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Medical Marijuana Voter Guide For The 2012 Presidential Election


marijuanaHere are the guys who want to be president and what they say (or don’t say) about MMJ

By David Burton

In the wake of the White House’s policy reversal on medical cannabis, a lot of marijuana proponents are considering casting their votes for a presidential candidate friendlier to the cause. But, when you’re thinking about buying something as hugely important as the Leader of the Free World, it’s always a good idea to shop around and weigh your options carefully. Here to help you make an informed choice next November is a quick voter guide for the 2012 Republican presidential candidates:

Mitt Romney Marijuana PolicyMitt Romney

At press time, former Massachusetts governor and on-again/off-again presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney is on record as being not in favor of medical marijuana being legal. He’s so not in favor of it that, when asked his position on the matter by a wheelchair-bound muscular dystrophy patient at an October 2007 event, Romney replied, “I’m not in favor of medical marijuana being legal”–and immediately turned away as if the patient no longer existed. The episode was captured for posterity in a now-famous YouTube video. But take heart: As noted in the October issue of Rolling Stone, Romney is notoriously flexible on his positions, having flip-flopped on such issues as abortion, America’s involvement in Libya and climate change. So, there’s always hope.


Newt gingrich evilNewt Gingrich

When he was but a congressman from Georgia, Newt Gingrich penned a 1982 letter to the American Medical Association in support of access to medical marijuana. As Speaker of the House, Gingrich introduced the Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996, which would have set a mandatory sentence of death for anyone convicted a second time of bringing large quantities of illegal drugs into the U.S. As candidate for president, he flat-out claimed legalizing cannabis would bring about the end of civilization. On a March 2009 episode of The O’Reilly Factor, Gingrich said America’s drug-testing laws should be patterned after those in Singapore, where anyone who tests positive for drugs is automatically imprisoned in state-run rehab centers, and where convicted drug dealers are routinely hanged. ’Nuff said.

Rick Perry

Texas Gov. Rick Perry would seem an unlikely supporter of medical marijuana freedoms. A hardcore social conservative, he vetoed legislation that would have banned the death penalty for mentally retarded inmates and stood quietly by as Texas executed 234 prisoners–more than in any other state in the union. Despite that pedigree, Perry does appear to support a state’s right to legalize medical pot, writing in a 2010 book that the 10th Amendment allows such action. Even more surprisingly, he’s actually used his power as governor to help soften the Lone Star State’s ferocious stance on marijuana: In 2007, he signed into law a bill ending automatic arrest for simple pot possession. Go figure.

Ron PaulRon Paul

Perhaps the single most popular GOP presidential candidate among cannabis fans, Texas congressman Ron Paul has a long and well-documented history of opposing drug prohibition. He’s also the only pro-legalization candidate with at least a ghost of a chance at winning the nomination. A Libertarian presently masquerading in Republican clothing, Paul championed the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act of 2008, which would have provided federal protections to qualified cannabis patients, and the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2008, which would have legalized possession of up to 3.5 ounces of weed. Both bills failed. Something to consider: Along with drug prohibition, Paul also opposes abortion, U.S. membership in the United Nations and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Michelle Bachmann

Minnesota congresswoman and Tea Party darling Michelle Bachmann has thus far managed to avoid taking a position on the controversial subject of medical cannabis. When, according to the Des Moines Register, she was asked at a November campaign event at Iowa’s Drake University whether she believed medical marijuana was a states’ rights issue, she replied that she didn’t know and hadn’t “thought it through.” While we’re left largely in the dark on Bachmann compassionate-use stance, her voting record in Congress may offer a clue: She voted against 2007’s House Amendment 674, which would have prevented federal funds from being used to block medical marijuana programs in the states.

Rick Santorum

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum readily admits he smoked his share of cannabis in his youth–he just doesn’t want anyone else smoking their share. At the Ames Straw Poll in August, Santorum declared that recognizing a state’s right to legalize medical marijuana “would be an activity that is not consistent with American values.” He later attacked fellow presidential candidate Rick Perry for suggesting compassionate use was a states’ rights issue. In the March issue of National Review, Santorum insisted his pot-smoking past doesn’t mean he’s now being hypocritical on the subject because “it’s not hypocrisy, as long as you don’t say, ‘I thought it was right, and think it was wrong.” Merriam-Webster defines hypocrisy as “the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion.” You decide.

Gary JohnsonGary Johnson

Of all the declared Republican candidates for president, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson may be the least likely to win the nomination–he’s pro-gun control, anti-death penalty and a moderate on abortion. But if you’re a believer in medical marijuana, he’s certainly earned some consideration. Johnson has advocated for cannabis legalization since 1999, and has been using pot medicinally for back pain since at least 2005. He promises that, if elected president, he will issue pardons to anyone convicted of nonviolent marijuana crimes. More substantively, his enlightened stance on cannabis as governor helped pave the way for New Mexico to pass its hugely popular medical marijuana program.

Jon Huntsman, Jr.

Many cannabis activists found themselves all aglow after watching the June 21 YouTube clip of former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr. saying he believes the states should decide the legality of medical marijuana. But look closer: Huntsman’s remark, uttered hours after he announced his candidacy, remains his only remark on the issue. In his four years as chief executive of Utah, Huntsman did nothing– absolutely nothing–to suggest support or even benign tolerance of compassionate-use programs. Medical marijuana remains as illegal as marijuana itself in the Beehive State, where possession of as little as a half-gram can land you six months in jail.

Andy Martin*

Anthony Robert Martin-Trigona, otherwise known as perennial candidate Andy Martin, not only supports medical cannabis but calls the War on Drugs a “joke and disaster” and believes drug abuse is a public health problem rather than a criminal justice problem. He also believes President Obama is the foreign-born, illegitimate Muslim son of journalist Frank Marshall Davis and that “Jew survivors” of the Holocaust are out to steal his property. The New York Times noted that in a 1983 court filing, Martin called the judge in a bankruptcy case “a crooked, slimy Jew who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race.” Seriously.Fred Karger*

Described as the first openly gay presidential candidate from a major party in American history, Fred Karger is one of those long-shot contenders who does quite well in small settings. Political observers sat up and took notice when the guitar-strummin‘, pro-medical-cannabis hummin‘ Karger defeated top-tier candidate Mitt Romney at New Hampshire’s St Anselm College Republican Straw Poll in March. But in larger settings, such as statewide polling and such, the political consultant and former actor is considered the second most unelectable GOP candidate, after Andy “I hate the Jews” Martin. Karger is a longtime supporter of medical cannabis, lowering the voting age and gay rights–in July, he called fellow candidate Michelle Bachmann “a liar, hypocrite and bigot” for her anti-gay remarks.

Jimmy McMillan*

Say what you want about James “Jimmy” McMillan, the political activist and karate expert is hands-down the most entertaining of the GOP presidential contenders. Not only does McMillan readily admit to everyone who cares that he uses pot, he admits it in a way that’s impossible to ignore. “Oh, hell yeah! I was a pot-smoking motherfucker!” he proudly declares in a documentary about his New York political group–the “Rent is 2 Damn High” Party. A photo in Think Magazine shows the Vietnam veteran dining on a fruit cup outside one of his reportedly favorite haunts–a Manhattan bong shop. In the same issue, he said he’s been drinking marijuana tea for 40 years. While McMillan is generally considered something of a political joke (he also publicly admits to really, really liking porn), his unapologetic attitude toward marijuana could make it that much easier for other, more serious candidates, to publicly broach the once-taboo subject.

Herman Cain

The world’s most famous pizza man dodged questions on medical marijuana all the way up to Oct. 15, when he said at a campaign stop in Iowa that it was an issue best left to the states. That single comment instantly raised Cain’s respectability levels in the eyes of many activists. While some critics have accused the former Godfather’s CEO of insincerity on the issue, he has been fairly consistent in claiming drug policy should devolve to the states. In a May 25 interview in The Atlantic, he said states should take the lead in stopping the flow of drugs from Mexico.

Article from Culture Magazine and republished with special permission


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  1. Bushheadluke on

    I think they should legalize marijuana everywhere in the united states. It would bring our economy up a hell of a ot from what it is now. Think how much money the USA would make with the help of marijuana not just medical but for everyone. It would, if you think about it get at least one drug off the street. Make it to where you have to be 18 to buy it but it would help. I am 15 years old and i go to C A Gray Jr. high school in Moultrie Georgia. I know so many people not just teenagers that want the same thing i want and, a lot of other people want in the united states. so they needa do something to legalize it. either way ima smoke.

  2. Lets not leave me out of this … Gascon for President in 2012

    When I am out protesting and speaking out against the war on drugs, People often ask “what the hell is a matter with you, how can you condone legalized drug use? My answer, wake up drugs are everywhere, in your bars, pharmacies, and supermarkets. The fact is that I do not condone drug use of any sort, including those toxic poisons that doctors prescribe, which are responsible for a 100,000 deaths a year. I’m not suggesting we make heroin, cocaine or amphetamines available the way we do alcohol and cigarettes.
    What am I recommending?
    Drop the “zero tolerance” baloney and the unrealistic goal of a drug free society. Accept that drug use is here to stay, and accept that marijuana is an herb, no different than saffron or st John’s wort.
    More specifically, I’m recommending:

    My Minimum Acceptable Marijuana Policy

    The Minimum Acceptable Marijuana Policy would have to meet ALL of the following criteria:

    Makes it legal for any person any age to possess and use Marijuana with permission and / or prescription of their personal physician.

    Specifically prohibits the use of marijuana before or while driving, in public areas, restaurants, clubs, offices and workplaces.

    Makes it legal for any person 18 years or older to smoke marijuana for medicinal or recreational use in the confines of their own home.

    Makes it legal to smoke outdoors only with permission or by policy of the property owners, out of sight of those who would / could object.

    Makes it legal for persons 18 years of age or older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana anywhere anytime period.

    Allows for not more than a 10% tax and or users fee for State and not more than 10% for the federal Government.

    Makes it legal to grow Marijuana for any and all industrial uses from rope to biomass and for any person 18 years of age or more to grow up to 24 plants per person on private property for personal and or family / household use.

    * that doctors be allowed and encouraged to prescribe whatever drugs or herbs that work best, notwithstanding the demonized status of some drugs in the eyes of the law, because Doctors and their patients are best qualified to decide what is medicine not lawyers in Washington D.C..
    * that people not be incarcerated for possessing small amounts of any drug for personal use. But also that people who put their fellow citizens at risk by driving while impaired be treated strictly and punished accordingly;
    * that employers reject drug testing because they reveal nothing about whether people are impaired in the workplace, but what they have done on their own time over the weekend;
    * We step up our efforts to provide honest and effective drug education rather than propaganda programs like DARE.

    This is a call for a fundamentally different drug policy. It’s not legalization, it’s a matter of spending more on treatment and prevention and less on interdiction and enforcement.
    Some call it “harm reduction” an approach that aims to reduce the negative consequences of both drug use and drug prohibition.

    The truth is most anti-drug war activists aren’t really drug legalizers at all. A legalizer, is someone who believes that heroin, cocaine and most or all other drugs should be available over the counter, like alcohol or cigarettes.
    This is not to say there is no such thing as a “legalizer.” Milton Friedman, and Thomas Szasz, have both argued that total drug legalization is the only rational and ethical way to deal with drugs in our society. Most libertarians and many others agree with them.
    U.S. drug prohibition, like alcohol Prohibition decades ago, is responsible for creating vast underground markets, criminalizing millions of otherwise law abiding citizens, corrupting government at every level, infringing on personal freedoms, and legitimizing public policies that are contrary to the very foundations of our country.
    I will never be an advocate for over the counter sale of all drugs, and not just because it’s not a politically popular argument. I do not believe that total legalization is the right answer.
    The fact is, there is no drug legalization movement in America. What there is is a political and social movement for drug policy reform. It consists of the growing number of citizens who have been victimized, in one way or another, by the drug war, and who now believe that our current drug policies are doing more harm than good.
    What I am talking about is an approach grounded not in the fear, ignorance, and prejudice , but rather one grounded in common sense, compromise and basic human rights. That’s true drug policy reform.

  3. H.R. 1983 States Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act 2011
    H.R. 2306 Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act 2011
    Write, visit, or call your congressional representatives and tell them to support and sign on as co-sponsor
    to end the INSANITY now!!! This is CHANGE WE NEED!

  4. You stated about Gary Johnson, “he’s pro-gun control, anti-death penalty and a moderate on abortion”. You are exactly 100% incorrect on his gun control support. He is an ardent pro-gun, civil liberties supporter. He does however support very strick gun control for violent predators and mentally unbalanced individuals. See: http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/coalitions/guns

  5. Jonathan Koberna on

    I can tell you why! The Goverment distributes all the drugs. They make all the money off the front and the back end. Look the DEA acknowledges that they imported 90% of the cocaine throughout the 70’s and 80’s. Why to get Escobar remember now Tell me this We kill Escobar and now all the sudden its all the mexican drug cartel give me a break. So the DEA for over 10 years had 90% of the smuggling routes into the US and as soon as they get El Pedro its the mexicans…. now Step 2 Heroin we take over Afghanistan and all the sudden heroin easier to get then weed its 5x cheaper and 5x stronger than 10 years ago. Just another coincidence after coincidence after coincendence. I dont buy it. Now the Back end……. Are you going to pay a judge his redicoulous salary to work 2hrs a day?, Because in hundreds of counties across america 80% of thier criminal cases are marijuana related. So if Marijuana was legalized 80% of that judges and DA work is no longer there. Are you still going to pay that Judge 100k to work 10 hrs a week

  6. It’s more than fairly evident, and especially to those of us whose survival doesn’t depend on the continuation of Prohibition, that even if we could afford to put Narcs on every single corner, it is extremely likely that at least half of them would very soon become dealers themselves. So it begs the question: Why on God’s green earth do we continue as a nation to foolishly shoot ourselves in both feet?

    An appeal to all Prohibitionists:

    Most of us are aware by now that individuals who use illegal drugs are going to get high, ‘no matter what.’ So why do you not prefer they acquire them in stores that check IDs and pay taxes? Gifting the market in narcotics to ruthless criminals, foreign terrorists and corrupt law enforcement officials is seriously compromising our future. If you remotely believe that people will one day quit using any of these ‘at present’ illegal drugs, then you are exhibiting a degree of naivety parallel only with those poor deluded wretches who voluntarily drank the poisoned Kool-Aid in Jonestown.

    Even if you cannot stand the thought of people using drugs, there is absolutely nothing you, or any government, can do to stop them. We have spent 40 years and over a trillion dollars on this dangerous farce. Practically everybody is now aware that Prohibition will not suddenly and miraculously start showing different results. So why do you wish to continue with a policy that has proven itself to be a poison in the veins of our once so proud & free nation? Do you actually think you may have something to lose If we were to start basing drug policy on science & logic instead of ignorance, hate and lies?

    Maybe you’re a police officer, a prison guard or a local politician. Possibly you’re scared of losing employment, overtime-pay, the many kick-backs and those regular fat bribes. But what good will any of that do you once our society has followed Mexico over the dystopian abyss of dismembered bodies, vats of acid and marauding thugs carrying gold-plated AK-47s with leopard-skinned gunstocks?

    Kindly allow us to forgo the next level of your sycophantic prohibition-engendered mayhem.

    Prohibition Prevents Regulation : Legalize, Regulate and Tax!

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