This is a first for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who, up until now, was considered a staunch opponent of legalizing recreational weed. Now, her stances is that California should be in charge of its own legal marijuana market — not the feds.
Speaking to McClatchy early this week, the U.S. Democratic Senator said she was open to considering federal protection for state-legalized marijuana. The Senator, who’s in the midst of a 2018 campaign for her seat in California, changed her views after meetings with constituents, “particularly those with young children who have benefited from medical marijuana use,” according to McClatchy.
“My state has legalized marijuana for personal use, and as California continues to implement this law, we need to ensure we have strong safety rules to prevent impaired driving and youth access, similar to other public health issues like alcohol,” she told McClatchy.
Currently, Feinstein is beating Democrat Kevin de Leon, her closest opponent, by 26 points, according to the most recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California. De Leon had been campaigning on that fact that Feinstein was too moderate and out of touch, siding with many marijuana advocates who believe Feinstein is responsible for “‘reefer madness’-style disinformation campaigns” about Proposition 64 — the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative of 2016.
Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo. and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., are drafting a bill that would put marijuana legalization into the hands of individual states. For states that are legal already, like California, it would provide more stability.
Feinstein said she would need to review the bill “to determine whether it’s the best path forward,” before commenting on it, but, according to McClatchy, “she indicated she could be supportive of Gardner’s vision.”