Cliff Thornton, the founder
and moving force behind the drug reform group Efficacy,
publicly announced this week he is seeking the Green Party nomination for
governor of Connecticut. Thornton's campaign kicked off with a well-attended
press conference in Hartford Wednesday.
For years, Thornton has taken
his message that drug prohibition has failed to the rubber chicken circuit
of Rotaries, Kiwanis, and other clubs, college campuses, drug policy conferences
and conventions and anywhere else he can get a forum. He estimates
that more than 300,000 people have heard him make the connections between
race, class, and the war on drugs.
Cliff on Thornton on Australian speaking tour
In October, some of home-state
Thornton's efforts bore fruit with the "Hartford's Drug Burden—Where to
Put Our Resources?" conference that brought a bevy of nationally known
drug reformers to town to meet with local elected and law enforcement officials
in an effort to bring some fresh ideas to Connecticut drug policy.
That conference continues to reverberate, with other cities inquiring about
holding their own conferences and legislation impelled by the conference
that will help keep drug policy in the spotlight.
The Thornton campaign will
undoubtedly do its part on that score, too.
He was already hard at it
Wednesday. "It's time to bring the drug war into the political arena,"
he said. "Drug policy starts with one question. Are people
ever going to stop using illegal drugs? The overwhelming response
is no. If that is the case, the next question is, how do we create
an atmosphere where those people cause the least harm to themselves, and
second, the least amount of harm to society as a whole?" he said.
"We have to answer these questions in their entirety before we go anywhere
else. The answer definitely is not the war on drugs."
Thornton needs to file 7,500
valid signatures with state officials by August 9 to qualify for the ballot.
If successful, he will join a race that pits Republican Gov. Jodi Rell
against either New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. or Stamford Mayor Dannel
Malloy, who are fighting for the Democratic Party nomination. He
would also become the first black man and the first Green to run for governor
Green Party spokesman and
Thornton campaign manager Tim McKee told the New Haven Register the campaign's
all-volunteer team would collect from 10,000 to 12,000 signatures to ensure
a "safety zone" by deadline time.
"Cliff's got an extremely
controversial point of view and we know that. He's gotten a great
reaction. We're going to run a hard-hitting, clean campaign," he
While the Connecticut
Green Party has no explicit mention of drug policy reform, it is an
affiliate of the national Green Party. In 2004, the national Greens
adopted a platform
that includes the following planks:
Thornton is not the only nationally
known drug policy reformer testing the electoral waters in runs for state-wide
office this year. In Alabama, US
Marijuana Party founder Loretta Nall has traded the pot leaf for the
Libertarian banner as she seeks
the governorship there. And in Maryland, longtime drug reformer
Kevin Zeese is running as an independent
for the US Senate seat currently held by retiring Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D).
-- END --
We call for decriminalization
of victimless crimes. For example, the possession of small amounts
We call for legalization of
industrial hemp and all its many uses.
We call for an end to the "war
on drugs." We support expanded drug counseling and treatment.
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
PERMISSION to reprint or
redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby
granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and,
where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your
publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks
payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for
materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we
request notification for our records, including physical copies where
material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network,
P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202)
293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank
Articles of a purely
educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet
Foundation, unless otherwise noted.