TPM News

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) does not support a push to fully legalize marijuana in California, an initiative she will share the ballot with this fall. As we reported earlier, California voters will decide whether to legalize -- and tax -- marijuana. The state already allows for medicinal marijuana use.

I asked Boxer's campaign her position. Campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski issued a statement detailing the senator's stance on the measure, which qualified for the ballot last week.

Senator Boxer does not support this initiative because she shares the concerns of police chiefs, sheriffs and other law enforcement officials that this measure could lead to an increase in crime, vehicle accidents and higher costs for local law enforcement agencies," Kapolczynski said. "She supports current law in California, which allows for the use of medicinal marijuana with a doctor's prescription."

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Marco Rubio's campaign has announced that he'll be welcoming a special guest to Florida to campaign with him: Ex-New York City Mayor and former presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, who will join Rubio in Miami on Monday.

This race has some interesting history that might possibly appeal to Rudy, involving Rubio's opponent in the Republican primary for Senate, Gov. Charlie Crist. According to the Mark Halperin/John Heilemann book Game Change, Giuliani ended up banking his whole campaign on winning Crist's endorsement in the Florida primary, and the two camps had engaged in very close negotiations.

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President Obama spoke today in Charlotte, N.C., about jobs and the economy. The White House Press Office released the following transcript of his remarks:

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, guys. Hello, everybody! Hello! Good to see you. Everybody, please have a seat. Have a seat.

Well, thank you so much for the warm welcome. To Bob, thank you very much for the terrific introduction. I want to thank Bryan Moorehead for the great tour, and Mitchell Pulwer for trying to explain to me what was going on here. (Laughter.)

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Here are the line-ups for the Sunday talk shows this weekend:

• ABC, This Week: National Economic Council Director Larry Summers, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

• CBS, Face The Nation: CBS News Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes, CBS News Chief Legal Correspondent Jan Crawford, Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson, CBS News Justice Correspondent Bob Orr, New York Times Chief Washington Correspondent David Sanger.

• CNN, State Of The Union: National Economic Council Director Larry Summers, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren.

• Fox News Sunday: Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-AZ).

• NBC, Meet The Press: White House Council of Economic Advisers Chair Christina Romer, former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT).

In a stark assessment of shootings of locals by US troops at checkpoints in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal said in little-noticed comments last month that during his time as commander there, "We've shot an amazing number of people and killed a number and, to my knowledge, none has proven to have been a real threat to the force."

The comments came during a virtual town hall with troops in Afghanistan after one asked McChrystal to comment on the "escalation of force" problem. The general responded that, in the nine months he had been in charge, none of the cases in which "we have engaged in an escalation of force incident and hurt someone has it turned out that the vehicle had a suicide bomb or weapons in it."

In many cases, he added, families were in the vehicles that were fired on.

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Advocates who want to take California's medical marijuana law to the next level so it can be fully legalized and taxed are putting the political argument in terms they think everyone in the nearly bankrupt state can understand -- pot can be the next cash crop. With competitive statewide races for governor and Senate on the fall ballot as well, legalizing pot may well be the next frontier in the culture war.

Advocates who succeeded in getting the legalization measure on the Nov. 2 statewide ballot say it's an obvious solution for the Golden State's fiscal woes. Detractors of the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 come in many cases from law enforcement. Others fear that because marijuana is still illegal under federal law, the state would be targeted in a lawsuit.

Supporters of full legalization -- medical marijuana is allowed in California -- say they hope the federal government takes a close look at what they believe will be a winning issue this fall. They say the Obama administration has taken a look-the-other-way approach as more states legalize medicinal marijuana.

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