Republican State House Candidate Called Out for Support of Marijuana Legalization [UPDATE]

click to enlarge Is this the face of reefer madness? - Mitch Richards campaign
Mitch Richards campaign
Is this the face of reefer madness?

Update: We just heard back from Chairman of the Boone County Republican Central Committee C. Bruce Cornett.

Meet Mitch Richards. He's the crazy young Republican candidate for the 47th House District in Columbia. He's pro-gun, he's pro-life, he thinks big government should butt out.

But he also has a slightly more surprising affiliation, one that retired Post-Dispatch columnist Jerry Berger says the Boone County Republicans just discovered.

"Official state paperwork shows that on June 14, 2011, Richards created a political committee called Show-Me Cannabis Regulation," Berger writes on his blog. "The group's website calls it 'an association of organizations and individuals who believe that cannabis prohibition is a failed policy.'"

Here's how Berger characterizes Richards's candidacy:

Missouri Republicans have learned their latest replacement nominee in House District 47 set up a political committee last year promoting the legalization of marijuana. Mitch Richards of Columbia was picked to run for the newly drawn legislative seat by a handful of Boone County Republican officials. The GOP was desperate because its first candidate suddenly quit the race. Two replacement nominees also bailed out. Richards, who arrived in Columbia from Montana about four years ago, became the fourth pick, apparently without a background check.

Berger also did a follow-up post about the issue, quoting some of the feedback he got on his initial post:

Some commenters insisted local Republican leaders knew about Richards' pro-pot background before he became their fourth choice to fill a vacancy for the House nomination in the new district. But another commenter stated: "State Republican leaders are making frantic calls today. They were unaware of any of Mitch Richards' pro-marijuana activities."

It's true -- Richards was the founding treasurer of Show-Me Cannabis. But was it really something he was keeping a secret?

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