COURIER-JOURNAL DOES IT AGAIN…

Candidates run again and again

Losing can’t endperennial efforts

By Joseph Gerth • jgerth@courier-journal.com • December 25, 2009

Gatewood Galbraith is already campaigning in the 2011 governor’s race.

For Galbraith — a Lexington lawyer and marijuana advocate — running for office has been a way of life since his first unsuccessful race for state agriculture commissioner in 1983.

“I’m a perennial candidate because Kentucky’s got perennial problems,” Galbraith likes to say on the campaign trail.

In fact, Kentucky’s history is replete with candidates who run often with little chance of winning.

And occasionally they’ve had an impact on issues and elections, in Kentucky and elsewhere, said Dale Emmons, a Democratic political consultant.

He pointed out, for example, that four-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader almost certainly cost Democrat Al Gore the state of Florida, and thus the White House, in 2000.

And Galbraith, he noted, has been a strong voice for growing and using marijuana for medical purposes, an issue that has gained traction in a few other states, though not so far in Kentucky.

“I have talked with God and this is my mission,” said Galbraith, who is running his ninth race for public office, never getting much above 15 percent of the vote.

He said he has never considered giving up on his political career because he believes that he has made progress in every one of his campaigns.

In addition to Galbraith, there was the late Thurman Jerome Hamlin, who spent 42 years running for public office — from mayor of Jackson, Mich., to Kentucky governor to U.S. senator.

Hamlin ran at least 20 times and once sued The Courier-Journal — unsuccessfully — because it repeatedly reported that the GOP was looking for a gubernatorial candidate in 1983, despite the fact that he had already filed.

‘Perennial’ Klein

Tommy Klein, who ran at least 24 times over 33 years for everything from Louisville mayor to president of the United States, once put his name on the ballot as Tommy “Perennial” Klein and boasted that he had taught generations of political reporters how to spell the word.

The late Jim Brown, a taxi-driving lawyer, ran for the U.S. Senate, Jefferson County attorney and at least five judgeships. To reach him, you had to leave messages at an ice cream shop near Schnitzelburg, where he hung out.

 

MY RESPONSE VIA LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A MESSAGE FROM:

Sheree M. Krider

2708 Maxon Drive

Louisville, KY 40220

"WhenGovernmentFailsUs"

RE: “Candidates Run Again and Again”

Dear Editor:
Your recent reference to Medical Marijuana in the editorial “Candidates run again and again” you stated:  “And Galbraith, he noted, has been a strong voice for growing and using Marijuana for medical purposes, an issue that has gained traction in a few other states, though not so far in Kentucky”.  

I must inform you that you are entirely wrong in the comment you made.

First of all, the following States currently have legislation allowing Medical Marijuana. Alaska | California | Colorado | Hawaii | Maine | Maryland | Michigan | Montana | Nevada | New Mexico | Oregon | Rhode Island | Vermont | Washington.

Secondly, Washington D.C. on December 19th, proposed a Bill to tax and regulate Marijuana, and a number of other States have proposed legislation currently being introduced or is pending.  There are also other States that are proposing the regulation of Marijuana. Last month the American Medical Association  recommended that "the Schedule I status of marijuana be reviewed with the goal of facilitating clinical research and development of Cannabis based medicines, and alternate delivery methods."

This subject is quickly gaining National attention. Marijuana and Hemp have always been one of Kentucky’s biggest cash crops.  There is little doubt that Cannabis, in particularly Medical Cannabis has been proven to effectively “treat many illnesses” and “serve as an aid to lessen many symptoms” of disease including pain relief.

Kentucky can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to the facts and pretend what is happening all around them is not happening here too. We have ignored the facts far too long and ignored the will of the people. There are many people in Kentucky who DO want Industrial Hemp and Medical Marijuana, and the State Government continues to ignore them.

Look at our numbers compared to every state around us.  Kentucky is dying a slow death. Pollution and environmental concerns are causing a health care crisis. Lack of jobs is taking the “funds” right out of our economy, not only for the people without employment, but for the State tax system as well. We can only look at the ignorance; the corruption and self centered elected leaders as the reason.  

This article is proof of how often we get it wrong, obviously no one bothered to look up the facts before publishing the story.

China and Canada have a multibillion dollar Hemp industry, while Kentucky remains in a deficit of over a billion dollars.

Famers throughout Kentucky desperately need revitalization and welcome potential new crops as sources of medicine, fuel, and revenue to stimulate our failing economy. Hemp is first on their list. (Of note: SB131, to allow Industrial Hemp Farming in Kentucky was never passed and now BR 139 – Senator Joey Pendleton (09/02/09) will be up for vote in 2010. It should be one of the first things that our elected officials have on their agenda.

Gatewood Galbraith has researched and studied the Hemp/Cannabis issue for over twenty years and is the only person who has the foresight and long term thinking to address this issue with qualified consideration in the state of Kentucky.

Gatewood Galbraith got it right first.  He was not ahead of his time; the state of Kentucky was way behind the time to put this God given plant to use.

Now it is time that Kentucky has to look at the facts.  The voters of Kentucky will remember this when they vote for their next Governor even if the Courier Journal cannot and will not!
Thank You,

Sheree M. Krider

References:

VoteHemp.org

NORML.org

MPP.org

Kentucky.gov

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