How to Vote for Marijuana in CA’s May 12 Special Elections

Two special elections are being held on Tuesday, May 12, in Congressional District 25 (parts of LA and Ventura counties) and in State Senate District 28 (in Riverside county).

Vying for the open Congressional seat left vacant by Rep. Katie Hill are Democrat Christy Smith and Republican Mike Garcia.

Smith, a California Assemblywoman, has a good voting record on cannabis reform measures. Last year, she voted in favor of laws to enable tax-free donations for compassion programs, to  allow medicinal cannabis to be administered at school sites and healthcare facilities.

Garcia, a former Navy fighter pilot, is a fiscal and social conservative emphasizing national security and fighting against the “dangerous” Democratic socialist agenda. He is on record as strongly supporting mandatory minimum sentences for violent crimes.

Competing for the State Senate seat are Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R) and Elizabeth Romero (D).

Assemblywoman Melendez has a poor voting record in the legislature on cannabis reform bills. In 2018 she voted against bills to automatically resentence past marijuana convictions, to broaden the sites where cannabis events can take place, to allow veterinarians to discuss cannabis for use on pets, and to allow students to receive cannabis medicines at school. Her only “Yes” vote was for a bill to protect cannabis compassion programs for indigent patients.

Candidate Romero fully supports the legalization of cannabis for medical and adult recreational use. She is the assistant vice chancellor of government & community relations at the University of California, Riverside. She also served as the director of community and government relations for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest in Riverside and Imperial counties.

These will be mail-in voter elections. If you are registered to vote, you should have received your ballot by mail with instructions on returning it. Check your voter registration status. You can also drop off your ballot at locations where you can register to vote on election day, and vote with a provisional ballot. Find voter registration and ballot-drop off locations.

Find Your Congressional District / Representatives •  Find Your CA Representatives

NORML is seeking input on its 2020 “Smoke the Vote” guide for the November 2020 election. 

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