Nov. 4, 2007
By Ken Krayeske • 7:45 AM UCT
I think this photo of Cliff is from a newspaper in Connecticut. i found it in my files from last fall's gubernatorial campaign, and to me, it illustrates Cliff Thornton's intensity.
Cliff Thornton, Green Party candidate for Connecticut Governor in 2006, has just received word from the nation's leading drug policy reform organization, the Drug Policy Alliance, that he has won a prestigious honor.
In the effort of full disclosure, I ran Cliff's campaign for governor. But no matter. I'm proud as hell of Cliff and he deserves a free trip to New Orleans for the DPA conference December 8.
Cliff, a tireless spirit in the fight to legalize, medicalize and decriminalize, will receive the Robert C. Randall Award for Achievement in the Field of Citizen Action from the Drug Policy Alliance.
"This award honors citizens who make democracy work in the difficult area of drug law and policy reform," according to a letter Cliff received from DPA head Ethan Nadelmann.
Former winners of the Randall award include DrugSense, a nationwide network of volunteer drug policy reform activists; Allan Clear, executive director of the Harm Reduction Coalition; and Elvy Musikka, medical marijuana patient and advocate, and one of only eight recipients of medical marijuana through the federal marijuana program.
This photo to me is why Cliff won the award - during the gubernatorial campaign, we put him in front of thousands of people, and they listened to the message that the war on drugs is a loser. Here he is addressing the entire student body of the Brunswick School in Greenwich, CT.
But I have to be honest and say that Cliff has done so much more than fight the unwinnable electoral fight. He started Efficacy, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to ending the war on drugs, back in the early 1990s, and has spent the last 15 years of his life in this battle.
I first met him in 1996, and I am proud to call him a friend. So Cliff, congratulations. You deserve it. And make sure you see Kermit Ruffins wail on his trumpet when you're down in Nawlins.