California Gubernatorial Candidates on Med. MJ

In a televised Sep. 3, 2003 debate, all five major candidates in the 2003 California gubernatorial election agreed on allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, as reported by Times staff writers Mark Z. Barabak and Michael Finnegan Sep. 4, 2003 in the Los Angeles Times.

The five candidates participating in the debate were:

  • Republican state Senator Tom McClintock,

  • Political columnist Arianna Huffington,

  • Peter Camejo of the Green Party,

  • Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, and

  • Peter V. Ueberroth, Republican businessman and former Major League Baseball commissioner

In a Sep. 4, 2003 Associated Press article, writer Tom Chorneau reported, "The only issue on which they [all five candidates] agreed was support for legalization of medicinal marijuana."

A Sep. 2, 2003 newsletter issued by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) reported, "Republican gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger [who did not participate in the debate] recently announced that he supports the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes." In a radio interview, Schwarzenegger "said he opposed drug legalization, but favored 'legalizing' medicinal pot. 'As long as it is done for medical use, I would not think of [it] as criminal.'

According to spokesman Rob Stutzman, Schwarzenegger supports California's Prop. 215 law allowing patients with a doctor's recommendation to use and grow medical marijuana, but he has not taken a position on the distribution of marijuana by third-party dispenseries.

NORML also reports Arianna Huffington as stating, "Surely there has got to be a better use of our limited law enforcement resources than busting grievously ill cancer and AIDS patients."

Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML, stated in the report that current California Governor Gray Davis "opposed both Propositions 215 and 36, and has resisted establishing legislative guidelines for medical marijuana."