Medical marijuana and the Presidential hopefuls

Not exactly as important to many of us as the US economy, but “Granite Staters” has gone through and assigned grades to each of the Presidential hopefuls (Democrat and Republican) based on their stance toward medicinal marijuana. Of the 17 candidates profiled, 5 received a grade of “A+”, meaning they are very receptive to allowing sick individuals to use marijuana for pain relief or other medical purposes:

Republicans – Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo

Democrats – Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, and Bill Richardson

All of the Democrats are in the B-A range, while the Republicans (with the exception of the 2 above) all receive an “F”. While I certainly agree that those 5 candidates deserve an A+, I don’t think many of the other Democrats are worthy of their A or B rating. The candidates who support medical marijuana should do so under the premise that it is a state, rather than federal issue – that is, the federal government should get their noses out of other people’s business, and let the states decide how they plan to regulate who should qualify for medical marijuana, how much people should be allowed to purchase, etc. This is essentially what the “A+” candidates state – says Rep. Ron Paul:

“I would like people who are dying with cancer and AIDS to have access to whatever they want and make their own choices, especially under a state law.”

The problem in my opinion is that several of the Democrats who receive high ratings would not legalize marijuana use for terminally ill, rather they state that the federal prosecution of medical marijuana users is not a priority. Says Sen. Hillary Clinton (who received an “A”):

“With respect to medical marijuana, you know I think that we have a lot of rhetoric and the federal government has been very intent upon trying to prevent states from being able to offer that as an option for people who are in pain. I think we should be doing medical research on this. We’ve ought to find what are the elements that claim to be existing in marijuana that might help people who are suffering from cancer, nausea-related treatments. We ought to find that out. I don’t think we should decriminalize it, but we ought to do research into what, if any, medical benefits it has.”

At least Sens. Barack Obama and John Edwards say they will end the federal raids – Clinton specifically says it shouldn’t be decriminalized. How the heck does that view warrant an “A”? She would let people suffer pain and nausea until proper research is conducted. I’m all for exploratory research on why marijuana seems to help some people, but the problem with any study is that it will be difficult to get conclusions that apply to every patient. Most terminally ill people might not respond to marijuana, so a broad study might show that it is not effective. But a small percentage of people may greatly benefit from its use – why should they be denied the opportunity to see if it works for them? By far the best (and by best, I mean worst) comment comes courtesy of Sen. John McCain:

“I believe that marijuana is a gateway drug. That is my view and that’s the view of the federal drug czar and other experts . . . I do not support the use of marijuana for medical purposes. “

Seriously McCain…”gateway drug”? He sounds like a bad 1980’s anti-drug commercial. A quick poll of our population shows that nearly 1/3 have tried marijuana at least once in their lives. Do you think 1/3 of our population has gone on to use and abuse other drugs like heroin and cocaine? Me neither. I suggest that the Senator peruse the website before making any more false assumptions regarding drug use.

And just for fun…

~ Lily



  1. December 5, 2007 at 2:16 am

    […] america , policy , society Tags: democrats, medicinal marijuana, republicans, ron paul, weed Lily at Side Effects My Vary points out that only five presidential candidates have been awarded an A+ (courtesy of Granite […]

  2. writerpro25 said,

    July 28, 2010 at 8:23 am

    It is a very exciting time to be a marijuana advocate right now, on the brink of legalization.

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