Guide for
Upcoming Election
Your Elected Officials
Governor
A-
Gavin Newsom (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE

Newsom signed all the major cannabis reform bills that came to his desk in 2022, including those protecting employment rights and pain patients’ rights. He has been criticized for not pushing hard enough to reduce burdensome taxes and regulations on cannabis, but as part of this year’s state budget, he signed legislation to eliminate the cannabis cultivation tax and support equity businesses. He has long championed marijuana legalization, and convened a Blue-Ribbon panel on the topic while Lt. Governor.

 

Important Actions Taken:

Taking aggressive action to protect communities, consumers, and the environment alike, Governor Gavin Newsom has directed the creation of a new multi-agency, cross-jurisdictional taskforce of enforcement agencies designed to better coordinate agencies combatting illegal cannabis operations and transnational criminal organizations. (October 2022)

Lieutenant Governor
B
Eleni Kounalakis (D)

When asked whether or not she supports medical or recreational legalization, her campaign responded to Cal NORML, "California voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, and Eleni believes that now we need to make sure that the implementation of the law protects the public, especially our kids. Regulations must be put in place for a wide-range of aspects, from ensuring products are properly labeled, to setting up a banking system which keeps the industry from operating on an all-cash basis. Legalization poses other new challenges to public safety that must also be addressed, including a possible increase in people driving under the influence. Eleni believes we can develop effective regulatory practices to address these problems by imposing taxes, ensuring strict identification for purchases, and proposing and supporting bills that are specifically designed to protect our kids, and the public at large."

Attorney General
A+
Rob Bonta (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE
Leading advocate for legal cannabis in Assembly.
U.S. Senate
A-
Alex Padilla (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE DECRIMINALIZE
As secretary of state after California’s 2016 vote to legalize recreational marijuana, Padilla helped implement legalization by licensing cannabis businesses and creating an online portal to help migrate the state’s legacy medical cannabis companies into the new regulation area. To promote that service, Padilla appeared in a public service announcement with comedian Cheech Marin.

As state senator, Padilla voted to support employment protections for medical cannabis patients and opposed DEA raids on cannabis companies. Padilla has expressed support for the federal MORE Act.

In 2021, Padilla filed an amendment that would allow veterans to access medical cannabis through the VA system in states where it is legal and require the VA to research the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis for certain conditions. 

In May 2022, Padilla joined a bipartisan effort requesting that congressional leadership include the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2021, which would allow state-legal cannabis business to access banking services, in the final version of competitiveness legislation currently being negotiated between the House and Senate.

 

U.S. Senate
C-
Dianne Feinstein (D)
Long-time opponent of legal marijuana and advocate for strict drug law enforcement; opposed Prop 215 and 64; advocated tougher laws and penalties for users. Opposed relaxation of federal laws until this year, when she reversed position after opponent announced support for marijuana reform. Now supports STATES Act by Warren and Gardner.
U.S. House District 8
A
John Garamendi (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE

Garamendi has been a reliable vote for cannabis bills, including the MORE Act, and co-sponsored the SAFE Banking Act.

State Senate District 3
A
Bill Dodd (D)
State Assembly District 11
A
Lori Wilson (D)

Excellent voting record in 2021-2.