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Thursday, August 28, 2003 – The leading candidates for governor in California’s hotly contested recall race were given surveys and briefing books on medical marijuana today. Americans for Safe Access, the nation’s leading organization of patients, doctors and advocates, is seeking to find out how many other candidates will join Arnold Schwarzenegger and Arianna Huffington in publicly defending California’s Compassionate Use Act.
With high-profile trials such as Ed Rosenthal’s and a number of other raids and prosecutions marking an escalation of the federal war against medical marijuana providers and patients, candidates’ willingness to stand up for the rights of Californians may become a defining issue in the recall race.
Governor Gray Davis has been reluctant to support efforts by state legislators to implement the medical marijuana law voters passed by a large margin in 1996. But with 80% of the nation now supporting legal access for people who need it, more candidates are recognizing that showing compassion for suffering citizens is not just the right thing to do but smart political strategy.
Questions on Medical Marijuana Put to California’s Gubernatorial Candidates by ASA
- Do you support the right of Californian patients with doctors’ recommendations to obtain and use marijuana as medicine?
- If yes, what will you do as governor to demonstrate your support?
- What would be your response as governor in the event of federal raids and/or prosecutions of medical marijuana patients or providers acting legally under California law?
- There is currently a pending bill, SB 420, which would set up a voluntary patient registry and instructs the Department of Health Services to determine personal use amounts for medical marijuana patients. Is this a bill you would sign? Why or why not?
- What else will the governor’s office be doing to implement the Compassionate Use Act under your administration?
Americans for Safe Access is a national coalition of patients, doctors and advocates. With 5,500 members nationwide, ASA is the leading organization devoted to medical marijuana.