Democratic congressional candidate for California, Andy Caffrey, recently made an unusual campaign promise to smoke marijuana on the steps of U.S. Capitol Hill if he is elected.
"I'm willing to get arrested to fight for our rights, to defend our rights as Californians to consume medicine. If I have to do it, I'll smoke a joint on the Capitol steps and get arrested to draw national attention to what's going on," Caffrey told Politico.
The 54-year-old, who hopes to replace retiring Rep. Lynn Woolsey in California's second district, has been using medicinal marijuana for approximately seven years to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Caffrey says that his PTSD stems from various traumatic events including his sister's suicide and being homeless for a long period, and while he confirms that he is fighting to legalize pot he insists that he is "not a crusader that everyone should get high," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
"I'm fighting for our right to consume marijuana at will without any criminal penalties. Just don't say I'm advocating for children to use it," he told the SF Chronicle.
Caffrey, who lives alone in an apartment in Garberville, Humboldt County, has previously smoked marijuana publicly on his campaign trail but is sure to carry a physician's note in case he is questioned by law enforcement.
He once lit up at an Occupy event in Mendocino and recently puffed away outside of the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, a Fairfax-based dispensary that was closed by federal officials in December.
Caffrey, who is up against at least 11 other candidates in the congressional race, says that for him marijuana is vital to his well being.
"I have a lot of talents...I do Internet work, I do video, I'm making my own television commercials for my congressional campaign...sometimes I just have so many things going on and I get very anxious that I'm not as focused as I should be. So it's more of a focusing agent, I guess you can say, and you can call it sort of an anti-depressant," he said.