California Cannabis Voters Guide 2018

By: The Law Office of Dale Schafer

Contributors: drugsense.org,  Jaded Voter, El Dorado County Growers Alliance, California – City & County Regulation Watch, cvobserver.com, CoolConnections, Justsaycare.org, Red Bluff Daily News, Newell’s Botanicals, MendoCanna Action, Oceanside For A Safer Community, broke-ass stuart, The San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters, Women Entrepreneurs in Cannabis

 

*** Please be advised that this is NOT a document intending to instruct potential voters on how to vote. The California Cannabis Voters Guide is simply a list, which includes pro-cannabis candidates across the State of California, and should be used as a tool to make the best decision for yourself.

 

Voters Guide Key

Pro-Cannabis Candidates

Neutral or Unknown on Cannabis Issues

Anti-Cannabis Candidates

 

STATE OFFICES

 

GOVERNOR

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. A longtime advocate of drug harm reduction, Newsom convened a Blue Ribbon Task Force on legalization that served as a blueprint for Prop 64, which he backed strongly. Some worry that Newsom is partial to big-money interests. As of last July, he had received over $300K in donations from the cannabis industry. Newsom has a history of leadership on other social issues, most notably gay marriage, which he championed as Mayor of San Francisco, as well as gun control and single-payer health care.

 

Former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, is speaker of the state Assembly, and was not a leader on medical marijuana or criminal justice reform, but consistently voted right. After becoming mayor in 2005, he quietly let medical cannabis dispensaries open up in Los Angeles, which had previously been a cannabis desert. Nine days before the 2016 election he endorsed Prop. 64.

 

State Treasurer John Chiang has used his office to help secure banking services for the state’s developing cannabis industry. Chiang convened a task force on cannabis and banking, in an effort to circumvent federal banking regulations that have made it almost impossible for many cannabis-related organizations to get bank accounts. His efforts have won him the endorsement of the Cannabis Growers Association.

 

Former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin, another Democratic hand raiser, is the only woman in the race. She posted a mixed voting record in the pre-Prop 215 days when she was in the State Assembly from 1986 to 1994. Like her party, though, she has since come around, and has declared her support for making California a cannabis sanctuary state and establishing a state bank for cannabis businesses.

 

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Incumbent Xavier Becerra was appointed by Gov. Brown to fill the seat of Sen. Kamala Harris. Since taking office, Becerra has aggressively moved to protect California’s interests against federal interference. Admitting to have tried pot “at a younger time,” he has vowed to protect the state’s legalization law against federal intrusion by A.G. Jeff Sessions.

 

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has reached out to the cannabis community for support. Jones has used his office constructively to arrange a state deal to insure landlords of cannabis businesses. Jones admits to having voted no on Prop. 64, saying he was ambivalent about whether the state was ready, “but ultimately the proposition passed, and my job is to make it work.”

 

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

State Senator Ed Hernández (D-Asuza), has generally voted well and thoughtfully on cannabis issues, medical and otherwise.

 

Richmond ex-Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, formerly of the Green Party, is running as an independent progressive in the mold of Bernie Sanders. McLaughlin advocates the establishment of a California Public Bank to reduce fees for government financing and provide stability to the cannabis industry.

 

Two other Democrats without prior electoral experience or voting records are running well-financed campaigns for the office. Former U.S. ambassador to Hungary Eleni Koulanakis visited a cannabis farm in Trinity and says she’s learned about California’s history on cannabis from the earliest days of hemp growing until Prop 64. Former U.S. ambassador to Australia Jeff Bleich visited a cannabis forum in Santa Monica, where he joked “If there was ever a case of someone who would benefit from medical marijuana, it would be Jeff Sessions.”

 

CONTROLLER

The Democrats have an excellent candidate in State Controller Betty Yee. When serving on the Board of Equalization in 2009, Yee emerged as one of the first state officials to publicly advocate legally taxed and regulated cannabis. Yee actively courted the medical cannabis community, and enjoys wide support from both business and consumer interests.

 

TREASURER

The Democrats have another good candidate in Fiona Ma, who like Yee before her now serves on the Board of Equalization from San Francisco. Upon joining the board, she took a serious interest in the cannabis industry, talking to farmers and touring businesses to figure out how they could best be integrated in California’s legal economy.

This information courtesy of drugsense.org

 

CONGRESS

US SENATOR

State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D- L.A.) is Feinstein’s leading challenger. De León is campaigning from the progressive left as an energetic, young advocate for protecting immigrants, the environment and clean energy, and other progressive issues. In the legislature, De León was not a vocal leader on drug or criminal justice reform, but consistently voted right. Just before Feinstein’s about-face, de León announced that he would back Sen. Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act. “Cory Booker’s bill recognizes that legal cannabis is the law of the land in California and many other states. More importantly, it corrects deep-rooted racial disparities in the criminal justice system. I would join Sen. Sanders as a cosponsor in a heartbeat,” he tweeted.

Alison Hartson is running for Senate in California, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the headlines. Hartson, who supports nationwide legalization – and decriminalization of all drugs – has a compelling message focused on separating the influence of big donors from politics. Yet, her pro-cannabis campaign has been running on a grass-roots level that’s been largely overlooked by major media and polling. This information courtesy of herb.co.

Another, dark horse Democratic candidate, Pat Harris, an L.A. attorney with no prior elective experience, has been actively campaigning on the marijuana issue. “ I was and still remain a proponent of Prop 64 and the legalization of cannabis,” proclaims his website. “It is hypocritical for politicians to expound on the dangers of cannabis while sitting around a bar downing drink after drink.” In addition to marijuana legalization, Harris has focused on advocating single payer health care, banning corporate campaign donations, and cutting defense department spending.

 

The Republicans have no official candidate in the race, having expelled neo-Nazi Patrick Little, a professed “pro-white” candidate who admires Adolf Hitler. Little will nonetheless bear the party’s name on the ballot.

This information courtesy of drugsense.org

 

     HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

KEY CONGRESSIONAL RACES:

 

Many districts are sure wins for incumbents; some key or contested districts are:

4th C.D. – Roseville – Incumbent Republican Tom McClintock is a rock-ribbed, small-government conservative who opposes federal interference in California’s marijuana laws. He co-sponsored an amendment that would have barred the U.S. Dept. of Justice from spending funds to undermine state adult-use legalization laws. The amendment, modeled on the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment that protects medical-only marijuana laws, nearly passed the House in 2015 and hasn’t been allowed to come to a vote since then.

 

10th C.D. – Modesto/Manteca – Incumbent Republican Jeff Denham is a social conservative with an atrocious voting record; his main Democratic opponent, as in 2014 and 2016, will be Michael Eggman, who “supports legalization in California, so long as it’s passed by the voters, the age of consent is 21, and, of course, it is still illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence.”

 

25th C.D. – Palmdale/Santa Clarita – Incumbent Republican Steve Knight has a mediocre “C” voting record, but has acknowledged that marijuana has medical value and should be reclassified to Schedule III; his Democratic opponent Bryan Caforio was is in favor of Prop 64.

 

39th C.D. – Fullerton – Republican Edward Royce has termed out, and a crowded field of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents are vying for the seat. The top GOP frontrunners include Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson, who was the sole dissenting vote against a ban on cannabis businesses in 2017, and also favored suing the over the sanctuary state law. Democrats in the race include former Naval officer and lottery winner Gil Cisneros, insurance executive Andy Thorburn, pediatrician Mai Khan Tran, and attorney Sam Jammal. Their positions are not known.

 

45th C.D. – Irvine – Republican Mimi Walters, who has a NORML “D” rating in Congress and was on DPFCA’s State Senate Hall of Shame, is the sole Republican on the ballot. She faces Democratic challengers Dave Min, a former adviser to Sen. Chuck Schumer and the Center for American Progress, and Katie Porter, a consumer protection lawyer and former student of Sen. Elizabeth Warren at Harvard Law.

 

48th C.D. – Republican Dana Rohrabacher has been a leading champion for cannabis in Congress, being the co-sponsor of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer (or -Farr) Amendment that currently bars the U.S. Dept. of Justice from spending funds to undermine state medical marijuana laws. He is facing a challenge from within his own party from O.C. County GOP chair and ex-Assemblyman Scott Baugh who compiled a so-so voting record in the legislature.

 

49th C.D. – Oceanside/Dana Point – Democrat Douglas Appelgate, who is well funded and polling well in his race for the seat, is endorsed by Americans for Safe Access.

 

50th C.D. – San Diego – Embattled encumbent Duncan D. Hunter is one of the few Republicans who has taken a strong stance for marijuana reform. He co-sponsored the “Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015” the CARERS Act, and Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act. Hunter won an “All Star” rating from the San Diego Association of Cannabis Professionals, as did his opponent, Democratic party activist and businessman Ammar Campa Najjar.

This information courtesy of drugsense.org

 

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE

 

KEY LEGISLATIVE RACES

ASSEMBLY:

 

AD 15 – Berkeley/Oakland – Berkeley school board member Judy Appel is an attorney who worked for the Drug Policy Alliance and on Oakland’s 2004 Measure Z “Legalize, Tax and Regulate” initiative. Since then she has been active in the gay parents’ movement and educational issues. Appel is exceptionally knowledgeable and sympathetic on drug war issues. Another candidate who has reached out to the cannabis community is Richmond councilmember Jovanka Beckles. Beckles is running a progressive, “people-powered” campaign and has forsworn corporate donations. Her platform advocates criminal justice reform: “Mass incarceration must be ended, drug offenses should result in rehabilitation, not imprisonment, and the use of illegal drugs should be decriminalized.” A third candidate, Oakland City Councilman Dan Kalb, a thoughtful and hard-working legislator with an interest in environmental issues, has helped keep the city council on course by sponsoring sensible regulations of the city’s cannabis industry

 

AD 76 – Oceanside: Rocky Chavez has termed out and is running for Congress; Thomas Krouse (R), supports medical marijuana and was endorsed by San Diego Citizens for Patients Rights.

SENATE:

District 8 (Amador, Calaveras, Fresno, Inyo, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Sacramento, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne) – Republican contender and Fresno county supervisor Andreas Borgeas does not support the use or sale of marijuana. Also running are Democrats Paulina Miranda and Tom Pratt, and Independent Mark Belden.

 

District 12 (Fresno, Madera, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, Stanislaus) – Assemblywoman Anna Caballero has a good voting record. Also in the race are Fowler Mayor Pro-Tem Daniel Parra, Madera County Supervisor Rob Poythress, and the self-described “very conservative” Johnny Tacherra.

 

District 16 (Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino, Tulare) – Democratic archeologist and activist Ruth Musser-Lopez is unopposed. On the Republican side, former Assemblywoman Shannon Grove has a dismal voting record; Gregory Tatum is also running.

 

District 22 (Los Angeles) – There are no Republicans running in this district; Democrats on the ballot include Assemblyman Mike Eng, who has a good voting record.

 

District 32 (Los Angeles, Orange) – Democrat Tony Mendoza, who resigned his post following a sexual misconduct investigation, is running for his seat again without his party’s endorsement. He faces a crowded field of Democratic candidates. Republicans Ion Sarega and Rita Topalian are also running.

This information courtesy of drugsense.org

LOCAL RACES

 

*** This portion of the California Cannabis Voters Guide is a work in progress. The bolded counties are based upon information provided by local publications and organizations. If you have information for a county, not bolded, please email daleschaferlaw@gmail.com and the information will be updated within 2 business days.

 

Alameda County –

District Attorney:

Incumbent Nancy O’Malley

Pamela Price

This information courtesy of drugsense.org

 

Alpine County –

Amador County –

 

Butte County –

District Attorney:

Michael L. Ramsey

Sheriff-Coroner:

Kory L. Honea

 

Calaveras County

Supervisor District 3:

Incumbent MICHAEL C. OLIVEIRA

MERITA CALLAWAY

Supervisor District 5:

BENJAMIN STOPPER

Sheriff:

Incumbent RICK DI BASILIO

PATRICK GARRAHAN

This information courtesy of Viv CK of California – City & County Regulation Watch

 

Colusa County –

 

Contra Costa County

District Attorney:

Incumbent Diane Becton

Superintendent of Schools

Ron Leone

Supervisor District 4

Karen Mitchoff

This information courtesy of drugsense.org and California – City & County Regulation Watch

 

Del Norte County

 

El Dorado County

Supervisor District 4:

Sue Novasel

Supervisor District 5:

Michael Ranalli

Auditor:

Mike Owens

This information courtesy of El Dorado County Growers Alliance

 

Fresno County –

District 1:

Incumbent Esmeralda Soria

District 3:

Darren Miller
Kimberly Tapscott-Munson
Miguel Arias

Larry Tyrone Burrus

Sean Sanchez

Craig Scharton

Tate Hill

District 5:

Incumbent Luis Chavez

Paula Yang

Paul Condon


District 7:

Brian Whelan,

Nelson Esparza  

Veva Islas

This information courtesy of cvobserver.com and Central Valley NORML

 

Glenn County

 

Humboldt County –

Supervisor District 4:

Mary Ann Lyons

Dani Burkhart

Virginia Bass

Supervisor District 5:

Steve Madrone

Ryan Sundberg

Auditor-Controller:

Mike Lorig

Karen Paz Dominguez

 

Imperial County

Inyo County

 

Kern County –

Superior Court Judge:

Office #10

Chad Allen Louie

George “Brandon” Martin

Office #14

H. Cole McKnight

John Lance Fielder

Supervisor, District 2:

Whitney Weddell

Dalmas “Dal” Bunn

Zack Scrivner

Michael Biglay

District Attorney:

Scott Spielman

Cynthia Zimmer

Sheriff/Coroner:

Donny Youngblood

Justin Fleeman

 

 

Kings County

Lake County

Lassen County

 

Los Angeles County –

Superior Court Judge:

Office #4 Alfred Coletta

Office #16 Sydne Jane Michel

Office #20 Wendy Segall

Office # 60 Holly Hancock

Office #63 neither are cannabis friendly

Office # 57 Maria Lucy Armendariaz

Office # 71 David Berger

Office # 113 Javier Perez

Office #126 Rene Caldwell Gilbertson

Office #146 Armando Dur`on

This information courtesy of justsaycare.org

 

Madera County

Marin County

Mariposa County

 

Mendocino County –

Supervisor District 3:

Susy Barsotti

John Haschak

Tony Tucker

Cyndee Logan

This information courtesy of MendoCanna Action

 

Merced County

Modoc County

Monterey County

Napa County

 

Nevada County

District 4:

Sue Hoek

 District 3:

Hilary Hodge

Dan Miller

District Attorney:

Glenn Jennings

Sheriff:

John Foster

Shannon Moon

NID District 1:

Ricki Heck

NID District 2:

John Volz

Nevada City & County information contributed by Jaded Voter

 

Orange County

Placer County

Plumas County

Riverside County

 

Sacramento County –

District Attorney:

Noah Philips

Anne Marie Schubert

Sheriff:

Milo Fitch

Scott Jones

This information courtesy of drugsense.org

 

Sacramento City

City Council District 5:

Tamika L’ecuse

This information courtesy of Newell’s Botanicals

 

San Benito County

 

San Bernardino County –

San Bernardino City –

Mayor

Rick Avila

Carey Davis

Gigi Hanna

Danny Malmuth

Karmel Roe

Danny Tillman

John Valdivia

 

San Diego County –

District Attorney

Summer Stephan

Genevieve Jones-Wright

Sheriff

Dave Myers

Supervisor District 4

Bonnie Dumanis

Lori Saldaña

Supervisor District 5

Jerry Kern

Michelle Gomez

 

Carlsbad –

Mayor

Cori Shumacher  

 

Oceanside

City Council District 1

Chuck Lowery

City Council District 2

Terry Johnson

Vista –

Mayor

Joe Green

City council District 1

Corina Contraras
This information courtesy of This information courtesy of drugsense.org and Oceanside For A Safer Community.

San Francisco County

Supervisor District 8

Rafael Mandelman

Superior Court Judge

Office No. 4: Phoenix Streets

Office No. 7: Maria Evangelista

Office No. 9: Kwixuan H. Maloof

Office No. 11: Niki Solis

 

San Francisco City –

Mayor

Amy Farah Weiss

This information courtesy of broke-ass stuart and The San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters.

 

San Joaquin County

 

San Luis Obispo County –

The majority of our current board of county supervisors are less open to cannabis-based businesses and that includes incumbent candidate, Lynn Compton. The other incumbent running for re-election is Bruce Gibson and he is more favorable on the issue. I do not know where their opponents running for election – Jimmy Paulding and Jeff Eckles –  stand on the issue. Their websites are not very helpful either in stating their positions on cannabis.

San Luis Obispo City –

Mayor

Heidi Harmon

Vice-Mayor

Carlyn Christianson

This information courtesy of Moxy Marketing and SLO Chamber of Commerce

 

San Mateo County

 

Santa Barbara County –

Sheriff

Lt. Eddie Hseuh

 

Lompoc City –

City Council District 2

Victor Vega

City Council District 3

Dirk Starbuck

 

 

Santa Clara County

Santa Cruz County

Shasta County

Sierra County

Siskiyou County

Solano County

 

Sonoma County

Sheriff 

Mark Essick

John Mutz

Ernesto Olivares

Supervisor District 2

David Rabbit

Supervisor District 4

Shirley Zane

 

Stanislaus County

Sutter County

 

Tehama County

 

Red Bluff

Supervisor District 3

Dennis Garton

Robert Halpin
This information courtesy of Red Bluff Daily News

 

Trinity County

Tulare County

Tuolumne County

Ventura County

 

Yolo County

District Attorney

Dean Johansson

Sheriff

Tom Lopez

Supervisor District 3

Gary Sandy

Meg Stallard

 

Yuba County

 

June Cannabis Tax Measures


Merced County – Measure Y would authorize Merced to tax commercial marijuana businesses at $25 per square foot of cultivation space or 10 percent of gross receipts, whichever is greater, until the tax is ended by voters.

Mammoth Lakes – Measure C would authorize Mammoth Lakes to:
– impose a 1 percent tax on marijuana testing laboratory gross receipts;
– impose a 2 percent tax on marijuana cultivation, distribution, and manufacturing businesses;
– impose a 4 percent on gross receipts of marijuana retail businesses; and
– adopt regulatory provisions defining, conducting audits about, and establishing an appeal procedure for the marijuana tax.

Mono County – Measure D would authorize the County to impose:
– a marijuana business tax ranging from $0.50 to $2 depending on square footage of plant canopy, and
– a tax on marijuana business gross receipts ranging from 1 percent to 8 percent depending on the type of business activity.

Pasadena – Measure CC would repeal the existing ban on commercial marijuana and allowing commercial marijuana businesses to operate in the city, subject to local regulations and taxation.
Measure DD would authorize the city to tax commercial marijuana businesses at rates up to $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation, 6 percent of gross receipts for retail cannabis businesses, and 4 percent for all other cannabis businesses, with revenue to be used for general city purposes.

San Benito County – Measure C would establish the following tax rates based on square footage of canopy or gross receipts:
– $3-$17 per square foot, increased annually based on Consumer Price Index, on cultivators,
– 0.5%-4% on distributors and laboratories,
– 2.5%-4% on manufacturers,
– 0.5%-8% on retailers, and
– 2.5%-5% on microbusiness.

 

San Francisco City – Amy Farrah Weiss for Mayor, Jeff Sheehy for Supervisor District 8

San Luis Obispo County – Measure B-18 would authorize the County to impose a tax on gross receipts of marijuana business beginning at 4 percent and increasing annually to a maximum of 10 percent for general revenue purposes.

San Rafael – Measure G would authorize San Rafael to impose a tax on the gross receipts of marijuana businesses at a maximum rate of 8 percent per year for general spending purposes.

Santa Barbara – Measure T is a general tax on marijuana operations in Santa Barbara. A yes vote is a vote in favor of authorizing Santa Barbara County to impose an operations tax on marijuana operators’ gross receipts. A no vote will essentially revoke legalization and regulation within the county.

Santa Cruz (city) – Measure T would repeal Measure K of 2006, which authorizes Santa Cruz law enforcement to enforce marijuana offenses at the lowest level of priority. A no vote is a vote against repealing Measure K, thereby maintaining the ordinance in the municipal code stating that law enforcement may enforce marijuana offenses at the lowest level of priority. VOTE NO ON MEASURE T!

Sierra County – Measure A would authorize Sierra County to prohibit commercial marijuana cultivation, processing, and dispensaries. VOTE NO ON MEASURE A!

Weed – Measure K would authorize the city of Weed to impose a tax on marijuana businesses in the following amounts:
– $10 per square foot of outdoor grow area,
– $18 per square foot of grow area using natural and artificial light,
– $26 per square foot of indoor grow area, or
– 10 percent of yearly gross receipts.

Yolo County – Measure K would authorize the County to impose a tax on marijuana business in unincorporated areas of the county at a rate of between 1 percent and 15 percent of gross receipts, with initial rates of 4 percent for cultivation and 5 percent for other businesses and with the ability to increase or decrease the tax by up to 2 percentage points each year.

Yucca Valley – Measure L would authorize Yucca Valley to allow state-licensed commercial marijuana operations including indoor cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and testing.

 

This information courtesy of Jacqueline McGowan, of California – City & County Regulation Watch and CAL NORML

 

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