California Guide

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Upcoming Election
California Special Election: Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Your Elected Officials
Governor
B
Gavin Newsom (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE
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."

U.S. Senate
A
Kamala Harris (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE
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 1
F
Doug LaMalfa (R) JAIL TIME FOR POSSESSION

Has consistently opposed cannabis reform bills in state legislature and Congress.

U.S. House District 2
A
Jared Huffman (D)

Huffman had a good voting record on marijuana while in the state assembly. In 2012, he cast the deciding vote in committee in favor of California's landmark  bill to legalize, tax and regulate cannabis. In Congress, Huffman has co-sponsored reform bills, and introduced bills to deal with illegal marijuana grows on public lands, such as 2013's PLANT Act to direct the US Sentencing Commission to enhance penalties for drug offenses involving use of poisonous chemicals, water diversion, or vegetation removal. 

U.S. House District 3
U.S. House District 4
A
Tom McClintock (R)

A hard-core small-government conservative, McClintock has taken a libertarian line on marijuana laws.  A leading House Republican supporter of cannabis reform, he co-sponsored an amendment to stop DOJ from interfering in state adult-use legalization laws.

U.S. House District 5
B+
U.S. House District 6
B
Doris Matsui (D)

Matsui (pictured third from left) met with citizen lobbyists from Cal NORML at Lobby Day 2015. She has voted well on marijuana bills in Congress. 

U.S. House District 7
B
Ami Bera (D) DECRIMINALIZE

An MD, Dr. Bera is a strong advocate for medical marijuana but isn't quite on board with recreational. He co-sponsored the SAFE Banking Act (2019) and on other bills (see below).

U.S. House District 9
U.S. House District 10
B-
Josh Harder (D)

Harder won a hard-fought race to flip the 10th district to the Democrats in 2018, defeating anti-marijuana Republican Jeff Denham.

The National Republican Congressional Committee announced early in the 2020 cycle that Harder’s district would be one of its priorities to take back, one of seven such districts in California.

 

U.S. House District 11
U.S. House District 12
A
Nancy Pelosi (D)

As Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has a policy of not voting on bills.  Her leadership however has empowered House leaders to advance the most sweeping marijuana reform and legalization measures in the history of Congress.

U.S. House District 13
A+
Barbara Lee (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE

Congresswoman Barbara Lee is a longtime friend and champion of the marijuana reform movement.

She is a Co-Chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. 

U.S. House District 14
A-
U.S. House District 15
A
Eric Swalwell (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE
U.S. House District 16
B+
Jim Costa (D)
U.S. House District 17
A
Ro Khanna (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE

Congressman Ro Khanna has supported marijuana reform since his election to Congress and is a lead co-sponsor of the Marijuana Justice Act to end federal prohibition, expunge records, and reinvest in the communities that have been hardest hit by prohibition. 

U.S. House District 18
A-
U.S. House District 19
A
U.S. House District 20
U.S. House District 21
D+
David Valadao (R)

As an Assemblyman and Congressman, Valadao voted against every marijuana reform measure and opposes recreational legalization. In the California legislature, he co-sponsored an industrial hemp bill. 

U.S. House District 22
D+
Devin Nunes (R)

Congressman Nunes has never been a friend to the marijuana policy reform movement and voted against the Blumenauer/McClintock/Norton amendment to protect California's legalization program. However, he did vote in favor of the SAFE Banking Act. 

U.S. House District 23
D-
Kevin McCarthy (R)

Congressman McCarthy has never been a friend to the marijuana policy reform movement and voted against the Blumenauer/McClintock/Norton amendment to protect California's legalization program. However, he did vote in favor of the SAFE Banking Act. 

U.S. House District 24
U.S. House District 25
D
Mike Garcia (R) MANDATORY MINIMUMS
U.S. House District 26
U.S. House District 27
B
Judy Chu (D)
U.S. House District 28
B
U.S. House District 29
A
Tony Cárdenas (D)

Cardenas has a solid pro-marijuana voting record, both in the Assembly and in Congress, going back to 1999.  

U.S. House District 30
A
U.S. House District 31
A
U.S. House District 32
U.S. House District 33
A+
Ted Lieu (D)
U.S. House District 34
A
U.S. House District 35
A
Norma Torres (D)

Co-sponsor, MORE Act and SAFE Banking Act of 2019.   Says cannabis a "Criminal and racial justice issue."   Has reached out for input from cannabis community. 

U.S. House District 36
B
Raul Ruiz (D)
U.S. House District 37
B
Karen Bass (D)

Congresswoman Bass previously opposed marijuana policy reform but has recently come around to support the repairative components of legislation such as The Marijuana Justice Act and The MORE Act. 

She is the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security where the MORE Act had a favorable hearing in July of 2019 and was later passed by the full Committee with Rep. Bass's vote. 

U.S. House District 38
U.S. House District 39
D
Young Kim (R)
Kim had a poor voting record in the state legislature, except on more recent regulatory bills, and she opposed Prop. 64.
U.S. House District 40
U.S. House District 41
A
Mark Takano (D)

Congressman Takano is the Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee. In this leadership role, he has yet to call for a vote on any of the multiple bills that have been introduced to address veterans' issues in relationship to cannabis policy. 

U.S. House District 42
D
U.S. House District 43
U.S. House District 44
U.S. House District 45
A
Katie Porter (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE

Porter is the first Democrat to be elected to represent her district, which covers much of south-central Orange County. She was voted toughest questioner in Congress for her tough questions to corporate executives on wage and banking issues. 

She raised more than $1 million in the final quarter of 2019, leaving her with $2.7 million in the bank in her bid to hang on to the seat she won in 2018. Her leading opponent, Republican Donald Sedgwick of Laguna Hills, reported $521,405 on hand.

U.S. House District 46
A
Lou Correa (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE

Has championed marijuana for veterans and repealing obsolete border restrictions against marijuana users.

U.S. House District 47
U.S. House District 49
A
Mike Levin (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE

Supported by San Diego cannabis reform groups. 

"Our nation’s marijuana laws are outdated, ineffective, and too costly, It’s wrong that we waste billions every year arresting and locking up and destroying the lives of tens of thousands of people for low-level, non-violent marijuana violations." -Campaign Twitter

U.S. House District 50
F
Darrell Issa (R)

Issa is a staunch drug warrior with a terrible voting record who advocated for a DOJ crackdown on state MMJ laws.

U.S. House District 51
B-
U.S. House District 52
B+
U.S. House District 53
B
Sara Jacobs (D) DECRIMINALIZE

Her website says: It’s time for the federal government to de-criminalize cannabis. And we need to make sure that tax money derived from legal cannabis sales go back to rebuilding communities that have been devastated by the drug wars, and that we pardon all those who are in the criminal justice system due to non-violent marijuana-related offenses that would now be considered legal. https://sarajacobsforca.com/criminal-justice-reform

State Senate District 1
C-
State Senate District 2
A-
Mike McGuire (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE
McGuire has a strong voting record and authored one of the three bills that regulated medical marijuana in California in 2015. He favors adult-use legalization, but opposed Prop. 64 until such time as regulation of medical cannabis could be solidified. He strongly supports local regulation and was a key opponent of outlawing local delivery bans.
State Senate District 3
A
Bill Dodd (D)
State Senate District 4
D+
Jim Nielsen (R)
A leading critic of marijuana, Sen. Nielsen strongly opposed treating it as a legal agricultural crop.
State Senate District 5
A+
Susan Eggman (D)
Excellent voting record.
State Senate District 6
A
Richard Pan (D)
Dr. Pan is a pediatrician and member of the California Medical Association. He has voted well, but been cautious about the impact of legalization on children.
State Senate District 7
B
State Senate District 8
D-
Andreas Borgeas (R)
Does not support the use or sale of marijuana.
State Senate District 9
A+
Nancy Skinner (D)

Longtime, strong supporter and cannabis advocate.  Led campaign for Berkeley's 1979 marijuana initiative.  One of first legislators in U.S. to vote for a total legalization bill in 2009.     Has headed off bad legislation as chair of Public Safety Committee.

State Senate District 10
A
Bob Wieckowski (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE
State Senate District 11
A+
Scott Wiener (D)

Cal NORML legislator of the year, 2018.  Sponsored AB 34, allowing tax-free giveaways of medical cannabis to needy patients.

State Senate District 12
A
Anna Caballero (D)
Has a good voting record.
State Senate District 13
A
Josh Becker (D)

Josh Becker is founder of a philanthropic fund that supports nonprofits and is one of the few legislative candidates to have the formal backing of Gov. Gavin Newsom. He’s also raised a fair amount from Silicon Valley’s biggest venture capitalists.

State Senate District 15
A-
Dave Cortese (D)

Dave Cortese has been on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors since 2008, and ran for San Jose mayor in 2014 with the support of organized labor. Before that, he was a defense attorney, and was disturbed by the number of marijuana and drug offenders in prison.   Cortese has been one of two Santa Clara supervisors to support establishing local cannabusiness.   

"It's time to turn the page on overtaxation," Cortese told the state of cannabis conference, saying that taxation should be modest and not used to fund other state services.  He regards expungement  as "justice served." 

In 2014 he said, “We need to protect unincorporated Santa Clara County from a potential migration of medical marijuana dispensaries from San Jose.” But in 2018 he voted against banning marijuana cultivation, arguing that prohibition is an ineffective way to deal with illegal grows. "By not regulating pot, the county loses out on sales tax that could help combat black-market cultivation and preserve farmland for other crops," Cortese told his colleagues at a board meeting. In the first quarter of 2018, the state raked in $33.6 million in cultivation and excise taxes from the newly expanded legal market, he pointed out.
  
He was recently helpful working with the Public Health Department’s Emergency Operations Center to determine whether it would be willing to revise or amend the FAQs to restore on-site access to cannabis for people who need it during the COVID-19 crisis. “We don’t want customers to be in pain because they can’t get their medicine, but we also don’t want them to die trying to get it,” Cortese said. “So it’s a difficult balancing act.”
State Senate District 16
D
Shannon Grove (R)
Has a dismal voting record.
State Senate District 17
A
John Laird (D)

Supported by the Women's Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz.  Formerly Mayor of Santa Cruz, where he had a long history of defending safe access to marijuana.   Believes overtaxation of cannabis is a key problem.   

State Senate District 18
A
Robert Hertzberg (D)
Sponsored SB 930 to create independent state-licensed banks to serve cannabis industry (not passed).
State Senate District 19
A
S. Monique Limón (D)

Monique Limon has a perfect voting record in the Assembly. 

 

http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/CAStateScorecard2018.html

State Senate District 20
A
State Senate District 21
B
State Senate District 25
State Senate District 26
A
Ben Allen (D)
State Senate District 27
A-
State Senate District 28
D
Melissa Melendez (R)
Asks thoughtful questions, but usually comes down on wrong side.
State Senate District 29
A
Josh Newman (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE

Newman (D) was recalled on June 5, 2018 after he voted for a gas tax. Former Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang (R) was selected to replace him. He defeated Chang in 2016 for the seat and is running for it again. 

State Senate District 31
A-
State Senate District 33
A-
State Senate District 34
C
Thomas Umberg (D)
Ex-prosecutor and deputy drug czar under Clinton. Had weak voting record in Assembly 1992-4 and 2004-2006. Open to discussion with reform advocates.
State Senate District 35
State Senate District 36
D
Pat Bates (R)
Has long record of poor votes.
State Senate District 38
C-
Brian Jones (R)
Had a weak record in state Assembly 2011-2016.
State Senate District 39
A
State Senate District 40
A-
Ben Hueso (D)
Voted well with majority on most issues. Endorsed by S.D. Association of Cannabis Professionals.
State Assembly District 1
B
Megan Dahle (R)

Her website says: Let me be very clear: as your Assemblywoman I will vote to get rid of the laws which let dangerous felons out of jail early, and which have decreased penalties for drug and property crime. At the same time, we need to have some compassion for our fellow Californians. 

State Assembly District 2
A-
Jim Wood (D)
Strong advocate for small growers in the district. Has weakness for tough enforcement measures and excessive regulations.
State Assembly District 3
D
James Gallagher (R)
Bad voting record in legislature
State Assembly District 4
A
Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D)

Has a good voting record. Introduced bill to regulate CBD products in CA. 

State Assembly District 5
D-
State Assembly District 6
D-
State Assembly District 7
A
Kevin McCarty (D)
Votes well; supported legal dispensaries in Sacramento when on city council.
State Assembly District 8
C
Ken Cooley (D)

One of five key Assembly sponsors of legislation regulating cannabis industry; voted against Prop 64. 

State Assembly District 9
B-
Jim Cooper (D)
Ex-sheriff favors crackdown on illegal cannabis
State Assembly District 10
A
Marc Levine (D)
Good voting record.
State Assembly District 11
C-
Jim Frazier (D)
Poor voting record on criminal justice issues.
State Assembly District 12
D+
Heath Flora (R)
Poor voting record
State Assembly District 14
B
Tim Grayson (D)
Decent voting record.
State Assembly District 15
B
Buffy Wicks (D)
Former organizer for Obama campaign is endorsed by Gavin Newsom, Sen. Harris and Barack Obama. Advocates a public health approach to drug policy, emphasizing rehabilitation over punishment for all drugs.
State Assembly District 16
A
Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D)

Attorney, law professor and environmental advocate. Has a good voting record. 

State Assembly District 17
A
David Chiu (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE
Votes in line with San Francisco's pro-cannabis views
State Assembly District 18
A+
Rob Bonta (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE
Leading advocate for legal cannabis in Assembly.
State Assembly District 19
A
Phil Ting (D)
Votes in line with pro-cannabis views of San Francisco.
State Assembly District 20
A+
Bill Quirk (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE
Early endorser of Prop 64; consistently strong vote on Public Safety Committee for cannabis and criminal justice issues.
State Assembly District 21
C-
Adam Gray (D)
One of the weakest voting records for a Democratic Assembly member.
State Assembly District 22
A
Kevin Mullin (D)
Good voting record.
State Assembly District 23
D+
Jim Patterson (R)
Poor voting record
State Assembly District 24
A
State Assembly District 25
A-
Alex Lee (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE

Lee is a young Gen Z progressive from a more conservative Chinese constituency.  He is enthusiastically  in favor of legal marijuana, social equity, employment rights for marijuana users, and more.  He doesn't use drugs, but is open to discussing legalization of psychedelics.

State Assembly District 26
C-
Devon Mathis (R)

November will be a re-match between Republican Mathis and his Democratic challenger Drew Phelps. Mathis took nearly 2/3 of the vote in March in this Republican district. 

State Assembly District 27
A+
Ash Kalra (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE
State Assembly District 28
A
Evan Low (D) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE
Sponsored AJR 27 calling on President Trump to leave legal cannabis industry alone.
State Assembly District 29
A
Mark Stone (D)
Good voting record.
State Assembly District 30
A
State Assembly District 31
State Assembly District 32
D+
Rudy Salas (D)
One of worst Democrats in Assembly on cannabis issues
State Assembly District 33
D
Jay Obernolte (R)

State Assemblyman Obernolte is a front-runner to win a seat in this district, which opened up when Paul Cook retired.

Obernolte has a bad voting record as an Assemblyman. 

State Assembly District 34
D-
Vince Fong (R)

Has a poor voting record on marijuana reform. 

State Assembly District 35
C-
Jordan Cunningham (R)

Has a so-so voting record. 

State Assembly District 36
B+
Tom Lackey (R) LEGALIZE, TAX, AND REGULATE
Ex-CHP officer and leading Republican co-sponsor of legislation to legally regulate cannabis.
State Assembly District 37
B+
Steve Bennett (D) MEDICAL USE

Democrat Steve Bennett, 69, is a Ventura County supervisor. In March 2017, he voted in favor of land-use amendments that would allow a limited number of dispensaries, processing plants and farms to provide marijuana for medicinal purposes in Ventura County.

“I asked the Board to approve a direction to staff to begin the process of developing proper regulations needed to have safe, practical access to medical cannabis while minimizing any negative impacts on the community,” Bennett said in 2016. “I made that request because I believe medical benefits of cannabis use are becoming more broadly known and we will only have safe, practical access with minimal negative impacts on the community if we invest the time and energy to create rational, effective regulations with a broad stakeholder input.” 

State Assembly District 39
A
Luz Rivas (D)

New to Assembly in 2018. Has a good voting record. Won handily in the March primary against her Republican challenger, earning 72% of the vote. 

State Assembly District 40
D
James Ramos (D)

As San Bernardino County Supervisor has repeatedly voted in opposition to legal cannabis in the county. Has a bad voting record in the Assembly, one of the worst for a Democrat. Took 57% of the vote in the March primary against his Republican opponent. 

State Assembly District 41
A
Chris Holden (D)

Good voting record. Won 66% of the vote in the March 2020 primary. 

State Assembly District 42
C
Chad Mayes (I)

Weak voting record. In a three-way March 2020 Primary, took 35% of the vote, to Republican challenger Kotyuk's 33% and Democrat Mazingo's 31%. 

State Assembly District 43
A
Laura Friedman (D)
Good voting record.
State Assembly District 44
C+
Jacqui Irwin (D)
Mixed voting record
State Assembly District 45
B+
Jesse Gabriel (D)
Joined Assembly in Jun 2018 - good voting record so far
State Assembly District 46
B+
Adrin Nazarian (D)
Generally good voting record.
State Assembly District 47
A
Eloise Reyes (D)
Good voting record.
State Assembly District 48
A
Blanca Rubio (D)
Good voting record.
State Assembly District 49
A
Edwin Chau (D)
Good voting record
State Assembly District 50
A
Richard Bloom (D)
Good voting record
State Assembly District 51
State Assembly District 52
B
Freddie Rodriguez (D)
Skipped tough votes.
State Assembly District 53
A-
Miguel Santiago (D)
Good voting record.
State Assembly District 54
A
Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D)
Good voting record
State Assembly District 55
C+
Phillip Chen (R)
So-so voting record. Endorsed by CA Police Chiefs and Peace Officers Research Assoc of CA.
State Assembly District 56
A
Eduardo Garcia (D)
Good voting record.
State Assembly District 58
A-
Cristina Garcia (D)
Good voting record
State Assembly District 59
A+
Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D)
One of five Assembly leaders on legal cannabis legislation. Cal NORML 2017 legislator of the year award
State Assembly District 60
C
Sabrina Cervantes (D)
Weak voting record
State Assembly District 61
A-
Jose Medina (D)
Good voting record
State Assembly District 62
A
Autumn Burke (D)
Good voting record.
State Assembly District 63
A
Anthony Rendon (D)
As Speaker of the Assembly, Rendon voted and led well on cannabis issues.
State Assembly District 64
A
Mike Gipson (D)
Superior voting record.
State Assembly District 65
C+
Sharon Quirk-Silva (D)
Mediocre voting record for a Democrat.
State Assembly District 66
D+
Al Muratsuchi (D)
Ex-prosecutor. Worst voting record of any Assembly Democrat.
State Assembly District 68
D
Steven Choi (R)
Lousy voting record.
State Assembly District 69
B+
Tom Daly (D)
Fairly good voting record.
State Assembly District 70
A
Patrick O'Donnell (D)
Good voting record.
State Assembly District 71
D
Randy Voepel (R)
Lousy voting record
State Assembly District 72
D+
Janet Nguyen (R)
Has long record of bad votes going back to days in Assembly.
State Assembly District 74
State Assembly District 75
C-
Marie Waldron (R)
Weak voting record. Republican minority floor leader.
State Assembly District 76
State Assembly District 77
D+
Brian Maienschein (D)
Bad voting record.
State Assembly District 79
State Assembly District 80
B
Lorena Gonzalez (D)

In 2018, Assemblywoman Gonzalez held up the medical marijuana users' employment rights bill AB 2069 as chair of the Assembly Appropriations committee, citing safety concerns from labor unions. She did co-sponsor Asm. Bonta's bill to automatically expunge past marijuana convictions.