By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama Senate District 11 already has two Republicans vying from the district in 2014 and now it also has a Democrat. Medical Marijuana advocate Ron Crumpton has announced that he will be running as a Democrat in the heavily Republican district consisting of parts of St. Clair, Shelby, and Talladega Counties.
In a written statement, Crumpton (D) from Cropwell said, “After years as an activist, sitting and watching as our rights are ripped away, I have decided that the only way for me to change the government, is to do it from the inside. Though I have always considered myself a Republican, I can no longer consider myself a member of that party. I have always been a firm supporter of state’s rights, and the belief that government works best when it is closest to the people, but when the party that used to keep big brother off your back became big brother, I fell out with the party. To reverse the words of another Ron, I did not leave the Republican Party… It left me! Democratic Party of Alabama. For that reason, when filling my paperwork with the Secretary of State, I listed that I would be pursuing the district 11 seat of the Alabama Senate as a Democrat.”
Crumpton continued, “For too many years, our leaders have overlooked obvious avenues to create revenue because of the moral objections and financial interests of a limited number of Alabamians. Our state is going broke, but we continue to ignore the revenue potential of a state lottery. Many of our residents spend millions every year in Mississippi Casinos, but we continue to ignore ideas that would create a system of limited casino gambling in Alabama, and even though marijuana is safer than alcohol, safer than tobacco and safer than peanuts, we continue to arrest people for minor possession, clogging the prison system and feeding the criminal empires it creates as opposed to a sensible policy on marijuana that would produce hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue. It is time that we stop being stupid when it comes to creating revenue in this state. These programs would generate more revenue than is currently allotted to the state’s general fund budget.”
Crumpton said, “We have to address the problems in our education system, vilifying others and turning our backs on the school systems in trouble is not the answer. Many Alabama students do not have adequate supplies and are forced to attend schools that are falling apart, yet they are expected to perform as well as students with adequate supplies and adequate facilities; that is not a reasonable expectation. It is easy to blame the schools, blame the teachers or blame the parents, but none of that solves our problems.”
Crumpton believes in legalizing gay marriage in the state of Alabama as well as marijuana and gambling. Crumpton wrote, “Marriage is a religious institution; the government has no right to prohibit churches from preforming marriages. While the government does not necessarily have to join LGBT couples in marriage or civil unions, in my opinion, they have no right to refuse to register or honor marriages of LGBT couples performed by the church without refusing to register and honor all marriages performed by the church, but that in itself would violate the same 1st amendment issue preventing the free exercise of religion…If someone believes that, the love of two people somehow diminishes the love they have for another then they need to evaluate their own relationship and not the relationship of others.”
Crumpton also supports gun ownership rights. Ron Crumpton said, “The right to self-protection is supreme. Taking guns from law-abiding citizens benefits criminals and jeopardizes that right.”
If Ron Crumpton wins the Democratic Party Primary, he will face the winner of the Alabama Republican Primary. Already Alabama State Senator Jerry Fielding from Sylacauga and state Representative Jim McClendon from Springville have announced that they are running for the seat currently held by Fielding. Sen. Fielding was elected in 2010 as a Democrat, but changed to the Republican Party in 2012 and will be running as a Republican in 2014.
Ron Crumpton has lobbied the state legislature for the legalization of marijuana throughout this legislative session and although State Representative Patricia Todd (D) from Birmingham has sponsor legislation allowing medical marijuana and decriminalizing marijuana possession none of that legislation has passed out of committee. Rep. Todd’s efforts earned her the “Shroud Award” for the deadest legislation of the 2013 Alabama Legislative session.