An Albama gubernatorial candidate is including cannabis legalization in his campaign platform, AL.com reports. Chad “Chig” Martin, who operates Honeysuckle Hemp, a CBD company, Thunder Industrial, a repair and maintenance parts company, and a mobile home park, has already qualified to run for the Democratic nomination in the state’s May primary.
Martin said he believes cannabis is safer than alcohol and describes his vision for cannabis legalization in the state as “the free trade of cannabis … without regulations.”
“Alcohol is much more dangerous than cannabis. People can buy all they want freely and get as drunk as they want now. And they’re much more dangerous than people out there using cannabis.” — Martin to AL.com
Martin also expressed skepticism about whether the state’s medical cannabis program — which was approved by state lawmakers last year — will be open for businesses like his hemp company to compete fairly when the state begins issuing licenses.
Currently, a medical cannabis commission is setting up the program, and licenses are not expected to be awarded until next year, the report says.
Martin indicated cannabis sales in the state could be taxed at a rate high enough to help fund education, mental health care, and infrastructure while helping the state’s court system and reducing crowing in Alabama jails and prisons.
While Martin described himself as a conservative Democrat and “an independent at heart,” he said the Democratic Party “looked like an opportunity” that suited him well.
“The Republican Party was a party that is full of millionaires typically with lots of money. And when I saw this opportunity with the Democratic Party, a lot of values I have aligned with them,” he said. “And it just looked like it would be my best opportunity to get into a head-to-head with Kay Ivey here in the state of Alabama. And that’s what the goal was.”
Martin and Yolanda Flowers of Birmingham are, so far, the only two candidates to qualify for the Democratic Party primary.
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