Democratic ag commissioner candidate promotes medical marijuana, GMO labeling in first ad

10/22/2015 08:14 PM

Democratic candidate for agriculture commissioner Jean-Marie Lawson Spann has released her first ad of the campaign with a focus on a slightly more liberal agenda for the office.

Lawson Spann’s ad touts her support for the legalization of medical marijuana “under the strict supervision of a doctor to ease the suffering of cancer patients,” according to the ad.

The 30-spot also touts Lawson Spann’s demand that genetic modified foods be labeled.

“Like you, she wants to know what is in the food she is feeding her family,” a narrator says in the spot.

The ad, which the campaign says is being run on broadcast television stations around the state, can be viewed here.

Tres Watson, the campaign manager for Republican nominee Ryan Quarles, said the ad pandered to Lawson Spann’s liberal base.

“While Ryan Quarles is focused on the future of Agriculture in Kentucky, our opponent continues to pander to her liberal base and ignore the issues important to Kentucky’s ag community,” Watson said in a statement.

Lawson Spann and Quarles debated the issue of medical marijuana and GMO labeling in a meet the candidate forum before the Kentucky Farm Bureau in early October.

In that meeting Quarles said legalizing medical marijuana would imperil the state’s young industrial hemp industry and Kentucky’s status as a “clean atmosphere” for hemp growers.

“If you talk to hemp producers, the ones who are already investing in our state, they do not want to be co-mingled with its cousin, and in fact folks in Colorado right now who are wanting to invest in Kentucky are moving from Colorado to Kentucky because it’s a clean atmosphere and they’re not co-mingled with its cousin,” Quarles said at the forum. “So it’s important that if we do support an alternative crop, we listen to the industry needs.”

In the same forum Quarles and Lawson Spann also differed on whether food products should be labeled as contained GMOs.

Lawson Spann said she would like to see GMO products labeled on grocery shelves, but Quarles said the measure would confuse consumers.


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