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Begich talks Syria, marijuana legalization, attack ads

By KTVA CBS 11 News 10:46 AM September 29, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

You might have seen him in a few radio or TV commercials — U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is running for re-election.

In an interview on KTVA 11’s Daybreak, Begich first talked about President Barack Obama’s approach in Syria with terrorist groups.

“I have opposed the idea of arming the rebels in Syria,” Begich said. “We just don’t know who they are. A year ago they were ISIS, today, who knows?”

Begich did say he supports the recent airstrikes, but thinks countries in the Middle East should play a larger role.

“They need to be the ones fighting the war,” he said. “It’s their neighborhood in essence.”

Coming back to Alaska, Begich also weighed in on the November ballot measures.

The U.S. senator says he supports the minimum wage increase and thinks Anchorage’s hotly contested labor law — AO37 — should be repealed.

Regarding Ballot Measure 2, which is the initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Alaska, Begich expressed worries about the proposition passing.

“As a parent, I am concerned [about] this piece of legislation and that it’s on the ballot. I recognize we have medical marijuana here — individual, personal use — but I don’t support the current way this marijuana legislation is drafted.”

If the voters support Ballot Measure 2, however, Begich says he will do what he can in Washington, D.C., to protect Alaska’s rights.

“If the voters decide to legalize marijuana, then I have an obligation to make sure the federal government doesn’t interfere.”

Begich also touched on attack ads and public debates.

“I’m hopeful that we have more of these engaging debates, because that’s where Alaskans hear and see what the candidates are about.”

Daybreak extended an invitation to talk with U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan, but has not heard back. 

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