Pot Advocate Favors Soda Ban

Do you enjoy Big Gulps from 7-11 that hold more than your stomach or “supersized” sodas at McDonald’s?

If a few candidates for the D.C. Council have their way, you’ll have to run across the border into Maryland or across the river into Virginia to quench your giant soft drink thirst, according to a report by Washington City Paper.

At a Democratic debate for the at-large council seat Thursday evening, four of the seven candidates hoping to represent the city said they would support enacting a ban on large sodas, similar to the ban enacted by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg last year.

Michael Brown, the former independent at-large councilmember was among the contingent who would favor a soda ban. Others include former Washington City Paper writer Elissa Silverman, former Clinton Administration appointee Matthew Frumin, and marijuana legalization advocate Paul Zukerberg.

Zukerberg, a marijuana advocacy lawyer, has defended more than 1,000 marijuana cases throughout the course of his 25-year career. According to the Washington Post, Zukerberg is running on a platform to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in the city. Fighting to allow more access to an illegal substance in the courts and possibly on city council while advocating to restrict the ability to purchase soda based on size may seem contradictory to some.

Still, if elected Zukerberg, or any of the three other pro-soda ban candidates, would find themselves with company on the city council. At-large Councilmembers Vincent Orange and David Grosso both stated their support for a ban on large sodas at a debate in October 2012. Councilmember Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) also stated her support for a ban in October.

Current councilmember and candidate Anita Bonds (D) and Statehood Green Party candidate Perry Redd also said they would support of tax on large sodas instead of an outright ban. Republican Pat Mara was the only candidate who said he does not support a ban or a tax.

The special election is scheduled to take place on April 23 for the seat left vacated by Phil Mendelson’s election as council chairman in November.

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