Tags: Marijuana | Wasserman Schultz | Florida | Senate | Marco Rubio

Pot Advocates Vow to Oppose Wasserman Schultz Senate Bid

By    |   Thursday, 19 February 2015 02:44 PM

If Florida Democrat Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was hoping for an easy ride to the Senate in 2016, medical marijuana activists plan to do everything they can to see that she doesn't have one.

Four groups that lobby for prescription cannabis and drug decriminalization have vowed to campaign against the Democratic National Committee chairwoman should she decide to run because they disagree with her votes against medical marijuana initiatives last year, according to Politico.

"She's voted repeatedly to send terminally ill patients to prison.  And we're certainly going to make sure Floridians know that — not to mince words," Bill Piper, national affairs director with the Drug Policy Alliance, told Politico.

"This issue is evolving very quickly, and hopefully she will evolve," Piper said, according to Politico. "But if she doesn't, you can expect medical marijuana patients and supporters to dog her on the campaign trail."

Politico reported earlier this week that Wasserman Shultz was considering a bid for the Senate in 2016 if Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio vacates his seat to run for president.
"There's no 'Run Debbie Run' caucus," a Florida Democrat consultant who has worked with her told Politico. "I don't say that to be mean, but she's not a statewide candidate for us. She's a very good congresswoman and I hope she stays there."

Last year, Wasserman Schultz crossed a major Florida donor, John Morgan, when she issued a statement against the medical marijuana initiative which he funded.

"Other states have shown that lax oversight and ease of access to prescriptions can lead to abuse, fraud, and accidents," Wasserman Schultz had said in a statement, according to Politico.

Morgan reacted at the time saying that her position was an example of why she's "despised" in top Democrat circles, Politico said.

"This will be a major campaign issue and I think disqualifies her from the nomination," Morgan told Politico, comparing the issue to gay marriage.

"A United States senator from the Democratic Party should be in favor of the decriminalization of marijuana as a base test. Debbie is more severe," he said. "Her position denies terminally ill and chronically ill people compassion. She was an anomaly among [Democrats]. The war on drugs was lost about the same time we lost the Vietnam War. Generations have been arrested, jailed and careers and dreams lost forever."

In addition to the Drug Policy Alliance, the other groups that have expressed their disapproval of the congresswoman include People United for Medical Marijuana in Florida, the Marijuana Policy Project, and Americans for Safe Access, Politico reported.

"She has a horrific voting record and people should know about it," Steph Sherer, founder and executive director of Americans for Safe Access, told Politico. "But she still has time to become enlightened."

Dan Riffle, director of federal policy for the Marijuana Policy Project, questioned Wasserman Schultz's voting record and position on the Florida marijuana industry given that she voted in favor of Washington's marijuana decriminalization effort.

"Apparently she thinks D.C. ought to be able to fully legalize marijuana, but doesn't think her own constituents should even be able to make marijuana available to sick people for medical purposes," Riffle told Politico.

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If Florida Democrat Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was hoping for an easy ride to the Senate in 2016, medical marijuana activists plan to do everything they can to see that she doesn't have one.
Wasserman Schultz, Florida, Senate, Marco Rubio
Thursday, 19 February 2015 02:44 PM
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