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California: LP Candidate Steve Collett Speaks Out on Immigration and Drug Policy

From a media release by the Collett campaign:

Libertarian Congressional candidate Steve Collett has focused his campaign on U.S. drug prohibition and immigration policies with America’s important neighbor and trading partner Mexico. He has released several statements on his website with titles such as, “Mexico Death Counter”, “Economic Prosperity and Immigration are not Zero Sum Games”, and “I am the End Drug Prohibition Candidate”.

Marijuana decriminalization has gained significant momentum. In 1976 a proposition for decriminalization of marijuana garnered only 34% of the vote and failed. In 2008 Proposition 5, which reduced simple possession of marijuana from a misdemeanor to an infraction failed to pass with 40% of the vote. Two years later, Proposition 19 raised the bar on decriminalization with 46% of the electorate. Shortly before the vote, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that basically ratified the marijuana section of the previously failed Proposition 5, by reducing simple possession to an infraction. It is speculated that the move was timed to take wind out of the sails of Prop 19.

“Marijuana will be decriminalized for adults in California in 2012,” Steve Collett said to a throng of enthusiastic supporters when he announced his candidacy. “I will go to Washington and fight for California’s right to self determination on decriminalization.”

Steve has also announced the formation of an educational organization to illustrate to American voters the harm he sees in our current drug policy. Mr. Collett says, “These deaths in Mexico are the result of U.S. drug policies, which empower gangs, terrorists and drug cartels with obscene profits, in which every battle won simply increases the price of drugs, and each arrest merely opens up a slot with more lucrative economic rewards to the next dealer.” Mr. Collett’s web site also features a real time “Death Counter” that shows the number of people killed in Mexico in what he contends is a bloodbath perpetrated by US Drug policy. The death counter struck 39,000 on April 15, 2011.

Mr. Collett says that immigration is good for the economy. “State and federal legislators often view legislative decisions as a zero sum game,” when in fact encouraging work visas and legal immigration brings prosperity.

Regarding what the country might look like under drug decriminalization and legal immigration, Steve Collett quotes the famous economist Milton Friedman saying:

“I see America with half the number of prisons, half the number of prisoners, ten thousand fewer homicides a year, inner cities in which there’s a chance for these poor people to live without being afraid for their lives, citizens who might be respectable who are now addicts not being subject to becoming criminals in order to get their drug, being able to get drugs for which they’re sure of the quality. You know, the same thing happened under prohibition of alcohol as is happening now.”

It is difficult to argue against the assertion that voters attitudes are changing rapidly on issues like marijuana decriminalization. A tougher question is, can a third party candidate tap into that supposed change before the other major parties assimilate the new generation’s views? Â With 16 people in the race with him, Steve Collett has likely got a lot to prove.


Media is available in a variety of sizes from 300—200 px web to 10”x15” print.

If you would like more information, to arrange an interview with Mr. Collett, or to join him on a precinct walk, please Contact Matthew “Boomer” Shannon at (909) 641-7675 or email Boomer at

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