1. Gov. Romney wants to arrest medical marijuana patients
Last week, we encountered former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) for the third time. During our two previous encounters, Gov. Romney used our questions regarding medical marijuana as opportunities to discuss his overall opposition to drug legalization and to explain his plan for educating American youth about drug use. However, in regard to medical marijuana, he only said, “I will look at the issue … I will inform myself.”
Last week, during a July 25 town hall meeting in Bedford, when asked by an audience member about his thoughts on the war on drugs, he touched briefly on medical marijuana, saying, “People talk about medicinal marijuana. And you know, you hear that story that people who are sick need medicinal marijuana. But marijuana is the entry drug for people trying to get kids hooked on drugs. I don’t want medicinal marijuana; there are synthetic forms of marijuana that are available for people who need it for prescription. Don’t open the doorway to medicinal marijuana.”
After the event, GSMM volunteers, including a seriously ill patient in a wheelchair and a medical professional, approached Gov. Romney after the event to ask a follow-up question. After Gov. Romney ignored the patient’s repeated attempts to ask him a question, I asked him, “I was wondering why you don’t respect states’ rights when it concerns seriously ill patients who use medical marijuana in the 12 states that have approved its use. Why don’t you respect states’ rights in that situation, a life and death situation?” He responded, “Because synthetic marijuana is available by prescription. It’s very simple, very simple, very simple.”
When the medical professional with us introduced herself and explained to the governor that synthetic forms of marijuana are not effective for many patients, he disagreed, saying, “I have spoken with doctors and researchers, and the medical marijuana effort is an effort to try and legalize marijuana in this country, and it’s a mistake in my opinion to go in the direction of opening up the nation to medical marijuana … I am not in favor of medical marijuana. Other pain relievers are available in this country, and I support the use of those other pain relievers. And synthetic marijuana, with the elements that are essential, is available.”
2. Gov. Richardson won’t let federal raids continue on his watch!
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) has been spending a lot of time campaigning in New Hampshire, and we always take the opportunity to thank him for his repeated pledges to end the federal raids on medical marijuana patients and for his support of medical marijuana legislation in his home state.
During our most recent encounter at a meet-and-greet in Concord, I him what he thought about the six Republican candidates who have said they would raid and arrest the sick and dying in medical marijuana states like New Mexico. Gov. Richardson responded with shock that anyone would want to arrest seriously ill people and said, “Don’t worry, if I’m elected that won’t happen. You know, there are people that are dying that just want their pain eased, and so they came to me in New Mexico, 199 human beings that said, look we just want it for medicinal reasons, to be able to use medical marijuana to ease our pain. And I said, ‘Okay, let’s find a way that there’s proper Department of Health safeguards that … we don’t have running rampant a bunch of gardens with you-know-what. Let’s do it right.’ And it’s working, it’s working. So we’ve got to do the right thing. That is the right thing.”
Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana