Veteran Drug Reformer Wins Florida House Primary

Long-time drug reform advocate Jodi James has won the Democratic primary for Florida House District 31, in Brevard County on the Central Florida Atlantic Coast. She will now face Republican incumbent John Tobia (R-Melbourne) in the November general election.

Jodi James at work
James also won the nomination in 2002, only to be defeated in the general election.

According to official figures from the Florida Secretary of State's office, James pulled down 44% of the vote in a three-way race. Her two opponents split the remainder, coming in with 28% each.

As the South Florida Gay News noted in bemoaning the loss of openly gay, fiscally conservative candidate Joe Pishgar in the race,"But Pishgar was not the only unique candidate in that race. Jodi James handily took the Primary as the NRA-endorsed daughter of a Deacon who wishes to relax marijuana laws and do away with FCAT testing in schools."

James has been active in drug reform politics since moving to the Sunshine State in 1995. She is a member of the Drug Policy Forum of Florida and served as executive director of the Florida Cannabis Action Network. She has also been active in Democratic Party politics at the state level.

On her campaign web site, James staked out a progressive position on criminal justice issues, saying: "Jodi James believes in a criminal justice system that focuses on restoration for the victim first. She supports everyone having equal access to the courts. Justice can only be served if everyone is equal in the eyes of the law. Jodi supports restoration of civil rights upon the completion of sentences and alternatives to incarceration when public safety can reasonably be assured."

In addition, in her "issues at a glance" section, she lists herself as supporting "smart on crime practices that bring justice to the victim" and "sensible drug policies that reduce crime." A link next to that item opens up the web site of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

With her primary victory, Jodi James has taken another step on drug reform's long march through the institutions of power. Let's hope there are many more reformers following in her footsteps.

(This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Melbourne, FL
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Jodi James Wins Florida House Primary

Congrats Jodi,

   Now go win that election and secure that seat in the Florida House and make some necessary changes!

I am proud of you dear.

Way to Go Jodi

Jodi...   We are all so proud of your win in Florida.  We need to get other reform candidates on the ballots everywhere. 

We must support Jodi!!

Just heard the great news. Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jodi James wins

Way to go. Hopefully you will make it to Tallahassee where you will be able to influence and educate the rest of the House.

Based on the unalterable

Based on the unalterable proviso that drug use is essentially an unstoppable and ongoing human behavior which has been with us since the dawn of time, any serious reading on the subject of past attempts at any form of drug prohibition would point most normal thinking people in the direction of sensible regulation.

By its very nature, prohibition cannot fail but create a vast increase in criminal activity, and rather than preventing society from descending into anarchy, it actually fosters an anarchic business model - the international Drug Trade. Any decisions concerning quality, quantity, distribution and availability are then left in the hands of unregulated, anonymous and ruthless drug dealers, who are interested only in the huge profits involved. Thus the allure of this reliable and lucrative industry with it's enormous income potential that consistently outweighs the risks associated with the illegal operations that such a trade entails, will remain with us until we are collectively forced to admit the obvious.

There is therefore an irrefutable connection between drug prohibition and the crime, corruption, disease and death it causes. Anybody 'halfway bright', and who's not psychologically challenged, should be capable of understanding that it is not simply the demand for drugs that creates the mayhem, it is our refusal to allow legal businesses to meet that demand. If you are not capable of understanding this connection then maybe you're using something far stronger than the rest of us. So put away your pipe, lock yourself away in a small room with some tinned soup and water, and try to crawl back into reality A.S.A.P.

Because Drug cartels will always have an endless supply of ready cash for wages, bribery and equipment, no amount of tax money, police powers, weaponry, wishful thinking or pseudo-science will make our streets safe again. Only an end to prohibition can do that! How much longer are you willing to foolishly risk your own survival by continuing to ignore the obvious, historically confirmed solution?

If you support the Kool-Aid mass suicide cult of prohibition, and erroneously believe that you can win a war without logic and practical solutions, then prepare yourself for even more death, tortured corpses, corruption, terrorism, sickness, imprisonment, economic tribulation, unemployment and the complete loss of the rule of law.

"A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."
Abraham Lincoln

The only thing prohibition successfully does is prohibit regulation & taxation while turning even our schools and prisons into black markets for drugs. Regulation would mean the opposite!

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