Obama Remains Strongest Advocate of Medicinal Marijuana Among Major Candidates

Earlier in the race, when there were multiple candidates, I’ve reviewed their positions on medicinal marijuana. Now that we are down to two (or three if you live in Hillary Fantasy Land) this remains an issue which differentiates the candidates. I’ve previously noted the differences between Obama’s views and Clinton’s views. The San Francisco Chronicle looks at the issue, showing that Obama has been the most consistent supporter of ending the federal drug raids in states where it is legal under state law but remains illegal under federal law:

As the candidates prepare for a May 20 primary in Oregon, one of 12 states with a California-style law, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois has become an increasingly firm advocate of ending federal intervention and letting states make their own rules when it comes to medical marijuana.

His Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, is less explicit, recently softening a pledge she made early in the campaign to halt federal raids in states with medical marijuana laws. But she has expressed none of the hostility that marked the response of her husband’s administration to California’s initiative, Proposition 215.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee-in-waiting, has gone back and forth on the issue – promising a medical marijuana patient at one campaign stop that seriously ill patients would never face arrest under a McCain administration, but ultimately endorsing the Bush administration’s policy of federal raids and prosecutions.

After reviewing the opposition of Bill Clinton and George Bush to medicinal marijuana, and noting the positions of second tier candidates, they return to Obama’s views:

At a November appearance in Audubon, Iowa, Obama recalled that his mother had died of cancer and said he saw no difference between doctor-prescribed morphine and marijuana as pain relievers. He said he would be open to allowing medical use of marijuana, if scientists and doctors concluded it was effective, but only under “strict guidelines,” because he was “concerned about folks just kind of growing their own and saying it’s for medicinal purposes.”

Obama went a step further in an interview in March with the Mail Tribune newspaper in Medford, Ore. While still expressing qualms about patients growing their own supply or getting it from “mom-and-pop stores,” he said it is “entirely appropriate” for a state to legalize the medical use of marijuana, “with the same controls as other drugs prescribed by doctors.”

In response to recent questions from The Chronicle about medical marijuana, Obama’s campaign – the only one of the three contenders to reply – endorsed a hands-off federal policy.

“Voters and legislators in the states – from California to Nevada to Maine – have decided to provide their residents suffering from chronic diseases and serious illnesses like AIDS and cancer with medical marijuana to relieve their pain and suffering,” said campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt.

“Obama supports the rights of states and local governments to make this choice – though he believes medical marijuana should be subject to (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) regulation like other drugs,” LaBolt said. He said the FDA should consider how marijuana is regulated under federal law, while leaving states free to chart their own course.

Besides Obama, there have also been supporters of medicinal marijuana by minor candidates such as Bill Richardson and Ron Paul.

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    Jason Partain says:

    hello my name is jason partain . i am a 25 year old male who is a paraplegic . i suffer from a bone disease called osteomyelitis , osteopenia and osteoprosis and none of the pain killers the dr’s give me work really well to kill my pain . i will take them how the dr told me to take them . and the next day i wake up with my lower back killing me because of the harsh effects pain killers cause on your kidneys and liver . marijuana has no bad effects the next day . you wake up feeling rested and full of energy and ready to start the day . theres other ways of consuming marijuana other than smoking it . it can be eaten , it can be smoked , it can be made into a tea and drank . my point by writing this is , medical marijuana helps me more than the pain killers the dr’s give me . i have to worry about being prosecuted just for wanting to live my life as comfortable and pain free as possible . i don’t think it should be too much to ask to be able to live your life pain free. i want to know who was the first person to be put in charge of another person’s pain controll … and whip their ass . because its bullshit normal hard working american’s have to suffer in pain but thousands of others don’t do anything and still benifiet from their states laws on medical marijuana . i want ILLINOIS to be come a state that supports medical marijuana . it should be a law that patients for whom need the substance should be able to get it fairly easy . without having to worry about going to jail in order to get a moments worth of peace. because you honestly have no idea what it is to live my life . my toes feel like they are on fire constantly . like someone is sticking thousands and thousands of hot needles into my toes . then my legs will start to spasm jumping uncontrollably . when they do that it feels like i’m being shocked by a stun gun over and over again … i get about 3 jolts of what i describe as a electrical feeling pain that spiderwebs its way up my legs . which the pain is usually so excrusiating that it makes me tensen up my entire body for the duration of the pain . so by the time i go through 2 hrs of that my entire body is just limp and i don’t have the strength to hardly move . but if i smoked 2 joints of medical marijuana it shortens it by over half . it’ll only last for about 20 to 45 minutes if that . pain killers wear off to fast and they leave you with the bad feeling on your kidneys and liver … due to the damage they cause if you take so much of it . anyway i vote for illinois to pass a law so its people can live a life thats worth living instead of always having pain in the back of their minds .

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