Capitol Alert

Neel Kashkari pushes mandatory drug tests for lawmakers

Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari on Friday proposed mandatory drug testing for all California legislators and statewide officeholders.

“I think we should drug test legislators,” he said while guest hosting the Mark Larson Show on KCBQ 1170 AM in San Diego. “Every statewide officeholder and everyone in the Assembly and the Senate, why don’t we just have an annual mandatory drug test?”

Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury Department official in an uphill race against Gov. Jerry Brown, said he would not expect many lawmakers to agree to testing given the number of lawmakers involved in what he called “more and more trouble every week, it seems.”

Three Democratic senators have been suspended from the upper house in separate criminal cases this year, and a fourth was more recently accused of drunk driving. None of the incidents involved the use of illegal drugs.

Kashkari’s remarks came during an on-air discussion with Ron Nehring, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, about Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s support for legalizing marijuana, a position Nehring opposes.

“Let me ask you this,” Kashkari said. “Will you commit, Ron, that if we can get Gavin Newsom to debate, before the debate you and Gavin Newsom both take a drug test?”

Nehring laughed and turned the conversation to Proposition 46, which, among other things, would mandate random drug and alcohol testing of doctors. When Kashkari said lawmakers should be tested, Nehring said, “We could do that.”

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