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Democratic presidential candidate opposes war on pot



Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich
A few weeks ago, best-selling author and Oscar-winning
documentary filmmaker Michael Moore visited Vancouver,
and was asked during a public appearance why he
doesn't run for president in 2004.

"Because I don't want to get shot," said Moore, who
explained that he and his family received numerous
death threats after Moore used his March, 2003 Oscar
acceptance speech to harshly ridicule George W. Bush's
presidency and the war on Iraq in front of millions of
television viewers. Moore hammers on progressive
themes that resonate with most marijuana users. He
opposes the drug war, but goes much further than that.
He has the guts to question the official mythology
about September 11, 2001, and to suggest that
President Bush and other Bush associates may have had
unlawful, if not downright sinister, involvement with
Osama bin Laden, the Saudis, and others implicated in
the 911 attacks.

Those who yearn for an articulate, marketable American
presidential candidate who embodies similarly radical
views views have found a soft-spoken Midwestern
Congressman named Dennis Kucinich.

Kucinich, who began his political career as mayor of
Cleveland, Ohio in 1977, is not afraid to put his life
on the line by telling the truth, and he is creating a
growing buzz among Americans who want to elect a truly
courageous and honest president in 2004.

He is running as a Democrat because he believes in
pro-labor, pro-working family values that used to be
considered Democratic Party traditions. But Kucinich
is far more intelligent, ethical and radical than his
Democratic competitors in early qualifying primaries
from now until March that will determine who the Party
chooses as its nominee to challenge Bush. The
Democratic Party bigwigs he is competing against-
Howard Dean, John Kerry, Richard Gephardt, Joseph
Lieberman- are all "Republicrats" who, save for some
rhetorical differences that distinguish them from
Emperor George W., are too mainstream, corporate, and
timid for Americans who believe that the US needs a
total rehabilitation of domestic and foreign policy.

While Gephardt, Kerry, Lieberman and the other
well-known Democrats "criticize" the war in Iraq while
backing the occupation of Iraq, Kucinich is the only
candidate who says the US must immediately pull out of
Iraq and let the Iraqi people and the UN take over.

While other Democratic front-runners support the drug
war and are unwilling even to support the rights of
medical marijuana users, Kucinich vows to end the war
on marijuana and replace the drug war into a sane
public policy that views drug use as a health and
family problem rather than a problem dealt with by law

Michael Moore`s latest bestseller
"Most marijuana users do so responsibly, in a safe,
recreational context," Kucinich says. "They lead
normal, productive lives-pursuing careers, raising
families, and participating in civic life. In
addition, marijuana has proven benefits in the
treatment of numerous diseases, such as providing a
valuable means of pain management for terminally ill
patients. In either of these contexts, there is no
rational justification for criminally enforced
prohibitions. These unnecessary arrests and
incarcerations serve only to crowd prisons, backlog
the judicial system, and distract law enforcement
officials from pursuing terrorists and other violent

The Congressman has proposed lifting criminal
penalties for most marijuana-related activities, and
although he stops short of recommending full-on
legalization of the herb, he is the only candidate for
president who is generating enthusiasm among the
marijuana community.

On other issues, Kucinich is equally as innovative. He
favors dismantling NAFTA and other dangerous trade
agreements. He challenges the rights and power of
corporations. He accuses corporate media of being
against democracy, and of deliberately scripting news
content so that it favors corporate, fascist, and
political elites. He endorses human rights of all
kinds- including abortion, gay rights, and minority
rights. He supports universal health care. He says
global warming and human destruction of the earth must
be viewed as a moral issue and as a serious threat to
the long-term survival of our species. He advocates
dismantling America's emphasis on military solutions
for world problems, as well as the draconian police
state tactics of the Patriot Act and other post-911
policies that have robbed Americans of basic
constitutional rights.

Kucinich calls himself "the peace candidate." He
brings a sincere, spiritual, and sensitive tone to
politics. Voters easily sense he is not running a
campaign based on ego, greed, lust for power,
stupidity, or vanity. The man's history provides clues
to his unique stature and his commitment to public
service. He comes from a poor family that was often
homeless during his youth. He fought powerful special
interests when he was mayor of Cleveland, was forced
out of politics by corrupt businesses, embarked on a
vision quest, and then returned to politics years
later, determined to save America from people like
George W. Bush.

Kucinich is running an insurgency campaign that has
garnered the support of long-time marijuana activists
like music legend Willie Nelson. He is a respected
member of Congress and head of the Congressional
Progressive caucus who is popular with liberal and
conservative voters in his home state of Ohio, and his
campaign is creating grassroots strength across the
country even though major media outlets refuse to
acknowledge his existence.

Political pundits and corporate media reps have
written off the Kucinich campaign, citing his low
standing in the polls and his lack of money. But
progressive activists, marijuana advocates, the
anti-war community, environmentalists, and working
people believe that Kucinich has a chance of winning
the Democratic presidential nomination if the
candidate can continue to gain financial support and
campaign volunteers.

The candidate is more credible, articulate,
personable, and passionate than Ralph Nader; he is the
only clear alternative to the pro-war, pro-corporate
politics of Bush or any of the current Democratic

Cannabis Culture publisher Marc Emery is urging all
Americans who share a pro-marijuana, pro-freedom
agenda to back Kucinich with their money and by
volunteering to assist his campaign. Emery urges
American voters to check out Kucinich's website at
www.kucinich.us, and to work hard for the candidate as
soon as possible.

"The 2004 election year will be a critical one for the
United States. Kucinich is the only candidate who
could turn America around and make it less of a threat
to the world," Emery said. "I am sending Pot-TV
reporter Loretta Nall to interview Kucinich, and am
asking everybody in the US to do what they can right
now to help him win the primaries and become the
Democratic Party's choice to oppose George W. Bush in
November, 2004."

by Pete Brady (22 Dec, 2003) Courageous congressman
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