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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

14th NJ District Senate Candidate Don DeZarn Smokes a Joint in Hamilton Park in Protest

Don DeZarn smoking a joint
Don DeZarn puffing on a joint in Hamilton Park

NJ State Senate candidate Don DeZarn took a radical approach when promoting his upcoming bid for a Senate seat: at Hamilton Park when addressing supporters and pedestrians at the park, DeZarn whipped out a joint from deeply embedded in his sock and he made a bold declaration.

“Yes, I will be firing one up in public. Hopefully you will be able to run a story on Tuesday titled ‘State Senate candidate arrested at press conference.”

Don proceeded to light and smoke the joint while addressing the issue of the drug war to the public. He went on to say, “Who is this for? This is for all of my brothers and sisters who are being held prisoners of war by our government as a result of our war on drugs,” as he took several puffs on the joint. While a step outside of traditional, DeZarn represents the Libertarian Party for the nomination of the Senate seat and he faces off against tough candidates such as the incumbent,  Democratic Sen. Linda Greenstein as well as the Republican Former Senator, Peter Inverso.

Peter Inverso
Linda Greenstein

“It’s just something that I see as a tremendous waste of taxpayer money,” he said. “It’s complete insanity that we spend that type of money when there are far worse things out there. ... There isn’t really a good reason for it to be illegal in my mind.” DeZarn said while smoking and speaking publicly. Indeed, it has been a "tremendous waste of taxpayer money". According to NORML, the cost to taxpayers since the inception of cannabis prohibition stands at over 4.02 BILLION dollars. They also calculate statistics showing what could have been a profit of over 11 billion should we have integrated cannabis further into our culture rather than cutting it out of the picture in the late 1930's.

DeZarn stands shakily in interview dialogue concerning his ability to win the election. “Just the campaign itself is a long shot...Even if my two opponents were indicted in a federal corruption probe a week before the election I’m still not sure I’d win.” Though DeZarn admits openly that his bid is a long shot, the support for cannabis legalization in the US has recently surpassed the majority mark according to recent Pew poll results. 52% of Americans believe that cannabis should be legal and even more are adamant that the Federal government should butt out of State's rights concerning medical programs.

Though DeZarn's campaign may raise an eyebrow or two about the efficacy of third party candidates winning majority support, one thing is clear. His activism and support for this issue paired with the increasing popularity of the issue will make it very difficult for other candidates to dodge the issue in the future.

Further, the NJ Weedman is currently offering all New Jersey residents who've been charged criminally on counts of marijuana related offenses to come forward and file a "Motion of Dismissal" that he has prepared on his site. He argues that since NJ has both criminal and medicinal laws on the books, the most recent legislation overrides previous statutes. DeZarn has not commented on this in interview, but it's safe to presume that DeZarn is PRO full legalization of marijuana.

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