Virginia will elect its next governor tomorrow, November 7. Please take a minute to examine each candidate's position on marijuana policy before you head to the polls. While every candidate favors some form of reduced penalty for simple possession, they have significant differences in opinion regarding marijuana penalties in the commonwealth.
- Democrat Ralph Northam supports decriminalization of marijuana and legalizing the medical use of marijuana.
- Republican Ed Gillespie opposes decriminalizing marijuana but favors a three-strikes approach for simple possession. The first two violations would not carry criminal charges, but a third would. He is open to "appropriate, limited, tightly regulated use of marijuana for medicinal purposes."
- Libertarian Cliff Hyra supports decriminalization, the establishment of a medical marijuana program, and allowing responsible adults ages 21 and older to consume marijuana.
This election is important, as the governor holds considerable sway over the direction of Virginia's policies. Please visit your local polling station between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. tomorrow, November 7, if you are a Virginia resident. If you don't know where your polling station is, click here to find out. Check your voter registration here, and be sure to bring a photo ID with you when you head to the polling station. Make your voice heard tomorrow!
UPDATE: Dave Mustaine has clarified his position, saying that he likes Santorum but does not officially "endorse" him.
I was shocked to learn that Dave Mustaine, the singer of Megadeth, endorsed Rick Santorum for president.
If you're not a fan of heavy metal, you might not know that Megadeth is one of the most popular metal bands of all time -- and they're certainly one of the most political bands in any music genre. Dave Mustaine actually covered the presidential race for MTV News in 1996.
As one of two MPP staffers who regularly listens to heavy metal, I can say with confidence that Dave Mustaine should have endorsed Ron Paul -- if Mustaine wanted to be at all representative of his fans.
Disciples of heavy metal are disproportionately libertarians: The anti-authority music lyrics go hand-in-hand with the anti-authoritarian policy positions of libertarians like Ron Paul.
Also, fans of heavy metal are more likely to be marijuana users than the average citizen. (If you don't believe me, go to an Ozzy Osbourne concert and breathe deeply.) So when Mustaine endorses Rick Santorum, Mustaine is basically saying that it is just fine with him if literally millions of his fans continue to face arrest ... for doing no harm to others.
On principal, Mustaine should have endorsed Ron Paul. And, even if only for selfish reasons, Mustaine should not have endorsed Rick Santorum, who seeks to incarcerate a large portion of the people who pay Mustaine's salary.