Pubdate: Mon, 29 Jun 2009
Source: Tuscaloosa News, The (AL)
Copyright: 2009 The Associated Press
Author: Phillip Rawls, The Associated Press


MONTGOMERY - Legalizing marijuana turned out to be the top single
vote-getter when U.S Rep. Artur Davis used his gubernatorial campaign
Web site to solicit ideas for moving Alabama forward.

It didn't rate that high with the candidate, however, and he didn't
even mention it when thanking contributors after the Web vote was
taken down Friday.

The marijuana idea was posted by Loretta Nall of Alexander City, an
independent candidate for governor in 2006 and a longtime advocate of
decriminalizing marijuana. She was incensed that he didn't acknowledge
the idea even though it came in first.

Campaign spokeswoman Anna Ruth Williams said Friday the campaign spent
a week seeking ideas from Alabama citizens, asking them to post an
idea on the campaign site or vote for one that had already been
posted. She said nothing was censored, and the idea titled 'end
marijuana prohibition' was the top single vote-getter when the
solicitation ended Friday.

That includes letting people discuss ideas that the congressman
doesn't agree with, she said.

When the campaign took the ideas off the campaign Web site, it posted
a video of Davis thanking more than 2,300 people for voting for 80
ideas. Davis, who opposes legalizing marijuana, mentioned several of
the ideas in his video, but not marijuana.

Nall was delighted Friday that her idea drew 118 votes, but she was
outraged when Davis took down the ideas after hers won and did not
mention her idea in his video.

'He says everybody is invited to the table, but apparently that's not
the case,' she said.

More traditional political topics, like creating a state lottery or
removing the state sales tax on groceries, trailed Nall's idea in
votes. Several people posted different ideas for rewriting Alabama's
lengthy constitution. If all those postings had been combined into
one, constitutional revision would have had 38 more votes than Nall's
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