January 25, 2004 - Tri-Valley Herald: Costa Rica RPCV Jim Gray in race for California State Senate

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Costa Rica: Peace Corps Costa Rica : The Peace Corps in Costa Rica: January 25, 2004 - Tri-Valley Herald: Costa Rica RPCV Jim Gray in race for California State Senate

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-35-236.balt.east.verizon.net - on Sunday, January 25, 2004 - 3:19 pm: Edit Post

Costa Rica RPCV Jim Gray in race for California State Senate

Costa Rica RPCV Jim Gray in race for California State Senate

Senate hopeful eyes drug reform

Orange County Superior Court Judge Jim Gray wants to legalize adult use of marijuana

By Josh Richman, STAFF WRITER

Jim Gray isn't easily pigeonholed.

He's a veteran of both the U.S. Navy in Vietnam and the Peace Corps in Costa Rica.

He's a lifelong Republican now running for the U.S. Senate as a Libertarian while reaching out to Bay Area liberals.

He's a Republican-appointed Orange County Superior Court judge whose main platform plank is drug legalization.

He says he might be the only person ever to get standing ovations for giving the same speech to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Young Republicans.

"This is everybody's issue," he said of his war on the government's war on drugs.

Gray, 58, of Newport Beach said the Bay Area should be especially receptive to his core issue -- getting the federal government to butt out of California's medical marijuana affairs, and then getting California to completely decriminalize adult marijuana use.

Doing so, he said, would save the state $1 billion a year in failed eradication, prosecution and incarceration costs, while raising almost $2 billion a year in new taxes on the drug, not counting a resurgent industrial hemp industry's boost to the economy. Regulating marijuana would make it less available to children and prevent its adulteration with more harmful substances, he said, while patients and doctors finally would be free of fear.

Adult use might increase but only temporarily, he said, citing data from nations that have legalized the drug. He has no suggestion on what to do should California start drawing "tourists" from other states that haven't legalized marijuana, but said this too could boost the state's economy and other states probably would follow suit.

"The Green Party does not have a candidate in this race and I'm wholeheartedly asking for their support ... we walk hand-in-hand on this issue," he said, adding that for all those who voted for California's medical marijuana in 1996, "I'm their candidate, I speak for them."

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Story Source: Tri-Valley Herald

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Costa Rica; Law; Politics; Drugs



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