Marksberry calls for legalizing marijuana as part of his U.S. Senate platform

09/13/2013 01:09 PM

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Ed Marksberry said he believes it’s time the United States legalize and tax marijuana.

The move is part of what Marksberry is calling a “new era” of thinking. He said that relates to not only marijuana, but to same sex marriage, health insurance and coal.

“The dynamics have changed. People are figuring it out,” Marksberry said. “If you were born in 1950 or before you can’t act like it’s 1950 or before. It’s 2013. It’s time.”

Marksberry, an Owensboro home builder, said he sees marijuana as a way to expand the tax base in Kentucky. He also said legalization would help reduce crime, both at home and abroad, as well as aid in health problems.

“It will help us to get crime off the streets, empty our prisons or jail systems and also help Mexico, our neighbor with the drug cartels down there,” Marksberry said.

As he did in 2010 when he ran for U.S. Congress against incumbent U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie Marskberry again has made health care affordability his top issue in the Senate race.

“When I ran for Congress I was for it even before it came out not knowing how it was going to affect me and millions of others,” Marksberry said of the Affordable Care Act.

Marksberry also said he advocates phasing out the use of coal for electricity because of the amount of carbon dioxide coal burning power plants expel.

That appears to be a different position than what he took in his 2010 congressional race against Republican Brett Guthrie.

From the Aug. 19, 2010, Bowling Green Daily News:

Markesberry said that while he agrees with the Democrats on most points, he wouldn’t be afraid to go against the party if he thought it would help Kentucky. An example he cited was the recently failed climate bill, which died in July in teh Senate because of a lack of support. The divided positions on the American Clean Energy and Security Act fell basically along partisan lines, with Democrats in favor and Republicans against. Marksberry said he would have voted against the legislation because it would have hurt Kentucky’s coal industry. There needed to be some kind of incentive, such as clean energy jobs, before he would vote for an energy and climate bill, Marksberry said.

Here’s what Marksberry said:

Watch the Friday edition of Pure Politics when Marksberry will share his frustrations with the Democratic Party and the other candidates who are not talking about the issues.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm joined cn|2 in December 2011 as a reporter for Pure Politics. Throughout his career, Nick has covered several big political stories up close, including interviewing President Barack Obama on the campaign trail back in 2008. Nick says he loves being at the forefront of Kentucky politics and working with the brightest journalists in the commonwealth. Follow Nick on Twitter @Nick_Storm. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or



  • Medcannabis1 wrote on September 13, 2013 07:39 PM :

    Smart politican!
    Cannabis prohibition is the new progressive litmus no public servant who is being paid with our tax dollars should be allowed to support the needless suffering of the sick and dying and the continued support of the American Slave Trade with the For-Profit Prison Industry.
    Safe access to cannabis therapy helps the sick and dying.. ending cannabis prohibition reduces the social costs to state law enforcement budgest..removes organized criminal enterprises and provides a new economic drivers for the local economies. Watch this video of the dying who speak about the need for reasonable cannabis laws and safe access to medical cannabis therapy..

  • Len wrote on September 14, 2013 08:05 AM :

    Regarding Marksberry: “The move is part of what Marksberry is calling a “new era” of thinking. He said that relates to not only marijuana, but to same sex marriage, health insurance and coal.

    “The dynamics have changed. People are figuring it out,” Marksberry said. “If you were born in 1950 or before you can’t act like it’s 1950 or before. It’s 2013. It’s time.”

    So, let’s remove all the restrainst against evil…let “prostitution, all sexual deviant behavior and sex crimes against children” and other forms of evil be legalize, to use Marksberry logic “The dynamics have changed. People are figuring it out,” Marksberry said. “If you were born in 1950 or before you can’t act like it’s 1950 or before. It’s 2013. It’s time.”

    So everything evil that this Country once opposed and represented in opposing, is now being overturned because we elect people like this into office and then wonder why this nation is going under and changing. It’s not because “it’s 2013” or becuase “it’s time.” It’s because we have spineless candidates who don’t oppose evil and those who elect them…“The way for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.”

  • Msgt Thomas Vance wrote on September 14, 2013 09:36 AM :

    At one time Kentucky had a lucrative cannabis market providing hemp fiber and medicines for retail sale. Kentuckians were fooled into voting this industry out of existence by a newspaper propaganda campaign that made cannabis out to be something different and foreign by calling it by it’s Mexican name, marijuana. The reason cannabis and the cannabis industry was suddenly vilified and driven out of the market place and into the black market had more to do with business interests eliminating the competition, than the idea of protecting Americans from what has turned out to be a relatively harmless and mostly beneficial plant. Even the American Medical Association spoke against making cannabis illegal but the fix was in and we have had 75 years of the failed policy of prohibition.
    President Nixon , against the recommendation of his own commission on drugs, used it to prove he was tough on crime by declaring the War On Drugs, and to harass war protesters. President Reagan said it was the number one enemy of America. H. W. Bush, Clinton, Carter and now Obama have all allowed this waste of 51 billion a year accomplishing nothing and inflicting misery and fear on the citizens to continue. Admittedly Carter said the law should be reformed and Obama has recently said it’s a debate worth having but nothing has been done at the Federal level, leaving it up to Congress and the State legislatures to change policy. Ironically our last 3 Presidents have used cannabis at one time or another.
    Kentucky Legislators have a unique opportunity to reestablish the cannabis industry in Kentucky and position Kentucky to claim a huge portion of what is estimated to be a multibillion dollar industry. Our legislators should join forces and go for outright legalization across the board. The billions in economic activity to be realized from this action would lift the lives and improve the conditions of all our citizens. For our legislators to allow the failed policy of cannabis prohibition to continue and cause Kentucky’s businesses and farmers to miss out on this opportunity is unthinkable!

  • Thomas F. Moffett wrote on September 14, 2013 04:15 PM :

    I agree. I’m ready. The time is right. Tom

  • Bruce Layne wrote on September 15, 2013 09:00 PM :

    It’s a shame that Gatewood didn’t live long enough to see his work come to fruition.

    Hey, here’s a novel idea. Let’s legalize cannabis and NOT tax it.

    As if government would ever go for that.

    At the rate this country is going, we’ll re-legalize cannabis and then tax it heavily so the government can provide it for “free” to patients under Obamacare.

  • sam pierce wrote on September 16, 2013 10:35 AM :

    Marijuana is just as bad as alcohol. Many impaired drivers causing accidents are as high on marijuana or other drugs as they are on alcohol. I believe impaired drivers who cause the death of other drivers should be given the death penalty. Every time we drive we have to worry about some drugged-up or drunk driver killing us. Also, I remember the story of the druggy in Florida who tried to chew the face off a poor homeless man. The only drug in the druggy’s system was marijuana. Marijuana is a dangerous drug that should not be legalized. For a non-drinker, non-smoker, non-drug-user such as myself, life would be so much better if there were no smokers, drinkers, or druggies. I avoid them like the plague, but unfortunately they are everywhere.

  • MaryJane wrote on September 18, 2013 06:23 PM :

    To Len, wow, you completely took what Marksberry is saying and twisted it into something horrible and evil. That is not the case. He’s not saying legalize prostituation, or child molesting!! He is telling it like it is! It IS time to let go of marijuana prohibition, it IS time to move on from coal to something cleaner, it IS time to let people marry whom ever they love!! You, Len, are being ridiculous by including all these sex crimes in what Marksberry said, he said nothing of the sort! You are confused if you really think that’s what he is saying. I would absolutely vote for this guy! I think what he has to say is great and more politicians need to get on board with his way of thinking. Things have changed a lot since 1950 Len, you have to admit that. The people want marijuana legalized, they want cleaner energy, they want equal rights for gays (which by the way are people too!), they want better and affordable healthcare!! I say, Marksberry for president, 2016!!!

  • MaryJane wrote on September 18, 2013 06:56 PM :

    To Sam, you are just absolutely wrong! Cannabis is not even close to being as bad as alcohol or any other drug out there!! Most people that are on marijuana either, A. Just don’t drive, or B. They smoke so much that they are used to functioning daily tasks while on it and drive just like someone that is completely sober. I can’t stand when people include cannabis users in the broad word “druggies”, it is sadly over used and so untrue! Oh and the whole Florida “zombie” case, and there are more cases like that one, those people were either on synthetic marijuana (which is NOT marijuana) or bath salts, which is some new drug that I don’t know much about. There is not one person out there that has only smoked pot and proceeded to hallucinate so bad that they take off all their clothes and try eating people’s faces off!! Sorry, just doesn’t happen. Why are you even on this site that promotes cannabis if you are so against it? Cannabis is GOOD for many reasons, so get over yourself, that , as well as Len’s comments were two of the dumbest I’ve ever read.

  • Dustin wrote on September 18, 2013 11:02 PM :

    I’m sorry but anyone that thinks marijuana is more or just as dangerous as alcohol is high on something themselves. Not only is it
    completly natural, studies have confirmed it is not harmful for you. It does nothing to no one. If you don’t like something, then don’t do it. Just like anything. People are going to keep smoking whether its legal or not thats never going to change and nothings ever going to stop it. Putting people in jail for it is just a waste of space that could be reserved for a rapist or murderer, and its ruining peoples lives with charges on record.

  • S E wrote on September 19, 2013 09:51 AM :

    Len, those things are your views. Same sex marriage is wrong in your eyes. Not everyones. This issue has nothing to do with assaulting children. What kind of lame persons concludes that from this article?

    Whoever thinks that marijuana is “as bad as alcohol” clearly has limited experience with both.

    Do some research, unless you just trust what the Fed Govt says as the gospel. How do you feel about the Fed Govts Obamacare/Libya Embassy/Syria/Gun control policies?

    My aunt has been fighting cancer for 3 months. I guess shes a “druggie” also.

    If some of you had your way, there would still be slaves and woman would not vote.

    Just because youre uncomfortable with something doesnt mean it is wrong or immoral.

    Has this war on marijuana made our country safer? more wealthy? more educated?

    The answer is NO.

    Part of growing is change. Its like time. You cant stop it.
    Be the change we need.

  • sam pierce wrote on September 19, 2013 11:01 AM :

    The marijuana proponents do not sway my views. I have been around the smell of it twice. When I was in graduate school at Auburn University I went to a party with a friend. The smell was horrible. I left after five minutes with a terrible headache, which I found out was caused because some were smoking marijuana. I never forgot that horrible smell. Then when I was a county commissioner, we went to Montgomery one year on County Day at the legislature and were trying to talk to members of our legislative delegation. One of them left his office door halfway open. That horrible smell was there again and I was nauseated after five seconds. Cigarette smoke also makes me sick. Those of us who are already allergic to cigarette smoke do not look forward to the legalization of marijuana because the air will be so polluted we will have to wear gas masks.

  • Jeremiah wrote on September 19, 2013 03:03 PM :

    Well sam, luckily for you there are these handy new inventions called personal vaporizers. A vaporizer burns cannabis (as well a nicotine juice, smokers! Google “vamo” or “personal vaporizer” that “Blu” crap in gas stations is worthless) at 60 degrees Celsius, producing a vapor akin to what you find from humidifiers. Joints and cigarettes can burn at over 1000 degrees Celsius, which is what produces tar in the lungs, and is generally agreed to not be a healthy thing. It’s also what gives you your headaches.

    Look, you said it yourself, you’ve been around the substance twice in your life. You don’t have the experience to form an informed opinion. I do not appreciate control-freaks telling me what I can do in my spare time as a consenting, responsible adult. Cannabis is most definitely not as intoxicating as alcohol, and even then I do not agree with using it and then operating a motor vehicle. But to deny a person the right to use a substance for recreational purposes that has been proven to be less harmful than alcohol, as well as violence suppressing (as opposed to alcohol’s violence inducing) is the exact same kind of backwards thinking that produces Westboro Baptist, dinosaur denying, control-freaks similar in nature to the Taliban.

    Don’t be a terrorist, sam.

  • sam pierce wrote on September 20, 2013 12:04 PM :

    I am not a terrorist, Jeremiah. To me the terrorists are those people who blow cigarette smoke around me in public places. These militant smokers have no regard for the right of others to breathe clean air. If marijuana is legalized I hope it will only be allowed in private homes and not in public where those of us who have an aversion to its smell are not terrorized. I visited an assisted living place Wednesday which clearly had a sign on the front door saying it was a smoke-free place. A woman was puffing away standing by the front door. I pointed out the sign from a distance, but she made the comment that she was outside. I told her that I could not come to the door because of my aversion to cigarette smoke. I walked clear around the building to the back door and fortunately no one was smoking there. I went in and told one of the staff about the woman who was still puffing away by the front entrance. They informed her to move away from the front door, but she moved only about twenty feet and kept puffing away. Smokers, whether you are smoking tobacco or something else, please be considerate of those who do not share your addiction. There should be a law as there is in many places that a person may not smoke closer than twenty feet from the front door.

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