NORML PAC Endorses Tim Canova, Challenger To DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz

Canova profile picThe NORML PAC is proud to announce its endorsement of Tim Canova, democratic primary challenger to US House member and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz for Florida’s 23rd congressional district race.

Mr. Canova, a law school professor and political activist, is the first Democratic challenger to Representative Wasserman-Schultz since she’s held the office and NORML is excited to support his Congressional campaign.

Unlike Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz, who has cast a number of votes opposing sensible marijuana law reforms, candidate Canova is making drug policy reform a key plank of his campaign. He writes:

In Florida, I supported the 2014 medical marijuana referendum that garnered about 58 percent of the vote state-wide, falling just short of the required 60 percent mark. My opponent, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is a drug warrior who opposed the medical marijuana referendum. Calling marijuana a “gateway” drug, she refuses to allow her constituents in South Florida, in consultation with their doctors, to decide for themselves whether to utilize this plant-based medicine to alleviate pain and other symptoms of various illnesses and the side effects of other medications.

Certain industries have a special interest in keeping marijuana illegal – for example, the alcohol and pharmaceutical industries, both of which view recreational and medicinal use of marijuana as a competitive threat; and the private prison industry, which profits from warehousing people in jails, including for marijuana possession. Not surprisingly, having taken in lots of campaign donations from the alcohol, pharmaceutical, and private prison industries and their political action committees (PACs), Debbie Wasserman Schultz opposes medical marijuana and supports privatized prisons and mass incarceration. Unlike my opponent, I do not take any contributions from these special interests, or from any corporate interests at all.

In addition to Florida’s medical marijuana referendum, I also support the recent reforms by Miami-Dade and Broward Counties to decriminalize marijuana for personal use, and I call on the federal government to “de-schedule” marijuana from the list of controlled and dangerous substances.

In many of the states that have moved in the direction of legalization and regulation of marijuana for personal use, entire new industries are flourishing, adding jobs and increasing tax revenues, and crime rates are falling. While I support state efforts to allow individuals to make their own decisions, I also recognize the need to provide young people — and people of all ages — with many more job and educational opportunities in a time of decriminalization and legalization.

Earlier this year NORML released our 2016 Congressional Scorecard, an all-encompassing database of information related to marijuana law reform that graded members of Congress on their willingness to reform our country’s archaic marijuana laws. Representative Wasserman-Schultz was one of 37 congressional members to receive an “F” grade, a grade reserved for members who have spoken out against and actively opposed marijuana reforms.

NORML would like to commend Mr. Canova for his commitment toward amending America’s antiquated and overly punitive marijuana policies.

Please consider donating to Mr. Canova’s campaign here. Additionally, you can also volunteer for his campaign from the comfort of your own home! All you need is a phone, computer, and internet connection. This call tool on his website allows anyone to call into his district to contact voters to urge their support for Mr. Canova.

16 thoughts

  1. If the Democratic Party officially adopts pro-legalization language at their convention Debbie Wasserman Schulz needs to become pro-legalization, even if Canova defeats her and gets her seat. With her stance on abortion, I don’t see her becoming a Republican.

    She could remain a Democrat and still get an F from NORML. Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey is a Democrat, and he’s got an F on legalization issues.

    I want to see prolegalization language in the Democratic Party’s offical platform, made as official as official can get at their conventions, and all these Democratic politicians talk the prolegalization talk. If it’s in your party’s platform, act like it. A majority of Americans want cannabis legalized so why don’t you do something for the people who work hard and want to play by the rules and want to relax with cannabis or want to try to build cannabusinesses and become the nouveaux riches. See it’s the 1%, the people who are already rich, for the most part rich bastards born rich, the otherwise idle rich, who want to make sure the fix is in for them and who want to keep out the little guy, keep out the newbies, keep control, and keep anybody who’s not already rich from getting rich in the hopes that the cannabis consumers will behave like contented cows and let themselves be milked and knackered in return. Like if you want in at ArcView you have to be a qualified investor at least or you’re nothing at all. You got to be making $200k a year at least, or they won’t even acknowledge your existence, just try to get you to buy their reports and junk. You definitely need to legalize personal cultivation and use, and legalize seeds nationwide. Otherwise, how us po fokes gonna make some money for ourselves instead of working for somebody else, usually some rich white guy(s). Even running a small business and not getting nouveau riche but making it is better than working for somebody else.

    1. @TheOracle


      I am part of the 1% and find your view to be quite pessimistic. I respect your view. However, one thing you state is a factual error:

      An “accredited investor” or “sophisticated investor” is a designation the Security and Exchange Commission has created to allow certain businesses to issue securities (raise money) without all the red tape of large publicly traded companies. Because these businesses are raising money without the red tape designed to protect investors, the investors are limited to those who are believed to be able to understand what they are getting into and/or have the financial means to be able to sustain loss from the lighly regulated business.

      Btw- a very large majority of wealthy people become wealthy themselves, and most of them by years and years of disciplined hard work, significant personal sacrifice, learning personal finance principles, etc.

      Just like there are lots of incorrect views that have caused prohibition and deterred people from using cannabis for medicine, there are lots of inaccurate views that have caused people to give up on reaching their potential or from using the educational and other opportunities to improve thier lives.

      It is far easier in the shortrun to blame rather than to push past insecurities and inadequacies, to fill skill gaps, and to make sacrifices.

      I grew up very poor and with mild learning disabilities, but by working hard for over 15 years, I put myself through college (with scholarships), paid off my student loans, moved to a big city, am well paid but live like a college student, have learned how to invest, and Have tons of opportunities.

      I had to challenge my fears, work very hard, but now I have learned so much. I will not leave much money to my kids when I die, but I will continue to teach them basic principles that help them grow as people and help them be successful in many ways.

      I have met many people like me.

      1. You did not do it on your own. A Society, paid for by taxes and kept afloat on the backs of the underpaid and the overworked, provided you with the institutions and the security that allowed you to hustle your way to wealth.

      2. 100% of our taxes can’t even cover the interest on the debt. You have Bretton Woods to thank, for the global upper hand that makes your bubble $20 Trillion times so elastic.

      3. Good to hear from you!! Your post is very inspiring! Your participation here has made my day – and that’s got to be quite a grand compliment, since Hillary just got sweated out at FBI Headquarters today also.. Thank you!

      4. You’re not the 1% we despise. You made it with hard work. You’re not buying politicians but you probably take advantage of the lower tax bracket that isn’t available to us factory workers. You were once poor like me but we went separate ways. I just made it to middle class and very happy to be retired now. I was a high school drop out but saw too many people just putting in there time and worked to a decent position. It would have been easier going to college but I had a learning disability so that couldn’t happen. Now as a wealthy person do you vote Republican to protect your tax advantages? Just wondering…

  2. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is so bad almost anyone would be an improvement; except maybe Kevin Sabet…

    I think that Tim Canova would be a great person to have as the DNC Chairperson!

  3. Yes! I always feel so immediately rewarded for donating to NORML PAC! (And now Im not just talking about 2 day delivery on that grinder and container… But That was cool too..)
    Tim Canova has been an incredible breath of fresh marijuana bud to our movement. I just spent my lunch hour texting my younger brother about why Congressional votes are more important than the presidency. And I cant think of another Democrat in Congress that is currently standing in the way of more progressive marijuana policy than Washmoney Shultz.
    It’s not enough for her to manipulate delegates, or take money from private prison owners; she invests in a pharmaceutical company called Novo Nordisk whose biggest cash product is a pill for diabetes known to cause cancer. And marijuana is proven safe and effective nontoxic treatment for both marijuana and cancer! So she claims to be the “poorest in Congress” but with all her investments and money laundering she gets power and kickbacks through campaign contributions… Even when her own voters in Miami-Dade are telling her marijuana can cure their opium epidemic!
    Then Tim Canova comes along and delivers a speech like the one above. Im proud to contribute what I can and will continue to do so. Its so rewarding to participate Democratically by phone and credit card where it hurts prohibition the most. Better go wash your money Debbie; Tim’s about to pass 100,000 individual contributions; this race is on!

    1. Ha ha, marijuana may or may not be treatment for marijuana depending on your circumstances but what I MEANT to say was “marijuana is treatment for both diabetes and cancer.” Hence, the power hungry Washmoney machine is investing in state sanctioned murder.
      But before she can be prosecuted for that, it looks like she’s already getting sued by 100+ Sanders supporters for rigging elections.
      Ha ha!

  4. This is good news, and I’m all for giving DWS the boot. But I looked at Canova’s website and there’s nothing about reigning in the Fed, closing foreign military bases, or stabilizing the dollar by paying off our debt. I sent money to Beto O’Rourke because NORML suggested I should – and the debacle with him & John Lewis pretending that they’re slaves on a plantation because they can’t implement more facist gun restrictions really bothered me. The 1968 law that strictly prevents cannabis users from gun ownership should be a #1 target in our political works. What the heck IS a “progressive”, anyway?

  5. I wish him well but she is an incumbent and he doesn’t seem to have Fla roots. That matters.

  6. @TheOracle,
    I sympathize with your frustrations. Coming from a state without voter initiatives it’s gut-wrenching watching our state legislature get hijacked by special interests that are motivated by profit, not justice, hence the high stakes of getting into the medical marijuana business in states like Pennsylvania. Sure, tepidly entering the legalization of medical marijuana means heavy regulation to the point of quasi-prohibition, but prohibiting the smoke? Prohibiting Homegrow? Child custody? How does this really help the poor, the sick and the disproportionately incarcerated? These are amendments that we have to continue to fight for in order to improve the bills we get passed.

    @1% I agree with your criticism that we shouldn’t broadly blame “the rich,” a title from which we can easily take for granted that, despite all the disadvantages and obstacles moving out of poverty, (and there are many), we can never achieve the title of wealth until we can first imagine it… And that means imagining collective wealth like quality of life, cost of living or the right to grow and self medicate… not just a quantifiable silo full of gold that scrooge McDuck can somehow swim through. 😉 How do you define “wealth?”

    We need to be careful as activists not to talk over eachother or prioritize economic models and ideologies over simply getting the best marijuana legalization we can compromise with using anyone in our federal, state and local governments… and IMPROVE the laws later via amendments, or buying margarita machines for local law enforcement or most important, supporting individual donation candidates like Tim Canova (Who on our Independence Day has surpassed 100,000 individual contributions in 6 months, the most of any Congressional candidate in U.S. history…)

  7. Either we buy our Congressman and legalize marijuana or they become fundraisers for Big Pharma and private prisons. It’s our choice. The economics are merely representations of our choices. As democratic participants, our choice in consumption or individual support of a Congressional candidate has much more power than we give credit.

    Oh, and one last thing, @Rick;
    Alligators have roots in Florida too, but that doesn’t make them good Congressman. 🙂

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