How Medical Marijuana Might Impact State Races This Year

January 2010
Romer, ChrisMiguel Lopez, a member of Mile High NORML, was expected to announce his run for governor yesterday afternoon during a medical marijuana rally. "I will be running as a Democrat," Lopez, who graduated from North High School and attended Metro State, told Westword, noting his campaign slogan: "A vote you can smoke." Of course, Lopez, who supports "common-sense regulation" of medical marijuana and eventual decriminalization overall, would have to beat Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper in a primary. It's not clear from reports available currently whether Lopez has announced, but as Jessica and Robert Corry, two Denver attorneys whose clients include medical marijuana patients, write in The Huffington Post, candidates like Lopez could corner a growing political contingent of marijuana enthusiasts. Lopez, they say, could shift gears and instead challenge state Senator Chris Romer (pictured), a Denver Democrat exploring ways to better regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. "While he's unlikely to win, he could play the role of a Nader-esque spoiler to front runners, including Romer," the Corrys say. About 200 advocates attended the rally, which began as Governor Bill Ritter finished delivering his State of the State speech. "Many of the speakers at the rally blasted legislative proposals to strongly regulate or effectively outlaw the state's growing number of retail medical-marijuana dispensaries," The Denver Post points out. Westword has photos of the event.