Look, we get it. It’s hard to talk about drugs. It’s hard even for top law enforcement officials, like California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who would prefer to talk about his underwear rather than whether or not he ever smoked weed.
But once he’s informed the world that he wears boxers—sure, he’ll let you know that once upon a time, many, many years ago, he “tried” marijuana.
Becerra, 59, spent nearly 24 years representing downtown Los Angeles in Congress. Since December, he’s served as attorney general after his predecessor Kamala Harris was sworn in as a U.S. Senator. He was in San Francisco on Wednesday night for a POLITICO event to talk about life under Trump (as was U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Leader and, by extension, California’s chief Trump regime collaborator).
Becerra’s career to date has included only a brief stint as a prosecutor. So far, he’s brought charges against the anti-abortion activists who filmed and edited the sneaky Planned Parenthood videos—but with California ready to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars from regulated marijuana sales, his key achievement as a lawyer may soon be defending California’s massive cannabis industry from federal interference by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
But has he ever smoked weed?
POLITICO’s David Siders needed to know, especially after Becerra made the inevitable San Francisco joke.
“Cannabis is last century’s argument,” he said. “We’re beyond that. I suspect if you took a real quick poll here, I bet if we took a poll, who has got cannabis, it’d be pretty—you don’t have to raise your hand, but you know what I’m saying.”
Yes, ha-ha, people have weed in their pockets. Funny how saying that in front of someone like Becerra a few decades ago might have gotten you arrested.
Siders pressed the question: Had he, the Stanford-educated lawyer, ever smoked the pot?
“Yes, at a younger time, I tried it, yes. Meaning, meaning much younger,” Becerra said.
“So it was illegal?”
“I also drive over the speed limit periodically, so,” Becerra said, jokingly.
Pot in his past, driving 70 in a 65 zone. Xavier Becerra—American badass.
Here’s the exchange, along with Becerra’s red-faced, underwear-question dodge.
The fact that such an weak revelation—I tried marijuana when I was younger! I won’t tell you if I enjoyed it or not, and I certainly won’t use this moment to decry the insanity and rampant racial inequality of the drug war!—made news is indicative of a few things.
Democrats are weenies, and especially top Democrats. And things around marijuana are sensitive enough where top Democrats don’t want to risk too much by all of a sudden acting like (legal) cannabis is a good and acceptable thing.
As of yet, there are no major American elected officials to openly admit they are law-abiding marijuana users. That won’t matter too much, as long as Becerra helps out the rest of us and defends legal cannabis in California, as he… sort of promised to do?
“I would love to see Jeff Sessions come to California and tell us we’re not going to move forward on cannabis. Something tells me that it’s not gonna happen,” said Becerra, who apparently feels no qualms about taunting the devil.
But if it does?
“I’ll probably be the 1 millionth person in line to fight Jeff Sessions on that,” he said, offering a backhanded, sort of worrisome assurance that California has nothing to fear.
If we were to make a suggestion: how about being the first in line, since you have lawyers and it is your job—not ours or 999,999 other peoples’—to uphold the state constitution.
Boxer-wearing, speed-limit defying Xavier Becerra—you’re our onetime tokin’ hope.
You can keep up with all of HIGH TIMES’ marijuana news right here.