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Former Democrat Candidate Endorses Rick Vandeven for US Representative

Posted Tuesday, September 4, 2012, at 8:20 PM

August 27, 2012

Rick Vandeven, Libertarian Party candidate for US Representative (MO-8), has been endorsed by Bob Camp of Cape Girardeau, a former Democrat candidate who received 67,760 votes in 2000 for the same office. Camp has cited Vandeven's support of medical marijuana as his reason for going public with the announcement.

"I am a 62 year old veteran trying to make a living as a performing musician. I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis which sometimes makes it difficult to play guitar. Thanks to the Veterans' Administration, I have access to a prescription medication, EMBREL, which has been extremely effective in attacking the root source of my arthritis, but I still have minor pain. I choose not to use alcohol or narcotics, and marijuana is the perfect non-addictive pain reliever for my condition. Rick Vandeven is the only candidate in the race who agrees with me on the issue of medical marijuana, and that is why I am endorsing his campaign. I encourage everyone who thinks that marijuana should be available to all sick people to vote for him also", said Bob Camp on Monday.

Rick Vandeven responded, "I welcome Bob Camp's endorsement, and I hope that together we can help shed some light on this misunderstood topic. Marijuana is all-natural, non-addicting, and has been medically proven to safely relieve pain, nausea, and stress. Marijuana is especially helpful to cancer patients suffering from the negative side effects of chemotherapy treatment. It is inhumane to deny sick people access to marijuana through laws which fine or imprison them for consuming a useful, inexpensive product. The only people benefitting from marijuana prohibition are the drug cartels, large pharmaceutical companies, the prison industrial complex, and the politicians reaping millions of dollars in contributions from Big Pharma to prevent the repeal of marijuana laws."

Medicinal marijuana consumption is legal in 17 states, and Washington DC. Arkansas residents will vote to legalize marijuana use for medical purposes in November. The federal government continues to prosecute medical marijuana patients. There are currently 2.5 million people incarcerated in the United States, the largest prison population in the world. It is estimated that 75% of the current prison population is jailed due to drug offense convictions. Over 55,000 people have been killed in Mexico as a result of the violence between drug cartels since 2006. 90 million Americans are using, or have used marijuana including our current and past two presidents. The pharmaceutical and health products industries spend $250 million annually lobbying the federal government.

77% of Americans support medicinal marijuana use. 56% of Americans support full marijuana legalization.

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"The "war on drugs" has also generated indirect costs that many researchers contend have undermined public safety. The federal government has prioritized spending and grants for drug task forces and widespread drug interdiction efforts that often target low-level drug dealing. These highly organized and coordinated efforts have been very labor intensive for local law enforcement agencies with some unanticipated consequences for investigation of other crimes. The focus on drugs is believed to have redirected law enforcement resources that have resulted in more drunk driving, and decreased investigation and enforcement of violent crime laws. In Illinois, a 47% increase in drug arrests corresponded with a 22% decrease in arrests for drunk driving. Florida researchers have similarly linked the focus on low level drug arrests with an increase in the serious crime index."

--Drug Policy, Criminal Justice and Mass Imprisonment, by Bryan Stevenson


-- Posted by malcolmkyle on Wed, Sep 5, 2012, at 4:19 AM

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Rick Vandeven - Libertarian For US Representative (MO-8)
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I was born in Cape Girardeau, Mo., in 1972, and grew up in the Chaffee area where I still reside with my lovely wife and three beautiful and talented daughters. I have been employed in the paper industry for the past 14 years and am a member of St. Ambrose Catholic Church. In my spare time I support my local parochial school, listen to and perform music, and read. This is my second run for U.S. Congress as the Libertarian Party candidate. In 2010 I was endorsed by the Boston Tea Party and received an "A" rating from the Gun Owners of America. Since my last campaign I supported the opposition to the smoking ban in Cape Girardeau, gathered signatures for the Show-Me Cannabis initiative, was elected to the Missouri State Libertarian Party Executive Committee, and recently won the Champion of Freedom Award. I hope that my candidacy helps to advance the cause of individual liberty. I welcome your questions and comments. Thank you for reading!