Pubdate: Wed, 02 Jul 2003
Source: Daily Independent, The (KY)
Copyright: 2003 The Daily Independent, Inc.
Author: Bruce Schreiner /Associated Press Writer
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Treatment)


LOUISVILLE - Perennial candidate Gatewood Galbraith said Tuesday he will 
begin collecting signatures to try to get his name on the ballot as an 
independent candidate for state attorney general.

Galbraith said in an interview that his priorities would be cracking down 
on public corruption and curbing illegal drug use.

Galbraith gained notoriety early in his political career for his support of 
legalizing marijuana. He said Tuesday that he supports permitting medical 
marijuana use, but said he would not use the attorney general's office as a 
"bully pulpit" to press the issue.

"I'm going to enforce the laws as they stand on the books," he said.

Galbraith informed the state Registry of Election Finance that he intends 
to begin raising and spending money for his bid to become Kentucky's top 
law enforcement official.

To win a spot on the general-election ballot, Galbraith must collect 
signatures from 5,000 registered voters in Kentucky by Aug. 12.

If he reaches the ballot, Galbraith would challenge Democrat Greg Stumbo of 
Prestonsburg and Republican Jack Wood of Louisville.

Galbraith has made three unsuccessful runs for governor, twice as a 
Democrat and once under the banner of the Reform Party. He received 15 
percent of the vote in the 1999 election as the Reform Party candidate.

He also lost two bids for Congress, most recently in 2002.

Galbraith said he thought the timing was right to run for attorney general. 
He said that Wood - a onetime district court judge in Monroe County - has 
generated only "lukewarm support" among Republicans. He said that Stumbo, 
the powerful majority leader of the Kentucky House, would be a 
"continuation of the Patton legacy" - a reference to Gov. Paul Patton, who 
has been tainted by scandal.

Galbraith said that as attorney general he would prosecute corruption at 
"every level."

"Corruption has kept this state poor, it's removed our ability to face the 
chronic, serious problems we face as a state," he said.

Galbraith said he would ask pharmaceutical companies to contribute money 
for drug treatment programs that would cater, among others, to people 
abusing prescription medicines. He said that Kentucky has become burdened 
by "rampant illegal drug use," and he mentioned methamphetamine and crack 
cocaine as the main scourges.

Galbraith, of Lexington, has been a lawyer for 23 years, specializing in 
criminal defense and personal injury cases.
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