In California, a head shop owner recently won the Democratic nomination to run for congressman in the 19th district. A well-heeled marijuana activist, James Lex Bufford owns a two-store franchise called the Strawberry Alarm Clock and helped with the successful effort to pass proposition 215, that state’s medical marijuana bill.
Bufford says his Republican opponent is an ultraconservative environazi who supports Bush’s heinous war on drugs.
“Radonovich is a good money raiser for the Republicans, but as far as doing anything for his district he is a failure. The federal spending in our district is some of the lowest in the state. We are way below average… we are dirt poor.”
Bufford’s Democratic bid mirrors Canadian marijuana activist Alison Myrden’s bid to become a Member of Parliament with the NDP. Although not as thoroughly pro-pot as the NDP, many Democrats are publically opposed to the drug war. Bufford sees his candidacy as important in influencing his party to adopt anti-prohibitionist policies.
“We are trying to show the Democrats that we have a hot issue. A lot of young people see the hypocrisy of government. The government sells alcohol, and they use this drug war against us, saying all these lies about marijuana. The young people see that and it makes them sick. So I am able to reach out to the young people, and the hispanics and the blacks as well, because the drug war is racist and they know it.
Although Bufford is making marijuana prohibition a central plank in his platform, he will address other pressing issues as well.
“We are working on the marijuana issue, but I’m not a single issue candidate. A lot of times grassroots folks like to take a few issues and focus on them in the campaign, and we are going to do that. We are going to take on some environmental issues. The air quality here is awful.”
Should Bufford fail in his bid for congressman and pot-hating Republicans win the presidency they would get another chance to ratchet up the war on drugs, and Bufford might find his days as a free man numbered. Owners of head shops have been increasingly targeted since a major sting took down glass pipe dealers throughout the country.
A vote for Bufford is a vote to give pot lovers the freedom to smoke whatever herb they want out of whatever kind of pipe they choose, but it is more than that. It is a vote to end America’s most costly and inhumane war ? the war on drugs.
For more on James Lex Bufford and his campaign, see the upcoming issue 51 of Cannabis Culture Magazine.
– To learn more or donate to Bufford’s campaign, visit his website: www.vote-lex.org or visit his stores in the cities of Madera and Merced, California.