Free Minds & Free Markets

Feinstein Finally Catches Up with Her Voters, Abandons Her Opposition to Marijuana Legalization

Even the nanniest of Nanny Staters are coming around.

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinRon Sachs/SIPA/NewscomSen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), long one of the left's most intractable opponents of marijuana legalization, has finally recognized which way the wind is blowing. In an interview Tuesday with McClatchy, she said she wants the federal government to leave Californians who are legally smoking pot under state law alone.

"Federal law enforcement agents should not arrest Californians who are adhering to California law," she said.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement. But given that Feinstein for all these years has opposed legalization even as her constituency increasingly embraces it, it's an important development. In 2015, Feinstein was the sole Senate Appropriations Committee Democrat to oppose a bill stopping the feds from using federal funds to go after medical marijuana facilities operating legally under state law. In 2016, she opposed the California ballot initiative legalizing recreational use.

To be clear, Feinstein is still as much of a Nanny State control freak as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.), who just came around to accepting legalization last month. She makes sure to say that states need "to ensure we have strong safety rules to prevent impaired driving and youth access." She says she will need to review proposed bipartisan legislation that would let the states craft their own rules for marijuana legalization without federal meddling.

But this is a genuine shift. And she has also switched from believing medical marijuana needs more research to saying she "strongly supports" medical marijuana.

Feinstein is up for reelection, and—thanks to California's top-two, party-ignoring primary system—she'll likely be facing another Democrat on the November ballot. She's facing competition from her left, though polls show nobody is even anywhere close to unseating her.

Whatever Feinstein's reasons were for finally coming around, she and Schumer have been absolutely terrible when it comes to recognizing citizens' right to do what they choose with their own bodies. And the consequences of the clampdown they spent years supporting have been terrible. While marijuana use is typically not a huge driver of federal imprisonment, marijuana trafficking does still occasionally get the attention of the Department of Justice. Last month the feds bragged about getting prison sentences for five men for shipping marijuana from California to Florida to sell.

So this is a change a long time coming. We may finally see an end to this small part of the drug war, after decades of life-destroying "reefer madness"–induced punishment.

Photo Credit: Ron Sachs/SIPA/Newscom

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  • BestUsedCarSales||

    The deathbed conversion still exists.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Her deathbed would be any bed Feinstein rests in. You know, since she's a lich and all.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Come on now, they can't all be liches.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Liches ain't shit but hos in crypts.

  • Eidde||

    No more calls, please, we have a winner.

  • Microaggressor||

    /target Citizen X
    /cast Frost Nova (Level 3)

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Feinstein. She was against marijuana before she was for it.

    Just like she was against gays before she was for them.

  • DaveSs||

    And somehow it will end up being reported as fact she was for marijuana all along.

  • Agammamon||

    But hey, she stuck her fingers in Milk's bullet wounds, so that has to count for something, right?

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    If only Dan White had used an AR with a bump stock we might have been spared all of this.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Damndest thing about those Libertarian spoiler votes... The losers completely reverse their "stance" and scribble up a different platform.

  • Idle Hands||

    The fact that the republicans have a real chance to appeal and sell state rights to a whole swath of potential new voters and they are going to squander it to the likes of Diane Feinstein is fitting. We are truly ruled by utter fucking morons.

  • JuanQPublic||

    We are truly ruled by utter fucking morons.

    They know exactly what they're doing, and it certainly isn't in the "public interest".

  • BigChiefWahoo||

    Marijuana legalization is a cheap concession for the statists to make. Legalized cannabis will not seriously inconvenience the workings of their Administrative State the way property rights or gun rights could.

    "Smoke yer dope and don't think about taxation and regulation. Rubes."

  • JuanQPublic||

    Democratic politicians' standard operating procedure is to "come around" on issues once they are politically expedient (see gay marriage). They typically let others stick their neck out and take the "controversial" position first, then claim support of "social progress" once all the legwork changes the public's mind on a given issue. They don't typically have any regard for notions such as civil liberties.

  • JuanQPublic||

    Feinstein is up for reelection...

    There's the answer.

  • Rich||

    "Federal law enforcement agents should not arrest Californians who are adhering to California law," she said.
    She says she will need to review proposed bipartisan legislation that would let the states craft their own rules for marijuana legalization without federal meddling.

    Of course.

  • No Longer Amused||

    Wow. Even people born during the French and Indian War are now coming about. Perhaps there's hope for Sessions yet.

  • Flinch||

    Mon Dieu! Sessions is that young?

  • No Longer Amused||

    He was a chipper young lad of 50 during the war when an Iroquois maiden introduced him to the "devil's weed" and took his virginity.

  • Rich||

    46% Favor Government Guaranteed Jobs for All

    Jobs in the emerging weed industry?

  • Microaggressor||

    Survey of Pot Gulag workers shows 99.9% satisfaction rate.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    And THC levels off the chain.

  • Juice||

    Why is it that the people who really need to just go away never do?

  • Mark22||

    It's what we call a "deal with the devil".

  • Longtobefree||

    So when is she introducing a bill to make Sessions pull marijuana off the schedule one list as required by existing law?
    Or amending a spending bill to defund the entire DOJ until they follow the law regarding 'no medicinal use'?

  • Rich||

    "Baby steps."

  • gaoxiaen||

    Desperate geriatric dotard steps.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    She's out the door, so...

  • Cranedoc||

    The old bag will probably wind up using it for pain relief of advanced witchiness.

  • Flinch||

    Well... California simply has to tax buds - more! Now, how much money was shown her and was she reminded the reason Marlboro developed green packaging was in anticipation of just this day. The lobbyists are calling...

  • Spookk||

    Hopefully she will fall down a long flight of stairs, and have a piano follow her, before the primaries.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Watching that in slo mo in my brain right now. Nice.

  • Sevo||

    "Hopefully she will fall down a long flight of stairs, and have a piano follow her, before the primaries."

    Pretty sure you'll be pining for her once you see her competition. Beware what you ask for.

  • Mark22||

    Despite her senility and bigotry, Pelosi is still powerful and capable of collaborating with Republicans. Replacing her with an even nuttier leftist will decrease the damage that that seat can do.

  • Sevo||

    Unfortunately, she's being hounded by those in CA further to the left, claiming she's, for instance, stated that (paraphrased) 'Trump really isn't an alien and it's possible to work with him.'
    I'd prefer she didn't; the both have sufficient authoritarian leanings that the results wouldn't bear seeing.
    Regardless, she is seen as far too 'moderate' in the fantasy-land which accepts Tom Steyer as a savior.

  • Mark22||

    Unfortunately, she's being hounded by those in CA further to the left,

    Pelosi is an authoritarian and an opportunist; the more she gets pushed into taking ridiculous positions, the better.

  • Mark22||

    Oops, sorry, I got my old hags mixed up. Geez, the senility is contagious.

  • Mark22||

    Just like Hillary: polls have changed her moral compass.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    """Federal law enforcement agents should not arrest Californians who are adhering to California law," she said.""

    Do they? I'm thinking they arrest people for violating federal laws.

    I wonder if she would have the same opinion if the feds banned certain rifles but Arkansas allows them under state law?

  • ||

    Fuck that old crow.

  • akita96th||

    Feinstein only needs one more term...why? I don't know.....BUT for sure she will lie to the best of her ability to get re-elected. Any promises she makes will be moot...iF SHE IS RE-ELECTED she will keep on doing the same crap she has always done and that is her voting along Republican lines...She needs to be ousted she is too old and has no clue of today's democratic ideals...She is living in the past she has voted yes on some of Trumps awful cabinet picks...She is truly a setback to progressive ideas, and she does not represent today's democratic agendas she only caters to the rich Democrats who are sitting on both sides of the political ball field and most of them are sitting to the right of issues...and that is the base voters of Feinstein...She is in line with the rich rascals who keep the status quo of corporate control of all things. Please, California send her to the recycle bin.

  • Hank Phillips||

    So does Feinstein also now believe that electrical power plants are no longer more dangerous than nerve gas labs?


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