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March 16, 2016 03:00 PM UTC

On radio, GOP U.S. Senate candidate flubs pot quiz and more

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  • by: Jason Salzman

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jack Graham, who’s the former Athletic Director at Colorado State University, appeared on KNUS 710-AM Saturday, spreading uncorrected falsehoods about marijuana and Islam.

During a segment on policy issues, KNUS host Craig Silverman asked Graham about Amendment 64–but he failed to correct Graham’s obviously incorrect answers.

Graham: I’m very very concerned about it. I don’t like the fact that the state of Colorado is standing out like a sore thumb, as functionally the only state in the country that’s legalized recreational marijuana. We have attracted lots of vagrants to our state. There are lots of crime issues associated with that. Marijuana is not a consequence-free drug. I’m concerned about it. At the same time, there is a grassroots movement to legalize marijuana across this country. I just don’t like the state of Colorado sticking out the way it’s sticking out.

In fact, pot is currently available for recreational use in the states of Washington and Oregon. Alaska and the District of Columbia have also legalized it, as well as some municipalities. More are expected to approve it in the coming years.

I also can’t find data supprting the view that pot attracts vagrants to Colorado. And while there are crime issues associated with pot, the crime rate has not increased.

Graham went on to say he wouldn’t join efforts to repeal Amendment 64, saying it’s “not a senatorial issue.”

This again, is incorrect. Colorado lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been trying to move legislation through Congress, allowing the marijuana industry to conduct banking operations without fear of federal prosecution. The U.S. Senate could vote on bills such as this.

On Islam, Graham said 15 to 25 percent of the world’s 1.7 billion people who practice Islam are have been “radicalized” and do “awful, horrible things.”

This is inaccurate. In fact, less than one percent of the world’s Muslims are at risk of becoming radicalized, according to one 2015 intelligence estimate–and the key phrase there is “at risk.” They aren’t all doing awful things. A tiny minority.

On abortion, Graham said the government shouldn’t fund “morning-after pills.” He did not say whether he’d want the government to supply such pills to women who’ve been raped.

After Silverman told Graham he’d heard Graham was self-funding his campaign, Graham said, “I’m not self-funding, Craig. I deposited $1 million into my account when we started this process, because I wanted to make sure we were adequately funded. And $1 million is not enough money to run this campaign, and part of this process is raising more money. And we are in that process right now, looking for small, individual donations from people who know us and respect us and want me to be in the U.S. Senate. So it’s a combination—”

Graham, who hopes to take on Democrat Michael Bennet, told Silverman that his anger over the U.S. nuclear deal with Iran drove him to enter the race.

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