Most campaign promises are rather uninspiring things: “I promise to lower taxes;” “A chicken in every pot,” “Jobs for everybody,” and the like. But this election season there is one candidatethat certainly knows how to catch the attention of his potential electorate. Andy Caffrey, one of eleven candidates running for Congress in the Second Congressional District of California has promised to smoke pot on the steps of Capital Hill if he is elected.
Although Caffrey is quick to point out that he is not a “crusader that everyone should get high,” and told journalists, “Just don’t say I’m advocating for children to use it,” he does believe that the use of marijuana for a large variety of medical reasons should be made legal on a national level, as it is in California.
“I’m willing to get arrested to fight for our rights, to defend our rights as Californians to consume medicine,” Caffrey, a registered Democrat, said 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.”
The 54-year old single man has been lighting joints in a casual manner while on the campaign trail, doing so twice just last week. This unusual behavior has caught the imagination and especially the attention of the local media in his Humboldt County home district, exactly Caffrey’s goal.
“I’m fighting for our right to consume marijuana at will without any criminal penalties,” said Caffrey.
There are six other steps on Caffrey’s running platform aside from legalizing marijuana for its medicinal benefits, including the fight to slow down global warming and other environmental issues. But there is no question that the other issues do not elicit the same public response.
Caffrey says he does not smoke pot every day, and always carries his physician’s note with him in case law enforcement officials stop him for questioning about what he’s smoking. He says he has been smoking cannabis legally for the past six or seven years with a doctor’s approval.
Marijuana has been helpful for Caffrey to deal with several medical issues he is dealing with, including attention deficit disorder and several traumas he has endured, including being homeless for five years and his sister’s suicide.
“I have a lot of talents — I do Internet work, I do video, I’m making my own television commercials for my congressional campaign — sometimes I just have so many things going on and I get very anxious that I’m not as focused as I should be,” Caffrey said. “So it’s more of a focusing agent, I guess you can say, and you can call it sort of an anti-depressant.”