The pot initiative's going to win

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It seems pretty clear to me that, with polls showing widespread support and money pouring in for the campaign, the initiative to legalize pot in California is going to pass. So why are all of the candidates for governor, even Jerry Brown (who may have smoked a joint or two in his time) coming out so strongly against it?

Jerry knows that legal pot isn't going to create new law-enforcement problems; quite the contrary. It's going to save huge amounts of money that the state and local governments now waste enforcing a silly law that nobody respects, will cut down on the jail population and discourage the environmentally damaging (and sometimes violent) gangs of rogue growers who plant on public land.

And he ought to know that this kind of a stand isn't going to help him get elected. Once you take the hard-core Republicans who would never vote for Brown anyway out of the equation and look at the universe of potential Brown voters, legalizing pot probably gets more than 60 percent approval.

If you asked me back in 1978 whether I could imagine a day when Jerry Brown would oppose a marijuana legalization measure that was polling at 60 percent, I would have said: Whoa, man, no way. But then, I inhaled.