Over the weekend, radio host and marijuana activist Mike Crawford (also known as Mike Cann) challenged Governor-elect Charlie Baker to a contest to demonstrate that marijuana is safer than alcohol. On his WEMF radio show The Young Jurks, Crawford said he could smoke one joint for every beer the politician could drink. Crawford said he was challenging Baker over his recent comments to The Republican that he was against legalizing marijuana.
Crawford said that if Baker was able to drink more than he could smoke, he would donate $1,000 to charitable organizations of Baker's choice. Crawford said that if he won, Baker would have to donate $1,000 to MassCann/NORML and the Massachusetts Patients Advocacy Alliance.
Crawford said that if Baker accepts his challenge, he will hold the contest outside the L Street Tavern in Boston, where Baker went to drink beer in celebration after winning the election. "We'll do it on a Sunday. We'll see who makes it to work on Monday," he said.
Crawford said he expects to win if Baker accepts the challenge and will celebrate with a single beer afterward.
Crawford said the idea for the contest was inspired by David Boyer, a marijuana activist in Maine who made a similar challenge to a police chief who claimed the idea that marijuana is safer than alcohol is “bogus.”
Baker said he has smoked marijuana before during one of the gubernatorial debates, but has said a number of times that he is against legalizing it.
In an interview with the State House News Service, Baker was specifically asked if he thought “marijuana should be legal and regulated similar to alcohol.”
“No,” he responded. “Having heard from law enforcement, social service and education professionals, I oppose full legalization of marijuana because of the adverse impact it could have on children and families.”
More recently, he told The Republican “I’m going to oppose [legalization] and I’m going to oppose that vigorously... with a lot of help from a lot of other people in the addiction community,” adding that he thought using marijuana was a “significant first step” toward getting addicted to other drugs.
On Saturday's episode of The Young Jurks, Crawford and his co-host Frank Capone mocked Baker for his opposition to marijuana legalization.
"He chooses to go on the side of reefer madness," said Capone. "At the end of the day, is it maybe that it's this sort of failed drug policy that pushes kids into the kind of world where those other drugs actually exist?"
"How about the fact that I can't just go and get some weed? I have to go to a drug dealer that could possibly sell pills, or sell this, or sell anything else that I could be exposed to," Capone said.
"Or they could rip you off or they could rob you," Crawford added.
The two also mocked Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who recently said he hoped to team up with Charlie Baker to stop marijuana from being legalized.
"I hate to tell you, Mayor Marty Walsh, you're not gonna be defeating anything. This is gonna be the third campaign that you are defeated," said Crawford, referring to Walsh's opposition to the medical marijuana and marijuana decriminalization laws that voters passed in recent years. "You're a loser on this. You're a multi-year loser."
Massachusetts is one of a number of states expected to have marijuana legalization on the ballot in 2016 and recent polls suggest that the majority of voters support it. Furthermore, several non-binding questions about marijuana legalization all passed during the recent election.
The movement to legalize marijuana has scored a number of victories during the past few years. Four states and Washington, DC have passed laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use, a number which will almost certainly increase in 2016.
Frank Capone confirmed that Crawford has reached out directly to Charlie Baker's campaign to ask if the politician will accept his challenge.
The Bay State Examiner has also contacted Baker's campaign to ask if he plans to accept, but we have not heard back yet.