L.A. Times: Dianne Feinstein Ignorant on Marijuana, Too Old to Run Again

Associated Press

Liberal Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein should start packing her bags and step down, according to the majority of California voters.

The octogenarian’s unhappy constituents may be viewing her as too old for the job, suggests opinion columnist for the Los Angeles Times, Ted Rall. On top of that, they criticize her anti-marijuana views as not being in step with the Golden State’s inevitable march to legalizing marijuana.

Unlike attractive California Attorney General Kamla Harris, 50, who may very well be heading to Washington, DC to replace California’s other Democratic senator, Barbara Boxer, in 2016, Feinstein is an adamant opponent of  the legalization of marijuana. Harris, as do most Americans, believes that legalizing pot is inevitable in California.

Feinstein and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) criticized the Obama administration recently for being lenient on pot. The liberal former mayor of San Francisco refused to comment on the letter that she sent. However, Grassley worded his letter strongly saying that, “The administration should account for remarks and policies that send a message of tolerance for illegal drugs.”

Rall points out in his article as a note to politicians: “Expressing opinions wildly divergent from those of your constituents is not the typical path to follow. According to the polls, up to 60% of Californians favor outright legalization, not merely decriminalization.”

Evan Halper of the Los Angeles Times described how Feinstein formulated her opinion about marijuana in an article he wrote in mid-January:

Feinstein’s position on pot is in sync with her strident support for law enforcement, dating to her time at the center of San Francisco politics amid the social turmoil of the 1960s and ’70s. It was then that she sat on the California Women’s Board of Terms and Parole, where she saw that the drug contributed to wrecked lives, she recently told the Associated Press. ‘I saw a lot of where people began with marijuana and went on to hard drugs.’

Rall says he makes fun of her view because Feinstein “is relying on facts and an experience that’s half a century old. Pot has changed a lot since the 1980s, much less the 1960s.”

Rall clarifies:

Pot has changed a lot since the 1980s, much less the 1960s. It’s stronger, less likely to be laced with other narcotics and, when sold in dispensaries, of higher quality than the barely-above-oregano stuff that my college classmates used to score in the barrio in upper Manhattan. It’s entirely possible that marijuana is more dangerous than it used to be. I don’t know. And neither does Feinstein.

The Times columnist accuses Feinstein of being ignorant on the subject of marijuana. He charges that she reduces her arguments to “cautionary tales of after school specials from the hippie days.”


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