These five female candidates are brave enough to step into the spotlight on a pro-marijuana platform to run for various political offices. As a result, they have earned an endorsement from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), as well as the title of “Top Five Female Pro-Marijuana Political Candidates” from Sabrina Fendrick of National NORML.
1.) Connie Johnson
Connie Johnson, of Oklahoma, has earned the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate this year, and will be on the ballot next month. She currently represents district 48 in the Oklahoma State Senate, a position she has held since 2005. She is officially the first female from Oklahoma to ever be nominated for a U.S. Senate seat. Johnson is leading the Legalize OK movement, a grassroots organization on a mission to “improve the health and well-being of the people of Oklahoma and eliminate the terrors of the War on Marijuana.” Legalize OK has helped over 10,000 residents of Oklahoma register to vote during the campaign.
2.) Rebecca Kaplan
Rebecca Kaplan is running for the office of Mayor of Oakland, CA. She currently holds the position of Oakland City Council member, at large. Kaplan was responsible for finding a solution to the city’s budget deficiency in 2009. She proposed Measure F, which raised taxes on medical marijuana businesses to make up the money. She is also a public supporter of marijuana policy reform. She ran for Mayor of Oakland in 2010, but was not elected. However, this year, according to a poll conducted by the Jobs and Housing Coalition, Kaplan is in the lead with 61 %(±4.9%) of voter support.
3.) Bonnie Watson Coleman
Bonnie Watson Coleman has earned the Democratic Party nomination for the 12th district Congressional seat in New Jersey. She currently holds position as a New Jersey State Assembly woman from the 15th legislative district. If she wins the seat in Congress in November, she will be the first female representing the state of New Jersey, in Congress, in thirty-two years. Her voting history includes voting yes to the development of medical marijuana policy in the state in 2010, as well as in support of decriminalizing personal use marijuana possession in 2012.
4.) Shenna Bellows
Shenna Bellows has earned Maine’s Democratic Party nomination for the United States Senate seat. Bellows is no stranger to serving the people of the United States, as she held the position of Executive Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine. Her campaign website states that she was the very first “US Senate candidate this cycle to support marijuana legalization,” and a large part of her political platform is looking at “drug abuse as a public health issue rather than a criminal one.”
5.) Diane Russel-Natera
Diane Russel-Natera currently represents district 120 in the Maine House of Representatives as a Democrat, and has been doing so for six years. She also sits on several committees, and campaigns with the Maine Approach Coalition, an organization supporting the legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana for adult use. Three different times since representing the state of Maine, Natera has front lined reform attempts to legalize marijuana in her state.
NORML SMOKE THE VOTE CAMPAIGN: http://norml.org/about/smoke-the-vote
photo credit: jkc916, Facebook