Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich graced the stage of Seattle's Hempfest on Saturday, one of many public appearances the fiercely liberal congressman has made in Washington as of late in an effort to determine whether he will run for a congressional seat in the state in 2012.
Kucinich's longtime West Cleveland district is at risk of being lost due to redistricting, leading many to believe he will run for office elsewhere. Kucinich was one of many pro-legalization politicians to take the stage, including Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, state Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D-Seattle) and state Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland), who may wind up competing against Kucinich if he runs in 2012.
During his speed, Kucinich - who ran for the Democratic nomination for president in the 2004 and 2008 elections - compared the crowd's legalization efforts in the U.S. to the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, as well as to the plight of suffragettes and civil-rights activists.
This is how Gandhi's march to the sea cast off the British Empire. This is how America's suffragettes gained for women the right to vote. This is how Dr. Martin Luther King's March on Washington became a pivotal moment in the civil-rights history of this country, he said.
The congressman did not limit his sermon to hemp, also encouraging the crowd to fight for gay rights, universal healthcare and an end to U.S. military action in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
While Kucinich is a celebrity among the country's ultra-liberal voters, that may not be enough to earn him a seat far away from his home state of Ohio. Goodman, an attorney who has fought for marijuana legalization for years, has a large following in the state, The Seattle Times reports.
He [Kucinich] can do anything he wants and this movement will be 100 percent behind him - except run against Roger Goodman, Don. E. Wirtshafter, a longtime Hempfest activist, told the newspaper.