Politician Info
B+ Thomas Witkop (D - FL)

Candidate in race for U.S. House District 21 on Tuesday, August 20, 2024

Position on Marijuana Legalization

"I believe it is time to end the federal prohibition of marijuana. The current approach has not only proven ineffective but has also perpetuated injustices, disproportionately impacting communities of color and obstructing legitimate medical research. By legalizing and regulating marijuana at the federal level, we can empower states to set their own policies, reduce the burden on our criminal justice system, and create opportunities for economic growth through taxation and job creation. Additionally, ending federal prohibition would enable comprehensive oversight, ensuring product safety and promoting public health while respecting individual freedoms and state sovereignty. It's essential to adopt a forward-thinking approach that reflects the will of the majority of Americans and prioritizes evidence-based policymaking." (Candidate Survey Response)

"Prohibition has not effectively curtailed its use but instead has fueled a black market that undermines public safety and generates illicit profits. By legalizing and regulating marijuana, we can establish clear standards for quality and safety, impose age restrictions, and implement taxation to fund important social programs. This approach allows for informed consumer choice while redirecting resources from enforcement towards more pressing priorities, such as education and healthcare." (Candidate Survey Response)

Position on Marijuana Decriminalization

"I support decriminalizing the simple possession of marijuana. Criminalizing individuals for possession of small amounts of marijuana has resulted in disproportionate enforcement and harsh penalties, particularly affecting communities of color. Decriminalization would redirect law enforcement resources toward more pressing issues, reduce the burden on the criminal justice system, and mitigate the long-term consequences that a criminal record can have on individuals' lives. It's a step toward more equitable and effective drug policy that focuses on public health and harm reduction rather than punitive measures." (Candidate Survey Response)

In discussing whether or not he supports automatic expungements for non-violent marijuana possession convictions, Witkop remarked, "Many individuals have been unfairly burdened with criminal records for actions that are increasingly recognized as non-threatening to public safety. Automatic expungement would correct past injustices, alleviate barriers to employment, housing, and education faced by those with criminal records, and promote equity within our justice system. It's a necessary step toward rectifying the disproportionate impacts of previous marijuana laws on marginalized communities and ensuring a fairer path forward for affected individuals." (Candidate Survey Response)

Position on Medical Marijuana

"I support legalizing the use of physician-authorized medical cannabis. Access to medical cannabis can provide relief and therapeutic benefits for individuals suffering from a range of medical conditions, such as chronic pain, epilepsy, and cancer-related symptoms. Physician oversight ensures that patients receive appropriate care and guidance in utilizing cannabis as part of their treatment regimen. Legalizing medical cannabis can also spur further research into its potential medical applications and benefits, ultimately improving healthcare options for patients in need." (Candidate Survey Response)

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