"Is it good for Texas? Do we want to secede, or do we want to lead?"
Kinky Friedman is an old-time, blue dog, Harry Truman-style candidate who will fight for the people of the great state of Texas.
Kinky wants to end the prohibition on the medical and personal use of marijuana in Texas. Further, Kinky intends to restore hemp as a top cash crop in Texas, much as it was until its prohibition almost a century ago. He intends to clearly show that legalizing pot is a states' rights issue, as well as a rural development issue, an education funding issue, a water conservation issue, a health care issue, and a criminal justice issue.
It will affect every Texan.
End The Prohibition On Marijuana
• We are losing the war on drugs - in 2010, Texas arrested 74,286 for possession of marijuana. The ACLU estimates that in 2010, Texas spent about $251,648,800 to enforce its marijuana possession laws. This war is already lost.
• Legalization means a boon to the economy - a CATO Institute study estimated that Federal drug expenditures on marijuana prohibition in 2008 were $3.4 billion, and legalization would generate $8.7 billion in annual revenue through taxes. This is a $12.1 billion turnaround, and it is only the beginning.
• Fund education through taxation/regulation of marijuana - Washington state, through a 25% marijuana excise tax, retail sales, and business and occupation taxes, has been able to direct 60% of the new revenues toward education, health care, substance abuse prevention, and research. Texas can do even better.
• Medical marijuana really works - from cancer care to mental health treatment, pot has proven to be an effective medicine throughout history, and we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. An investment in studying its medical uses is an investment in Texas’ future.
• Texans, above all, covet personal freedoms - we demand freedom of choice at every other level, why not the freedom to smoke marijuana?
Promote The Cultivation Of Hemp
• Hemp conserves water - it uses one-half the amount of water cotton uses.
• Hemp is more profitable than cotton - it produces two to two-and-a-half times more usable fiber than cotton. The quality of clothing and other products made from hemp fibers is often even better than cotton.
• Hemp is environmentally friendly - it needs no pesticides or insecticides to ensure healthy growth, it will grow virtually anywhere, and it will overcome and kill weeds trying to sprout nearby. Cotton uses approximately 25% of the world’s total
insecticides and 10% of the world’s pesticides. Ranchers and farmers would not need to pay for these ever again.
What To Do About Water
• More investment is needed in harvesting water - this is the only sustainable way to manage our water into the future.
• More research must be funded to advance desalination, both of brackish ground water and gulf water.
• Water conservation on the state level needs more cohesion - while Kinky gives Prop 6 a tentative yes vote, it is but a small step toward a cogent state policy for water use in Texas. Something has to be done immediately, and Prop 6 is better than no prop at all. Bigger and bolder action will be needed to secure Texas’ water future.
• An indigenous environment uses less water - turf requires two to three times the water of a sustainable mixed landscape. Tax incentives would encourage home owners to replace sod lawns with ground cover.
Greetings, fellow Texans!
I’m running for Agriculture Commissioner of Texas in the March 4th Democratic Primary in an effort to bring courage, imagination, and common sense back to politics. I’m running as an old-time Harry Truman blue dog Democrat. I’m running to try to give young people in Texas someone in politics they can look up to. Last, but certainly not least, I’m running to end the prohibition on pot and hemp in the great state of Texas.
There would be no culture without agriculture. It is the green thread that runs through all our lives. As we have seen in Colorado and Washington State, legalizing, taxing, and cultivating pot can be the economic engine to fund education, not just talk about it, so perhaps we would no longer rank 50th in the country in high school graduation rates. Legalizing pot will lower property taxes as well as reducing other state and local taxes. It will also effectively spay and neuter the Mexican drug cartels; the people of Texas will become the new cartel. I have yet to meet a law enforcement officer in Texas who does not believe we are losing the war on drugs.
In 2010, according to the Dallas Observer, more than 74,000 non-violent pot arrests occurred in Texas, resulting in the ruin of many young lives at the cost to the taxpayer of 250 million dollars. It should also be noted that seven times as many African-Americans and Hispanics have been incarcerated as whites.
Add to this that Texas has arguably the biggest and the best cancer hospital in the world, M.D. Anderson in Houston, and no medical marijuana.
As far as hemp goes, it’s really a no-brainer. Cotton requires twice as much water as hemp, yet hemp produces two and a half times the fiber. This is ever more important in these times of deep drought and a major factor in considering our options for water conservation. Hemp returns nutrients to the soil; cotton does not. Hemp requires no pesticides; twenty-five percent of all the pesticides in the world go into cotton. Hemp even reduces CO2 in the atmosphere. If you were a farmer, which would you rather grow?
Prohibition simply doesn’t work. Lifting the prohibition on pot is not about long-haired hippies smoking dope; it’s about the economy, the environment and water conservation, education, the border, health care, criminal justice (and injustice!). It’s about the future of this great state.
I doubt if any other candidate for statewide office will champion (or even mention) these ideas. But someone needs to bring them forth. That’s another reason I’m running. It’s a dirty job, and I get to do it.
It would be a good thing for all of us to ask ourselves two questions whenever we encounter a new idea. The first question should be, “Is it good for Texas?” The second question should be, “Do we want to be leaders, or do we want to be seceders?”
I ask for your vote on March 4th and any financial support you are able to give. Please go to TexasForKinky.com for further information on how to contribute and support our efforts.
Yours in Texas
NewsSaturday, March 8, 2014 1:29 AM