of marijuana sales, but Ron Gold – the Republican likely to challenge her in November – does.

More Information

  • Sacramento County to limit indoor marijuana growth
  • Vote update

    The race for state controller continues to wow observers as four candidates – two Democrats and two Republicans – battle for the top two slots in the Nov. 4 general election. As of Friday, Republicans Ashley Swearengin (769,427 votes) and David Evans (674,963) led the pack. The two high-profile Democrats in the race, former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (672,040) and tax board member Betty Yee (664,916) were trailing. Stay tuned. Nearly a million votes could be left to count.

    – Bee Capitol Bureau

The Buzz: Kamala Harris’ GOP challenger favors pot legalization

Published: Friday, Jun. 6, 2014 - 10:47 pm
Last Modified: Monday, Jun. 9, 2014 - 9:48 am

GOP attorney general candidate backs legal pot

Republican Ron Gold, the presumptive challenger to Democratic Attorney General Kamala Harris, wants California to legalize and tax marijuana and use the proceeds for substance abuse and mental health treatment.

Gold, a Woodland Hills lawyer and former deputy to Attorney General Evelle Younger, told The Sacramento Bee that decriminalizing pot would decrease the costs of enforcing victimless crimes and allow the state to direct more resources to serious criminals.

“I just think that police resources are so few, and we have so much to do, that going after someone who is having a joint in West Hollywood is about as useful as having another Carter’s Little Liver Pill,” Gold said.

Harris is an overwhelmingly favorite to win re-election in November. She’s received 53 percent of the votes tallied so far in Tuesday’s primary.

Gold’s stance puts him at odds not only with Harris but also other high-profile Democrats like Gov. Jerry Brown and Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Gold favors adopting a version of Colorado’s law. “Basically,” he said, “I am to the left of Harris on an issue that’s always been very popular and critical in California.” he said.

– Christopher Cadelago

Worth repeating

“If Iraq or Afghanistan in their recent elections had only 2 candidates and both from the same party, the West would have denounced those elections as a fraud.”

BOB MULHOLLAND, California Democratic Party adviser, denouncing the state’s “top two” primary.

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