On the morning of Oct. 15, I spoke with Sen. Jorge Luis Garcia over the phone. Little did I know that my first interview with him would possibly be the last time he would talk to a reporter before passing away later that day.
I was writing a story about proposed regulations on medical marijuana dispensaries, which would become legal in Arizona if voters approve Proposition 203. And I wanted to talk to him about SB1222, which was a bill he sponsored this past legislative session that would have placed a sales tax on medical marijuana.
I wasn’t even sure if he would be willing to do the interview considering that it involved a bill that ultimately never passed, but I was able to get in touch with the Senate minority leader after making just one phone call, and he was more than willing to answer all of my questions.
I’m an intern at the Arizona Capitol Times and a journalism student, so I didn’t know what to expect during my first interview with Garcia, but I remember thinking that he sounded tired. I didn’t think much of it at the time, considering legislators have busy schedules and are routinely interviewed by the press to the point where it must become mundane.
Even though he may not have been feeling well he was still willing to be interviewed about a bill that he had probably been asked about a hundred times before, which proves to me that he truly was very dedicated to public service.
I was just trying to gather some background information to help with my story, but it’s now one of the interviews that stands out when I look back on the others I have conducted during my career in journalism thus far.
Thanks again for your time, Senator.
- Alexander MacLean