In the city of North Pole, Alaska, an unlikely ally for marijuana legalization has emerged: Santa Claus. According to KTUU, the jolly old saint has been speaking out against Proposition 7, a local ballot initiative passed in October that banned the commercial sale of marijuana in the city.
Formerly known as Thomas O’Connor before he changed his name in 2005, Claus works as a child advocate and has served on the North Pole city council for nearly a year. As a medical marijuana patient, Claus uses the substance to help ease his cancer symptoms.
Speaking with KTUU, Claus expressed his disappointment in the measure’s passage and said that initiative’s proponents were not “embracing the spirit of love.” Until the ban can be lifted, Santa Claus will be forced to travel to Fairbanks to get medical marijuana or grow his own.
Despite the federal government’s strong stance against marijuana, Claus allayed the fears of millions of marijuana users by assuring them that they “will not be getting coal in their stocking unless they’ve done some other thing that might be considered egregious.”