By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Monday, July 24, 2017, US Senate Candidate Michael Hansen released a statement calling for the legalization of marijuana. This statement was in response to news reports that the Trump Administration plans to “crack down” on marijuana.
Hansen said in a statement, “The news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to ‘crack down’ on marijuana users is troubling. The fact of the matter is that the ‘War on Drugs’ is a failed Federal policy that for decades has unfairly targeted people of color. I am calling on Congress to decriminalize, legalize, and regulate marijuana to put an end to this racist social experiment. In addition, I am proposing an economic development zone in Alabama’s Black Belt where unemployment is near 10 percent and where poverty rates approach 40 percent. The Black Belt once lead agricultural production, and I believe it will again.”
Hansen said, “An objective look at the data shows that the criminalization of marijuana use has a disproportionate impact on African-Americans and young people — despite nearly identical rates of use across different groups. Sessions is reportedly set to release a report linking marijuana use to violent crime. That’s hogwash. Treating marijuana possession and use as a criminal act is what leads to violence and corruption. It’s a classic case of circular logic. That our nation’s top law enforcement officer doesn’t understand that is mindboggling.”
Hansen added, “Fellow Senate candidate Rep. Mo Brooks this past week came out in favor of medical marijuana. That apparently qualifies as bold for a Republican, but let’s be clear: he’s late to the party. Medical marijuana helps thousands of people every year, but that’s not good enough. We need to bring marijuana — one of the US’s largest cash crops — out of the shadows and into the formal economy.”
Hansen argued, “Legalizing and regulating marijuana like alcohol and tobacco — both of which are far more dangerous to human health — would create thousands of jobs and economic development opportunities, especially for Alabama farmers. Further, Alabama’s rich soils would be fertile ground for cultivation.”
Hansen stated, “The Trump Administration should instead work to solve the opioid drug crisis. Like so many Alabamians, I have lost a loved one to a prescription drug overdose. These stories are heartbreaking and all too common. Frankly, the Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would undermine any efforts to reverse this quiet epidemic. I support a transformational overhaul of the American health care system to a Medicare-for-All, single payer system that would treat addiction as a health issue and not as a crime.”
Seven Democratic candidates are running in the U.S. Senate Special Primary Election. Qualified candidates are Will Boyd, Vann Caldwell, Jason Fisher, Michael Hansen, Doug Jones, Robert Kennedy, Jr., and Charles Nana.
Nine Republicans are running for the US Senate. They include: James Paul Beretta, Joseph F. Breault, Randy Brinson, Mo Brooks, Mary Maxwell, Roy Moore, Bryan Peeples, Trip Pittman, and Luther Strange.
Dom Gentile (R) and Brian McGee (D) both dropped out of the race on Monday.
The Special Major Party Primaries are on August 15, 2017. The Major Party Runoffs will be on September 28, 2017. The Special General election will be on December 12, 2017.