Alabama Democratic Governor Candidate Wants To Decriminalize Marijuana And Take The Lottery

An Enterprise businessman who considers himself a conservative Democrat has said he will work to decriminalize marijuana and invest more money in Alabama classrooms with a state lottery if the voters chose him as their next governor.

Chad “Chig” Martin, 53, qualified to run for the Democratic nomination in the May 24 primary. Martin and Yolanda Flowers of Birmingham are so far the two candidates to qualify with the Democratic Party. Qualifying ends on January 28.

Martin grew up in Wiregrass, where he operates Thunder Industrial, a repair and maintenance parts company, Honeysuckle Hemp, which sells CBD products, and a mobile home park that his parents started over 50 years ago. year. Martin played college football and recorded country music songs.

Martin said a conversation with a friend of his daughter’s prompted him to run for governor in 2018. The young woman taught at a public school and explained to Martin that he paid for school supplies from his own pocket.

“If our teachers don’t have the basic school supplies they need, how are they supposed to do their jobs? Martin said. “And these are the people to whom we entrust the lives of our children with long stretches throughout the year.”

Martin has launched a writing campaign on Facebook for this 2018 election and believes he is off to a good start in developing a base of supporters. But as this year’s election draws near, he decided he couldn’t win without choosing a party.

“I am an independent at heart and always will be,” said Martin. “And the Democratic Party looked like an opportunity that suited me perfectly. The Republican Party was a party full of millionaires usually with a lot of money. And when I saw this opportunity with the Democratic Party, I aligned myself with a lot of values. And it looked like it would be my best chance to face Kay Ivey here in Alabama state. And that was the goal. “

Martin said one of his first priorities as governor would be convincing the legislature to approve a constitutional amendment to allow voters to approve a lottery to fund education. Alabama lawmakers introduce lottery bills every year, but none have been passed since 1999.

“There are a couple of things I want to do right off the bat,” said Martin. “And the first is to get these lawmakers to move once and for all and get the lotto bill passed. We’ve been talking about it for years and it’s still dying.

“I want to be a governor who works with all parties. I want to work on both sides of the aisles. And I want to pass the lotto bill. And I’m going to work hard and stay on top until it’s passed. And obviously, this will give our cash strapped education system a much needed relief. “

Last year, Ivey backed a proposal for voters to allow statewide lottery, casinos and gambling regulations, but this was not passed by the ‘Legislative Assembly.

Martin said he believes marijuana is a safer drug than alcohol and that he would like to see it legalized and taxed to boost Alabama’s economy and tax revenues. He’s skeptical whether Alabama’s medical marijuana industry, approved by legislature last year, will be open to companies like his company Honeysuckle Hemp to compete fairly when dispensary licenses are issued. . A medical cannabis commission is still working on setting up this program. The products are not expected to be available until next year.

“I want to open up the free trade of cannabis in the state of Alabama without regulation, and not just allow certain groups or companies to participate,” said Martin.

He said cannabis could be taxed at a rate high enough to increase funding for education, mental health care and infrastructure.

Martin said he believes decriminalizing marijuana will help the justice system and reduce overcrowding in prisons and prisons.

“Alcohol is much more dangerous than cannabis,” Martin said. “People can buy whatever they want freely and get drunk as much as they want now. And they are much more dangerous than people who use cannabis.

Martin’s official name is Charles Glenn Martin. Martin said his sister started calling him Chad when he was a baby. Chig, short for chigger, was a nickname given by his teammates when Martin first started playing sports.

He played football for the Enterprise High School Wildcats and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on a football scholarship.

“I was a tight end at Enterprise High School, but when I got to Chattanooga I liked that buffet line a bit too much and moved on to the attacking tackle,” said Martin.

Martin graduated in criminal justice and returned to Alabama. He worked in sales until Thunder Industrial was founded. His other company, Honeysuckle Hemp, is three years old.

Martin said he had never played or sang a guitar before he was 41, but he has since toured with a band, “Chad Chig Martin and The Alabama Outlaws,” and released music videos, including ” Dime a Dozen ”and“ Lower Alabama, ”which can be found on YouTube.

He has also designed and sold fedoras and cowboy hats online.

Martin said he would use his entrepreneurial skills to recruit employers for the state.

“I don’t want to just start a team of industry recruiters,” Martin said. “But I want to be the leader of the team.”

He said he would make it a priority to fight pollution and protect Alabama’s natural resources.

“My main mission, and this is what my entire campaign comes down to, I want to improve the quality of life for Alabamians and their families,” said Martin. “Every decision I make will always be on my mind.”

Besides Martin and Flowers, Dothan activist Christopher Countryman has announced he is running for the Democratic nomination but has yet to qualify, according to the party’s website.

Besides Ivey, who is running for her second full term, other Republicans who have qualified or announced their candidacy for governor include Lindy Blanchard, businesswoman and former Slovenian ambassador to the Trump administration, Lew Burdette, president. from King’s Home, an organization that helps abused women and children, toll bridge developer Tim James, Pastor Dean Odle, Springville Mayor Dave Thomas and former Morgan County Commissioner Stacey Lee George.


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