Congress Hopeful to Smoke Pot on Capitol Hill

By McCarton Ackerman 05/22/12

To push his pro-medical pot stance, California's Andy Caffrey says he'll light up on the Capitol steps.

Caffrey for Congress: A New Green America
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Most political candidates make spending or policy pledges; Andy Caffrey, a candidate for Congress from California, is promising to smoke a joint on the steps of Capitol Hill. The 54-year-old Humboldt County native, who is running in the upcoming elections as a Democrat, was caught toking on the campaign trail twice just last week and confirms his willingness to get arrested to make his point: “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," Caffrey pledges. “I’m fighting for our right to consume [medical] marijuana at will without any criminal penalties. Just don't say I'm advocating for children to use it." Caffrey has been smoking prescribed cannabis for the last six or seven years, he says, and always carries a physician's note in case he's questioned by law enforcement. He uses it primarily to cope with his attention deficit disorder, as well as PTSD caused by five years of homelessness after he "lost everything" in the 1991 Oakland Firestorm, and by his sister's suicide. "Sometimes I just have so many things going on and I get very anxious that I’m not as focused as I should be,” says the candidate, who is also campaigning on climate change. “So it’s more of a focusing agent, I guess you can say, and you can call it sort of an anti-depressant.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.