"I'll Smoke a Joint on the Capitol Steps": Pro-Legalization Congressional Candidate Says He'd Risk Arrest for the Pot Movement

 A candidate for Congress, running in California’s 2nd District, promised recently to smoke a marijuana cigarette on the steps of the U.S. capitol is he’s elected to office.

It wouldn’t be the first time for 54-year-old Andy Caffrey (D), either. Appearing on the campaign trail last week, Caffrey lit up in public twice, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

Speaking to Politico on Monday, Caffrey added that he’s even willing to get arrested to defend Californians’ right to use marijuana. “If I have to do it, I’ll smoke a joint on the Capitol steps and get arrested to draw national attention to what’s going on,” he explained.

 Caffrey added that he would never advocate that anybody use marijuana, but that it has helped him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder and attention deficit disorder.

“I’m fighting for our right to consume marijuana at will without any criminal penalties,” he’s quoted as saying.

In a nearly 8-minute long campaign video published to his campaign website, Caffrey explains that Democrats and Republicans “are monsters” who “are not going to solve our problems.”

“We have to solve our problems,” he said. “But when you look at Congress, how do you do that? How do we beat the corporatists? How do we beat their money? We have to invent a new way.”

Caffrey goes on to explain that his platform is the “new green America agenda,” prioritizing the climate crisis, ending corporate personhood, defunding “corporate empire” by reducing the national defense budget, and ending the war on drugs as a whole.

“We have to redirect trillions of dollars away from war, away from the war on drugs, and we have to get it back from the rich to rebuild our infrastructure all over the country,” he continued. “We have to become locally sustainable. We have to look at food security, water security, and we have to have a safety net that’s going to take care of everybody.”

Caffrey is just one of 12 candidates vying for the seat in California’s 2nd district, which covers a region of the state where over $1 billion worth of marijuana is estimated to be grown annually. The seat is currently held by Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA), who’s retiring after this term.

This video was published to YouTube on April 22, 2012. 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.