The GOP Presidential Hopefuls on Medical Marijuana
November 29, 2011
It seems like every time you turn on the TV lately, there's another debate among the GOP Presidential Candidate hopefuls where they end up discussing important issues from foreign policy to the economy to immigration. One issue, however, that appears to have gottten lost in the shuffle is that of medical marijuana. In fact, the only time the subject seems to have been addressed during a debate was the most recent GOP debate on November 22 when Congressman Ron Paul showed his support for medical marijuana, arguing that medical marijuana laws should not be set by the federal government:
"You can at least let sick people have marijuana because it's helpful. But the compassionate conservatives say, well we can't do this, we're going to put people who are sick and dying with cancer and are being helped with marijuana if they have multiple sclerosis -- the federal government is going in there and overriding state laws and putting people like that in prison."
However, Congressman Paul has been the only candidate so far to address the topic of medical marijuana during one of the many debates. So the question remains - where do the rest of the candidates stand on the issue?
Former Governor Gary Johnson strongly supports medical marijuana and has publicly condemned the Department of Justice for its raids on medical marijuana dispensaries and patients. And former Governor Jon Huntsman, Governor Rick Perry, and Herman Cain all believe the issue should be left up to the states.
Then there's former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrinch, who as a senator from Georgia in 1981 co-introduced the first bill that would have allowed marijuana to be used for therapeutic purposes. Speaker Gingrich went on record this weekend calling medical marijuana "a joke." Former Governor Mitt Romney comes down on this side of the issue as well, calling marijuana an "entry drug for people trying to get kids hooked on drugs" and has said that medical marijuana is unnecessary since there are "synthetic forms of marijuana that are available for people who need it for prescription." And despite admitting to using marijuana while he was in college, former Senator Rick Santorum opposes medical marijuana as well, saying what he did in college was "wrong" and accusing Governor Perry of being "soft" on marijuana because of his position supporting states' rights.
At this time, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has not yet publicly taken a position on medical marijuana.
As we are all well aware, though, positions are subject to change at any time based on poll numbers and public response so stay tuned!