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Pro-Cannabis Candidates Clean Up In California Primary Election 2018

June 5, 2018
Sen. Diane Feinstein, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher took pro-cannabis positions on their way to Tuesday wins. (Jeff Chiu, Denis Poroy, Susan Walsh/AP)Sen. Diane Feinstein, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher took pro-cannabis positions on their way to Tuesday wins. (Jeff Chiu, Denis Poroy, Susan Walsh/AP)
With 61 percent of Americans now in support of cannabis legalization, it should come as little surprise that pot-positive candidates swept to victory in Tuesday’s Primary Election in the progressive bastion of California.

In every important race, winning politicians knew which way the cannabis smoke was blowing.

California’s June 5 primary vote determines which two top candidates face each other in the General Election in the Fall. All 80 seats in the state Assembly, plus 20 of the 40 seats in the state Senate, all 53 US House seats, and one US Senate seat is up for grabs. Here’s how things are turning out.

US Senator

Sen. Diane Feinstein bested all contenders while Democrat Kevin De Leon was in a dead heat for second place with Republican James Bradley in early returns. Sen. Feinstein is expected to win her General Election and secure a fifth term.

Sen. Feinstein freshly embraced states’ rights to set their own cannabis policy after decades as a prominent cannabis prohibitionist. She is evolving on the issue because of challenges from younger Democrats who are more strongly pro-legalization.

California Governor

One of American history’s strongest cannabis regulation allies, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, handily secured the top spot in the race for the Governor’s seats in early returns Tuesday evening. In a distant second came Republican John Cox, who Newsom is expected to beat in the General Election in November. Cox’s number two finish stymies Democrats’ plans to lock the GOP out of the top of the General Election ticket, and depress GOP turnout overall.


Here’s Where California’s Next Governor Stands on Cannabis

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher

Cannabis most staunch — and problematic — ally in Congress, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, will advance to the General Election after taking the top spot in the race for the 48th District in Huntington Beach. What’s exciting is the dead-heat for second place between Democrat Hans Keirstead and Republican Scott Baugh. They were at 18.7% vs 18% in early returns. A Democratic second place finish prevents the GOP from locking Dems out of the race for the 48th and makes the General Election there more exciting.


Dana Rohrabacher’s Last Stand: California Conservative’s Fate Could Hinge on Cannabis Vote

Democrats hope to flip perhaps seven districts that Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 Presidential Election from red to blue, thus helping give Democrats a majority in the House, which might lead to impeachment proceedings. In early returns, those target District remained within range. Democratic candidates were in the running for second place finishes in the 10th, 25th, 45th, 48th, 49th, and 50th.

Down the Ticket

Further down the ticket, cannabis allies Alex Padilla, Betty Yee, Fiona Ma, and Xavier Becerra took leads for Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer and Attorney General. Seventeen cities and counties also held local votes on a variety of cannabis taxes and licensing proposals. We’ll have more updates as precincts finish reporting.

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Leafly Staff

Leafly is the world’s largest cannabis information resource, empowering people in legal cannabis markets to learn about the right products for their lifestyle and wellness needs. Our team of cannabis professionals collectively share years of experience in all corners of the market, from growing and retail, to science and medicine, to data and technology.

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  • Fester

    Wow calling dana rohrahbacher problematic is that really the best you can do? He’s a bigoted homophobic POS that supports putin but hey he’s good on cannabis so we can look the other way on everything else. It’s funny he spewed his anti-lgbt rhetoric to a convention of realtors who had endorsed him. When they heard his hate speech they rescinded their endorsement. Funny it wasn’t problematic for them.

    • 360dunk

      Maybe so, but Rohrabacher’s support for cannabis (as a Republican, no less) has been what defines him. I’ll take a bigoted cannabis supporter over a bigoted opponent any day.

  • 360dunk

    I hate politicians like Dianne Feinstein, who sat on her hands for years while thousands of her constituents were thrown in jail for enjoying a harmless and natural plant. Now that cannabis is a national freight train that cannot be derailed, Dianne suddenly supports it because she evolved? No, she didn’t evolve – she’s all for it now because it’s the best way to win votes, not for ethical reasons. What a phony.

    • justadbeer

      Right on point. I think you just put in writing what every one of us is thinking. Politicians are all the same basically no matter if they have a “D” or an “R” next to their name.

    • Feinstein is a complete and total piece of garbage. She’s been spitting on us here entire career. She needs to be replaced by a younger, more sincere candidate.

    • Verdova Bishop

      Who cares what the reason is? She’s a passenger now!

  • Erik Peralta

    Pro cannabis? Or pro big businesses coming into California and taking over the marijuana industry and pushing all of us little guys out?

    • Right. Gotta pay close attention to who turns pro-pot out of the blue. Feinstein, McConnell, Schumer…these two-faced scum treated us like garbage for decades. But now that their side has lost the war on weed they want to join the winning side.
      Fine. Make them our pawns. Use them, then vote them out. They’ve been there too long anyway.

      • Verdova Bishop

        I’d like be the Jockey who puts the whip to Mary Jane to put her over the finish line

    • 360dunk

      Erik, are you f’ing serious? The black market for weed has been dominated by foreign cartels everywhere that had no dispensaries. Once legal places to buy opened up, those states were also suddenly swimming in tax dollars for schools and parks. The ‘little guys’ you speak of were in it for themselves, with little overhead and for a large profit.

  • Highway 69

    I would never vote for someone just because of their pro-position on cannabis.

    • I will as long as they’re not to dirty otherwise.

      • Highway 69

        I love cannabis as much as anybody else! And I am for legalization, removing cannabis from the Controlled Substance Act, releasing and pardoning cannabis offenders from prison, and many other pro-cannabis views, but yet — I wouldn’t vote for somebody just because they agree with me on THAT.

        There are so many other important issues like a woman’s right to choose, access to health care, immigration, education, etc., that need to be weighed against our support for cannabis.

    • Highway 69
    • 360dunk

      I would….and do.

  • Highway 69

    Voting for or against a candidate because of any one single issue, (like cannabis), is a mistake.

  • Majestichealer

    Diane Feinstein sucks. She is not respectful of the California voter. I have no idea how the hell she ended up getting voted in again. She was anti cannabis up until this last year. People just vote party lines and that’s pathetic cause democrats sometimes suck as much as republicans.