The most powerful law enforcement official in America's most populous state says she has "no moral opposition" to legalizing marijuana and expects that it will happen soon.
"We're watching it happen right before our eyes in Colorado and Washington," California Attorney General Kamala Harris told BuzzFeed. "I don't think it's gonna take too long to figure this out. I think there's a certain inevitability about it."
Harris stopped short of formally endorsing legalization herself, saying, "It would be easier for me to say, 'Let's legalize it, let's move on,' and everybody would be happy. I believe that would be irresponsible of me as the [state's] top cop."
The Golden State was the first to permit the prescription and sale of medical marijuana, passing the historic ballot measure in 1996. Recreational use is still banned, but there are proposals on the table for a 2016 referendum, which puts California at the start of a now familiar path: Four states and Washington, D.C., have voted to end prohibition in the last 25 months.
So why the wait?
"The detail of these things matters," Harris said. "For example, what's going on right now in Colorado is they're figuring out you gotta have a very specific system for the edibles. Maureen Dowd famously did her piece on that," she added, referencing the New York Times columnist's painstakingly documented first experience with a "caramel-chocolate flavored" weed candy bar.
Harris is one of the Democrats' most popular young state office holders. She spoke at the party's national convention in 2012 and is a leading contender to succeed Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), if the 74-year-old retires at the end of her term in 2016.
For now, though, the only "inevitability" Kamala Harris is talking about — openly, at least — is the decision to make marijuana legal in the great state of California.