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Political Candidates Courting Ganjapreneurs

Photo by Getty Images

It seems the days of cannabis businesspeople clamoring for the ears of politicians may be coming to an end.

Two candidates for San Diego County elected offices recently spoke at the monthly meeting of a marijuana industry trade group. The Association of Cannabis Professionals event was held at a café in the San Diego, California neighborhood of City Heights. A standing room only crowd spilled out of the area that had been reserved for the meeting.

First up to speak was Dave Myers, who claimed to be the only Democrat to run for San Diego County Sheriff in the last 60 years. Myers is currently a Commander in the Sheriff’s Department, where he has worked for 32 years.

Photo by A.J. Herrington

Myers began his comments to the group by exclaiming that “…it’s insane that law enforcement is wasting millions of dollars policing outdated cannabis laws.”

He believes that limited resources would be better spent addressing opiate abuse and meth addiction, both growing concerns in San Diego County. Myers finished his remarks with a pledge to uphold the will of the 62 percent of county voters who approved the adult use of marijuana with the passage of California’s Prop. 64 in 2016.

Nathan Fletcher, who will soon officially launch his campaign for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, was also on hand.

Fletcher is no newcomer to San Diego political campaigns. He served as a State Assemblymember for two terms and ran unsuccessful bids for mayor in 2012, and again in 2013, after the resignation of previous mayor Bob Filner, in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal.

Fletcher is planning to seek the District 4 seat on the county board, which will be vacated by Supervisor Ron Roberts due to term limits. Fletcher, who walked to the gathering from his home in City Heights, is a professor of practice in political science at UC San Diego.

Fletcher shared that his support for legal and accessible marijuana stems from personal experience.

Photo by A.J. Herrington

As a Marine combat veteran, he has seen too many friends struggle with the enduring ravages of war once they come home. For many of them, the use of marijuana has allowed them to achieve some peace from PTSD, suicidal thoughts and other afflictions. Fletcher believes that the Veterans Administration’s standard operating procedure of prescribing powerful pharmaceuticals “leads to addiction, and it leads to substance abuse, and it leads to a twelve gauge in your mouth.”

Both candidates noted the growing political clout of the cannabis industry and sought financial and volunteer assistance from the members of the trade group.

They will be running for their respective offices in the June 2018 primary election.

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