For decades, there's been no sharper political mind in California than that of the former mayor of San Francisco and Ayatollah of the Assembly Willie Brown.
That's why it was stunning to read in Brown's San Francisco Chronicle column yesterday about an initiative to legalize marijuana use in California that he "doesn't see any organized opposition to legal pot on the horizon."
Brown is probably spot-on in his assessment that voters are way ahead of politicians on this issue, and that it's far more likely that such a change would happen at the ballot box than in the Legislature. But, c'mon, no opposition?
What about the beer, wine and liquor industries?
These are people who know a little something about how sales can take off after a legal prohibition is lifted on a substance that is widely sold through underground markets.
Legal pot would create huge competition to the alcohol industry, and you can bet Seagram & Sons and the Miller Brewing Co. have already conducted plenty of research that tells them just how much market share they would lose to legal pot in the nation's largest consumer market.
If this inititiatve were to qualify for the ballot, you can bet they'd be opposed, plenty organized and well financed.