Medical Marijuana
Pros and Cons
Video exploring critical thinking and how it leads to great citizen involvement

Candidates (as of Mar. 12, 2004)

I. Current Democratic & Republican Candidates
  1. Bush, George W.
  2. Kerry, John
II. Current "Third Party" Candidates
  1. Cobb, David - Green Party
  2. Nader, Ralph - Independent Candidate
  3. Nolan, Gary - Libertarian Party
III. Former Democratic Candidates
  1. Braun, Carol Mosley
  2. Clark, Wesley
  3. Dean, Howard
  1. Edwards, John
  2. Gephardt, Richard
  3. Graham, Bob
  1. Kucinich, Dennis
  2. Lieberman, Joseph
  3. Sharpton, Al

I. Current 2004 U.S. Presidential Candidates:

Candidate / Party
 
Statements
POSITION
1a. Bush, George W.
U.S. President
(R-TX)
"The Bush administration has arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned medical marijuana patients and providers at an alarming rate. Administration officials have aggressively campaigned against local and state proposals to protect medical marijuana patients."
Aug. 10, 2003 Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana
Con
1b. "...each state can choose that [medical marijuana] decision as they so choose."
Oct. 20, 1999 George W. Bush, as reported in the Dallas Morning News
Unclear

Candidate / Party
Statements
POSITION
2a. Kerry, John
U.S. Senator
(D-MA)
"At a campaign stop in Manchester yesterday, Democratic Presidential hopeful John Kerry told an audience of college students he opposes federal prosecutions in medical marijuana cases in states that have legalized the practice, pledging to reverse Bush administration policy on the issue.

More broadly, he said he wanted to wait for the completion of a study to see what other alternatives might be available to medical marijuana before deciding whether to legalize it in all states."
Jan. 9, 2004 Associated Press

Pro
2b. U.S. Senator "Kerry said he would stop the [DEA] raids entirely."
9/24/03 Marijuana Policy Project
Pro
2c. Initially said he favored federal legislation to "allow people with cancer, AIDS, and other serious illnesses to have medical marijuana with their doctors' approval." Later retreated from that stance, "saying he wants to rely on a scientific review before he makes any decisions about protecting patients."
Aug. 10, 2003 Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana
Unclear
2d. Stated on C-SPAN on Aug. 6, 2003, "My personal disposition is open to the study underway analyzing what the science is. I want to get that scientific review" before making any decisions. He then indicated that he would "put a moratorium on the raids" pending the review. When asked what "study" he was referring to, he responded, "I am trying to find out. I don't know."
Aug. 6, 2003 Marijuana Policy Project
Unclear


II. "Third Party" 2004 U.S. Presidential Candidates:

Candidate / Party
 
Statements
 
POSITION
1. Cobb, David
Texas attorney, serves on "citizen's groups dedicated to contesting and challenging the illegitimate corporate usurpation of our Constitution and our government."
"Although the Green Party national platform opposes the 'harassment or prosecution of anyone involved in any aspect of medicinal marijuana,' Cobb did not indicate that he would 'allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes' on Project Vote Smart's National Political Awareness Test (NPAT)."
Mar. 11, 2004 National Org. Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML)
Unclear


Candidate / Party
 
Statements
 
POSITION
2. Nader, Ralph
Consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. From Connecticut.
"Nader has not taken a public position regarding the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes as a 2004 Presidential candidate. However, Nader previously ran for President in 2000 as a Green Party candidate, which endorses the use of medicinal marijuana as part of its national platform."
Mar. 11, 2004 National Org. Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML)
Unclear


Candidate / Party
 
Statements
 
POSITION
3. Nolan, Gary
Host of two nationally-syndicated radio shows. Former small businessman in Cleveland, Ohio.
"Nolan is on record supporting the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. In response to Project Vote Smart's National Political Awareness Test (NPAT), Nolan said that he would 'allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.'"
Mar. 11, 2004 National Org. Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML)
Pro


III. Former 2004 U.S. Presidential Candidates:

Candidate / Party
 
Statements
 
POSITION
1. Braun, Carol Moseley
Former U.S. Senator
(D-IL)

Officially dropped out of race on 1/15/04
"Former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun quit the Democratic presidential race Thursday and endorsed Howard Dean as the best choice to "renew our country and restore our privacy, our liberty and our economic security."
Jan. 15, 2004 Associated Press

"In a 1994 letter to a constituent, she suggested that marijuana should be 'decriminalized.' During her Senate term, Moseley Braun did not take any action to protect medical marijuana patients and neither voted on nor cosponsored legislation specifically addressing medical marijuana.
Aug. 10, 2003 Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana
Unclear


Candidate / Party
 
Statements
 
POSITION
2a. Clark, Wesley
Retired General
U.S. Army

Officially dropped out of race on Feb. 11, 2004
"Retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark dropped out of the Democratic presidential race Wednesday after third-place finishes in two key Southern primaries. Clark announced his departure just before 3:30 p.m. ET Wednesday in his hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas. He was joined by his family and a room filled with supporters."
Feb. 11, 2004 CNN

"Clark said he doesn't condone widespread use of marijuana but would consider allowing it for pain relief. 'We need to look at that and make some allowances one way or another,' the candidate said of so-called medicinal marijuana usage."
Oct. 6, 2003 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Unclear
2b. When asked "if he would arrest ill people who used medical marijuana," he replied, "The answer is no."
Sep. 30, 2003 The Concord Monitor
Pro


Candidate / Party
 
Statements
 
POSITION
3a. Dean, Howard
Former Governor
(D-VT)

Officially dropped out of race on Feb. 18, 2004
"After failing to win a single state in the Democratic primaries and caucuses, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean today pulled the plug on his once seemingly unstoppable presidential campaign. 'I am no longer actively pursuing the presidency,' Dean announced."
Feb. 18, 2004 CNN

"Answering a question about medical marijuana, Dean said 'I'll give you the bad news first, which isn't really bad news and that is that I don't like legislators and political staff going around scientific inquiries. The hallmark of this administration is that, if they have a theory and a fact and the fact contradicts the theory, they throw out the fact. ... All I ask about marijuana is that we make sure it works before we do it. I will, as president, order the FDA and the NIH to do the studies and review the studies that have already been done, in a one-year period, and when they give us the studies, we'll then approve whatever they recommend. I'll tell you what I think the position that they will recommend will be: that you use medical marijuana for cancer and HIV patients, but they will not OK it for things like glaucoma, because there are other drugs and the benefits do not outweigh the risks, and that is how drugs ought to be to be evaluated.'"
Dec. 10, 2003 Windy City Times and Calif. NORML
Unclear
3b. "Dean agreed to impose a moratorium on the DEA's raids on medical marijuana patients and providers in the states that have reduced or eliminated criminal penalties for the medical use of marijuana."
Sep. 24, 2003 Marijuana Policy Project
Pro
3c. "Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who is a physician, is the only candidate who has actually killed a medical marijuana bill. Because of Dean's actions, Vermonters with AIDS, cancer and other terrible illnesses still face jail under state law for using medical marijuana."
Aug. 10, 2003 Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana
Con
3d. During an 8/4/03 interview on CNN's Larry King Live, "Howard Dean answered a question about medical marijuana with his standard 'we need a study' waffle..."
Aug. 13, 2003 Marijuana Policy Project
Unclear
3e. "[Dean] cannot stand state initiatives that seek to legalize medical marijuana. 'I hate the idea of legislators and politicians practicing medicine,' he says. Should the feds be busting medical marijuana clubs? 'Depends on the circumstances,' he says. 'In general, no.' If he were president, Dean adds, he would force the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate medical marijuana, and he would be prepared to accept its findings."
Mar. 31, 2003 The Nation
Unclear


Candidate / Party
 
Statements
 
POSITION
4. Edwards, John
U.S. Senator
(D-NC)

Officially dropped out of race on mar. 3, 2004
"John Edwards ended his campaign amid speculation that his likable personality and optimism would return to the campaign trail as John Kerry's running mate."
Mar. 3, 2004 N.Y. Times

Has publicly stated that he would not change marijuana laws, and favors the Justice Department's arresting patients and caregivers who defy federal law.
Aug. 10, 2003 Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana

"I wouldn't change the (marijuana) law now, but I would set up a committee to see if pain relief is different with marijuana. It's the job of the Justice Department to enforce the law as it presently exists."
May 29, 2003 San Francisco Chronicle

Unclear


Candidate / Party
 
Statements
 
POSITION
5a. Gephardt, Richard
U.S. House of Representatives
(D-MO)

Officially dropped out of race on Jan. 20, 2004
"Rep. Dick Gephardt, a fourth-place finisher in the Iowa caucuses where he once had been considered the man to beat, formally announced Tuesday [Jan. 20, 2004] he is withdrawing from the Democratic presidential race."
Jan. 20, 2004 CNN

Told a Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana campaign coordinator that he now supports states rights on medical marijuana, and that if he were President he would sign legislation "to allow seriously ill people to use medical marijuana with their doctors' approval." When asked if he would sign federal legislation to allow seriously ill people to use medical marijuana with their doctors' approval, he responded, "Sure."
July 20, 2003 Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana
Pro
5b. In 1998, Gephardt voted for H.J. Res. 117, a resolution opposing efforts to legalize marijuana or other Schedule I drugs for medical use.
July 20, 2003 Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana
Con


Candidate / Party
 
Statements
 
POSITION
6a. Graham, Bob
U.S. Senator
(D-FL)

Officially dropped out of race on Oct. 6, 2003
"Sen. Bob Graham of Florida ended his presidential campaign Monday night, abandoning a candidacy that never managed to gain any momentum in the crowded Democratic field."
Oct. 7, 2003 L.A. Times

Indicated that he would not sign federal legislation legalizing medical marijuana, "though he would defer to states that protect patients with medical marijuana laws."
July 20, 2003 Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana
Unclear
6b. "His spokeswoman said he hasn't taken a position on whether states should be allowed to use marijuana for medical purposes though she said that Graham 'generally disfavors' federal pre-emption of state law."
Feb. 28, 2003 ABC News
Unclear


Candidate / Party
 
Statements
 
POSITION
7a. Kucinich, Dennis
U.S. House of Representatives
(D-OH)
"A Kucinich administration will formulate drug policy based on a rational examination of scientific evidence. Two main goals of a compassionate health care system are the treatment of disease and the alleviation of patient suffering. A growing body of evidence suggests that marijuana has vast potential in both of these areas. Therefore, the current policy of categorically rejecting marijuana as a legitimate medical treatment directly opposes these goals. As president, Dennis Kucinich will issue an executive order allowing marijuana for medical purposes, effectively ending DEA raids on medical marijuana patients and their providers. Disease sufferers should not have to turn to dangerous black markets to obtain this beneficial drug. Instead, doctors should be free to prescribe marijuana and marijuana-based medicines to their patients as needed to treat illness and manage pain."
Dec. 2003 Kucinich website policy statement
Pro
7b. Indicated he will support medical marijuana "without reservation," and that if President, he would sign an executive order permitting its use. He told the S.F. Chronicle marijuana "should be available to any patient who needs it to alleviate pain and suffering. Compassion requires that medical marijuana be available. We must have health-care systems which are compassionate...so I support it without reservation."
May 29, 2003 S.F. Chronicle
Pro
7c. Voted yes on an amendment on the House floor designed to stop the DEA from raiding patients in states with medical marijuana laws.
July 24, 2003 Marijuana Policy Project
Pro


Candidate / Party
 
Statements
 
POSITION
8a.Lieberman, Joseph
U.S. Senator
(D-CT)

Officially dropped out of race on Feb. 3, 2004
"After looking at the returns and speaking with my family and campaign team, I have decided tonight to end my quest for the presidency of the United States of America."
Feb. 3, 2004 CNN

On July 6, 2003 he told Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana that he would "probably" sign legislation to allow seriously ill people to use medical marijuana, with their doctors' approval. Lieberman went on to say, "I'm sympathetic."
Aug. 10, 2003 Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana
Pro
8b. Co-sponsored a 1998 U.S. Senate resolution condemning state efforts to legalize the medical use of marijuana.
Aug. 10, 2003 Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana
Con


Candidate / Party
 
Statements
 
POSITION
9. Sharpton, Al
Reverend
(D-NY)

Officially endorsed John Kerry on Mar. 15, 2004
"After meeting for 30 minutes this afternoon with Sen. John F. Kerry at his headquarters in downtown Washington, the Rev. Al Sharpton emerged and told reporters that he has decided to support Kerry's presidential bid — but declared his intention to continue campaigning for delegates."
Mar. 15, 2004 L.A. Times

Sharpton stated on Dec. 9, 2003; "I think that medical marijuana patients should not be arrested for using medical marijuana. I think that's something that I wouldn't do."
Dec. 9, 2003 Marijuana Policy Project and
Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana
Pro

 

 

 

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