Randy Heine running for Pinellas County Sheriff on marijuana legalization platform
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05/20/11 Janelle Irwin
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After the 2012 elections Pinellas County residents will have a new Sheriff in town. In a field of other candidates, Randy Heine announced his bid for Pinellas County Sheriff this morning at the Supervisor of Elections office in Largo.

Randy Heine wants to change the face of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office: by supporting and proposing policies that aim to legalize marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use. It’s a stance he’s always had, but this morning he made official his plans to run for Sheriff and bring his pro-pot beliefs right along with him.

This needs to be righted. This is a wrong that needs to be righted. I support any legislation, or I will propose, to legalize and tax and control cannabis. I already have people who are interested in donating. So far I have commitments for over $1,000,000. [Reporter: From?] From the medical-marijuana industry.

Heine’s position on the legalization of marijuana doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Heine owns and operates a business called Rockin’ Cards and Gifts in Pinellas Park. It’s a head shop. Granted, the pipes and smoking accessories sold in his stores are legally intended for use with tobacco, but there is an assumption that buyers might have different uses in mind. And smoking accessories aren’t the only controversial items Heine is selling. He also sells Lazy Cakes, a brownie containing 8mg of melatonin that are said to create a state of extreme relaxation. So far it is a completely legal item, but some states have already placed bans on sales of the item and others like it. While Heine is openly advocating for legalization of marijuana, he isn’t staking his entire campaign on that alone.

First thing I would do is cut my pay to $99,000 per year, and everybody under me will make less. The excess pay will go to the lowest people on the department as a raise.

Heine will run as a Democrat in the 2012 election and so far he is unopposed. If Heine remains unopposed, he will likely go up against current Chief Deputy Robert Gualtieri or former Sheriff Everett Rice. For now, Heine is placing his bets on Gualtieri as his most likely opponent.

Now, former Sheriff Rice, in my opinion, will probably not win, because he's 60 years old, and I hope people realize we don't want these old people telling us how to live anymore.

Heine hinted at some potential campaign strategies claiming that too many publicly elected officials are corrupt, a problem he plans to fix.

And that's part of our problem. That's why America's broken, and it needs to be fixed, and that's why I'm here, is to fix a broken America. People have no confidence in their government, so somebody has to rise up and fix this, and I feel like I'm the man.

Heine isn’t the only long shot to seek this position. Radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge and community activist Greg Pound have also run though both were unsuccessful in their bids.

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