Florida AG candidate comes out for legalizing pot

Although the headlines and the spotlight are focused on Democrat Dan Gelber and Republican Pam Bondi in the race for Florida Attorney General, there is a third independent candidate in the race.  That's Jim Lewis, who was running originally as a Republican in the primary but gained little traction before dropping out of that contest altogether.

Watching him a bit on the campaign stump, there's no doubt he's a bit iconoclastic.  But now he's definitely set himself as an outsider, with his support of legalizing marijuana in Florida.

Anthony Mann in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports on a written statement that Lewis recently issued on the topic of pot:

“It is time for the state of Florida to use a rational and common sense approach to the war on drugs,” Lewis said in a written statement. “It is time to repeal all state and federal laws making possession of marijuana a crime for adults. The science and statistics are in. The abuse of alcohol and tobacco are far more injurious to public health and safety than marijuana.”

As CL has previously reported, not only does Florida not have a medical marijuana law (which is now the case in 14 states), we're not even close to building any effort up to do so.   Last year a lone activist (named Kim Russell) tried to rally the cause, but she had virtually no money and thus no support.

Meanwhile, in the Golden State of California, voters in 26 days will vote on outright legalizing the weed.  And last week, Governor Arnold Schwarzennegger signed into law a bill that bill that decriminalizes the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. The bill reduces simple possession from a misdemeanor to an infraction.

Jim Lewis is obviously not going to get that many votes in comparison to the two established candidates in the race, but he might just get a few more with his announced stance.  He had more to say in his written statement:

“I am convinced that many people of all ages turn to prescription pain and anxiety medications which are highly addictive because marijuana is illegal…. An alarming number of our citizens are dying from the abuse of this legal prescription medication. No one dies from abusing marijuana, and most experts agree that marijuana is not physically addictive."

You can agree or disagree with his statement, but in terms of progress, what can we say that  on the issue of medicinal marijuana, Florida stands behind other states such as Sarah Palin's Alaska and the Big Sky country of Montana?

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