NORML.ORG – California: Republican Steve Cooley Concedes Race For Attorney General To Kamala Harris

Sacramento, CA: Republican candidate Steven Cooley has conceded defeat to Democrat Kamala Harris in the state’s prolonged race for Attorney General. Cooley trails Harris by an estimated 50,000 votes. According to California state law, all election votes must be counted and submitted to the Secretary of State’s office by December 3, 2010.

Cooley, who had served as District Attorney for Los Angeles, gained only 39 percent of the vote in his home county.

In recent months, Cooley had threatened to prosecute area dispensaries that engaged in cash sales of medicinal cannabis, claiming that the facilities did not meet the legal definition of ‘collectives’ or ‘not-for-profit’ entities under the state’s medical marijuana guidelines.

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris has previously voiced support for protecting the legal rights of patients who use cannabis medicinally, stating, "We will not prosecute people who use or sell marijuana for medicinal purposes."

Steph Sherer, Director of Americans For Safe Access – which had campaigned against Cooley in the weeks prior to the election – called Harris an "ally" and said, "A defeat for Steve Cooley is a tremendous victory for (medical marijuana) patients."

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