LA NORML Women’s Alliance Cancels Voter Ed Project: Lack of Candidate Interest


Steve Baker
Cheri Sicard, Cynthia Johnson and Jessica Lux (all of NORML Women’s Alliance of Los Angeles) with the one candidate who responded, David Hernandez

Marijuana Advocacy Group Shifts Focus to Upcoming City Election
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Women’s Alliance of Los Angeles announced on Monday it has scrapped its voter education project for California Congressional Candidates in Los Angeles County districts, as the group could only get four of the 34 Senatorial and Congressional candidates to even answer their requests for more information.
“I know politicians see cannabis as a third rail issue,” said Cheri Sicard, the group’s leader, “but the fact is 50 percent of all Americans favor outright legalization of marijuana, and 70 percent favor making it legal for doctors to prescribe to reduce pain and suffering (Gallup Poll, 10-17-11). We at the NORML Women’s Alliance think the time is long past due for our so-called representatives and candidates for public office to have a conversation about this.”
Sicard says even candidates who are known to agree with the group’s stances on issues such as marijuana legalization, medical marijuana, and prison reform didn’t respond, preferring to keep the issue in the background.

Cheri Sicard/Facebook
Cheri Sicard: “We are the NORML Women’s Alliance think the time is long past due for our so-called repriseentatives and candidates for public office to have a conversation about this”

Of the four candidates who did respond to the group’s request to answer a simple nine-question survey, two never did anything beyond say they would “take a look.” District 27 candidate Jack Orswell (R) declined to answer the questions but did state he favored marijuana for serious medical reasons, if prescribed by a doctor, and only if distributed via a pharmacy. He further stated he would like to discuss the matter “after the election.”
Only one candidate, District 29’s David Hernandez, actually took the time to answer the questions.
“We loved the answers David Hernandez gave,” says Jessica Lux, co-leader of NORML Women’s Alliance of Los Angeles. “David Hernandez seems to truly understand the cannabis issue and the challenges facing medical marijuana patients. More importantly, he is willing to actually represent his constituents.”
“We had better luck getting judicial candidates to answer our questions in our primary election voter education project than we did from those we are entrusting to represent our interests in Congress,” Sicard said. “That’s a pretty sad state of affairs.”
Since time is getting short before this election, the leaders elected to quit nagging the current crop of candidates to answer questions they will do anything in their power to avoid and instead, start turning their attention to the upcoming Los Angeles city election in March 2013.