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Democratic congressional candidate Andy Caffrey has made a surprising campaign promise: If he wins his election this fall, he'll smoke a joint on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
Caffrey, who's running to replace retiring Rep. Lynn Woolsey in California's second district, has lit up more than once on the campaign trail -- first at an Occupy event in Mendocino, and again last week outside the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, a Fairfax-based dispensary that was closed by federal officials in December.
The latter performance garnered a headline in the San Francisco Chronicle, which pointed to the incident as evidence of the growing acceptance of medical marijuana:
In just about any other congressional race in the country, Caffrey's puff would be launch-the-TV-attack-ads controversial. But not in the liberal Second District, which stretches from the Golden Gate Bridge through America's pot breadbasket to Oregon. The legalization question has been raised in nearly every debate - and drawn mostly amens. Such attention is exactly what Caffrey is looking for when he smokes on the trail.
“I’m willing to get arrested to fight for our rights, to defend our rights as Californians to consume medicine,” Caffrey told Politico in an interview. “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.”
Caffrey, 54, uses medicinal marijuana to cope with what he's described as post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by a number of accidents, including losing all his possessions in the 1991 fire in the Oakland hills, his sister's suicide and a period of prolonged homelessness.