Austin candidate poised to make history in run for Texas House of Representatives
Ludlow could very well be the first Libertarian ever elected to the Texas House of Representatives.
He’s running a strong campaign, has more than 30 volunteers, is fundraising well, and presents a diverse array of positions which are well suited for the Austin-based district he’s running in.
He’s a 16-year resident of Austin, holding a mathematics degree from the University of Texas. He is a small business owner, a community leader, and a published author. He also operates a weekly radio podcast.
Having recently received a major $10,000 donation, Ludlow seems to be doing everything needed in order to run a successful campaign. His team has erected three billboards around town, they’ve knocked on over 10,000 doors, attend events, and have regular campaign strategy meetings. There’s also a heavy focus on social media engagement.
Some of his main issues include ending capital punishment, restraining government intrusions on people’s privacy, encouraging whistle-blowing on illegal government activity, supporting gay marriage, and upholding gun rights. These are just a part of the issues he is campaigning on.
Ludlow also wants to end the war on drugs, and Texas Cannabis Report had an opportunity to ask him some questions regarding his views and stances on marijuana.
First up was hemp. He states, “I absolutely support the legalization of hemp. I do not support placing any unique taxes or restrictions on the growing or selling of hemp, hemp products, or hemp-related industries.”
Turning next to marijuana penalty reductions and legalization, Ludlow stated that he supports penalty reductions, however he would prefer that there be full legalization for all adults. He added, “while I do not believe that any restrictions or taxes should be placed upon the adult use of this plant, I would be willing to accept the recent Colorado legislation as a step in the right direction.”
He responded strongly in support of medically consuming cannabis, saying “it is an absolute travesty that any government would attempt to impose restrictions on a substance that has been medically proven time and again to treat a myriad of problems without any significant side effects. Medical marijuana, at an absolute minimum, should be legalized in the State of Texas immediately.”
Asked about his position on an affirmative defense for medical marijuana patients in court, he replied “yes, I support affirmative medical defenses. I do not support placing any penalties on marijuana and thus this becomes a moot point. However, and speaking within the law, states that allow medical marijuana should not be able to pursue charges of any kind against medical marijuana users regardless of whether the individual can produce state-issued identification cards or not. The right to treat oneself should never be infringed upon.”
Currently, those who go to trial in Texas for possession of marijuana cannot tell the jury that they consume it for medicinal purposes.
Releasing non-violent marijuana offenders from prison is a big priority for Ludlow as well.
“I have stated this position time and again and spoke extensively about it at Texas NORML. People should not be in cages for non-violent drug offense – ever – period” he responded. “Furthermore, all people who have been convicted of non-violent drug offenses should be immediately removed from prison. I would further add that such people should be restituted by the state for unjust and inhumane imprisonment.”
Ludlow also strongly supports the right of people to grow cannabis at home.
“I support the right to grow marijuana at home for any purpose desired, be it medical or recreational,” he declared. “Much like my position on the legalization of marijuana, I do not believe that any restrictions should be placed on growing marijuana at home. That stated, I would be willing to accept the recent Colorado legislation as a step in the right direction (this legislation sets a limit to the quantity of plants that can be grown at any one time).”
Squaring off against 19-year incumbent Dawnna Dukes, who received 35,560 votes in the 2012 election, Ludlow is organizing everyone he can, even reaching out to the Hispanic community with billboards and campaign materials written in Spanish.
District 46 encompasses east Austin, Manor, and parts of Pflugerville. Click here for a map of the district.
“It’s time we stop letting career politicians dictate the direction of individual freedom.”
By: Stephen Carter