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

Andy Caffrey (D), running in California’s 2nd District, says he is "fighting for our right to consume marijuana at will without any criminal penalties."

Photo Credit: Torben Bjørn Hansen via Flickr

 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. 

Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.