Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has reversed her previous opposition to federal enforcement of anti-marijuana laws and now says that she supports allowing each state to determine its own path on legal marijuana.
Feinstein revealed her shift on Tuesday to McClatchy, saying she now “strongly supports” legalizing medical marijuana, and that she now opposes federal law enforcement arresting Californians who are using marijuana in compliance with state law.
She remained cautious, adding, “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.”
However, Feinstein joins a long list of politicians who have changed their views on marijuana at the state level.
Part of Feinstein’s shift can be attributed to changes in the laws of the state she represents. Part of it may result from cultural changes nationwide. And part of it is likely due to a newfound Democratic Party enthusiasm for the powers of the states — after mocking conservatives as “Tenthers” (i.e. supporters of the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution) when they opposed sweeping federal mandates under the Obama administration.
But her shift is also likely related to her re-election fight, where she faces opposition from State Sen. Kevin de Léon (D-Los Angeles) — and, lately, from surging Republican candidate James Bradley.
McClatchy notes that De Léon has hardly been a leader in the fight for legal marijuana. However, Feinstein — who faces criticism from De Léon and other leftists for ostensibly being too soft on the Trump administration — may feel she needs all the help she can muster.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.