|Hal Yeager/The Birmingham News|
|CLUELESS! Rep. Jim McClendon, chairman of the Alabama House Health Committee, called constituent emails "harassment"|
Health Committee Chairman Unwilling To Read Citizen Emails
Ah, representative democracy. When citizens have concerns, they contact their elected representatives, right? Right?? One Alabama legislator apparently could use a basic civics lesson; it seems Republican Rep. Jim McClendon has forgotten for whom he works. On Thursday morning, he sent an email message to constituents, colleagues and newspapers statewide accusing medical marijuana lobbyists of "harassment."
McClendon, chairman of the Alabama House Committee on Health, apparently felt quite put upon by the emails sent by members and supporters of the Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition, a group fighting for safe access for medicinal cannabis patients in the Heart of Dixie.
"The inundation of emails to members of the Health Committee is no more than harassment and does not advance your cause," McClendon huffily (and cluelessly) emailed at 11:36 Central Time on Thursday. The email, in addition to AMMJC member Aaron Carswell and AMMJC co-president Ron Crumpton, also went out to the members of the press and McClendon's colleagues in the Alabama House.
|Ron Crumpton 2014/Facebook|
|Ron Crumpton, Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition: "This is not the kind of person that should be representing the people"|
"What am I supposed to do, Mr. Chairman?" Crumpton answered. "I have been trying to get you to respond to me since the end of the session. During the session, I treated you like a man and it got our bill absolutely nowhere.
"I represent over 10,000 Alabamians who want to see this bill passed," Crumpton emailed. "Even with that kind of support we were not able to get a hearing last year.
"However, for you to say that emails to members of the Health Committee are harassment, Mr. Chairman, it is their job and your job to listen to the people," Crumpton wrote.
"This is not the kind of person that should be representing the people," Crumpton told Toke of the Town in an exclusive interview Thursday afternoon. "I think it is safe to say that I will be running for the District 50 House seat in 2014."
According to Crumpton, his campaign for the Legislature will focus on patients' rights, LGBT rights, Alabama Constitution reform, prison reform and other crucial political issues.
If you'd like to "harass," I mean remind Rep. McClendon that he does, in fact, work for the people, and it is, in fact, his job to listen to their concerns, you can school him, I mean email him, at email@example.com.