Clinton and Obama on medical marijuana

The Marijuana Policy Project is noting that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gave the following responses this past Saturday when asked by Oregon’s Willamette Week about her stances on medical marijuana:

senatorclinton.jpgWhat would you do as president about the federal government not recognizing Oregon’s Medical Marijuana Program as legal?
We’ve got to have a clear understanding of the workings of pain relief and the control of pain. And there needs to be greater research and openness to the research that’s already been done. I don’t think it’s a good use of federal law-enforcement resources to be going after people who are supplying marijuana for medicinal purposes.

So you’d stop the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s raids on medical marijuana grows?

What we would do is prioritize what the DEA should be doing, and that would not be a high priority. There’s a lot of other more important work that needs to be done.

Should medical marijuana be covered by insurance?

I don’t have enough information to know anything about that.

In contrast, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said the following during a March 22 interview with Gary Nelson, editorial page editor at the Mail Tribune of Medford, Ore.:

obama.jpg“When it comes to medical marijuana, I have more of a practical view than anything else. My attitude is that if it’s an issue of doctors prescribing medical marijuana as a treatment for glaucoma or as a cancer treatment, I think that should be appropriate because there really is no difference between that and a doctor prescribing morphine or anything else. I think there are legitimate concerns in not wanting to allow people to grow their own or start setting up mom and pop shops because at that point it becomes fairly difficult to regulate.

“Again, I’m not familiar with all the details of the initiative that was passed [in Oregon] and what safeguards there were in place, but I think the basic concept that using medical marijuana in the same way, with the same controls as other drugs prescribed by doctors, I think that’s entirely appropriate…

“I would not punish doctors if it’s prescribed in a way that is appropriate. That may require some changes in federal law. I will tell you that — I mean I want to be honest with you — whether I want to use a whole lot of political capital on that issue when we’re trying to get health care passed or end the war in Iraq, the likelihood of that being real high on my list is not likely… What I’m not going to be doing is using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue simply because I want folks to be investigating violent crimes and potential terrorism. We’ve got a lot of things for our law enforcement officers to deal with.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Jeff

    To me the lesser of the 2 evils is Obama. Call it a hunch but Hillary never ever came right out and said she would stop the feds raids on dispensaries and patients. Only that she would prioritize it in a lower catagory, but yet it would still continue. Like it or not the War in Iraq will take the most attention from the candidates, as Obama said, he will put MMJ in a lower priority to even consider doing anything about with the War and the insight to retain political kickbacks from lobbyist’s. Well there goes my hunch. I think I’ll write in my friend for president, he is serving 3 years in prison for possessing 3 ounces of marijuana, that’s political justice in the corn fed, pig raisin’, methane producing state of Iowa. That’s because we have lawmakers who are in denial regarding the proven, safe and theraputically effectiveness of cannabis. Especially Sen Tom Harkin (D-Ia) who states in letters to his constituients that, “If you smoke marijuana you will find yourself huddled in a corner willing to sell your children for just one more puff of marijuana.” Please Tom that lie was proven wrong centuries ago, we, The People don’t buy it! He lumps marijuana in the same category as heroin, cocaine amd meth. But not with alcohol and nicotine the 2 true gateway drugs that are feicerly addictive, fatal and spawn a myriad of other fatal diseases, plus they are legal! “Marijuana, in its natural form, is the most theraputically active substance known. For the DEA to continue to stand between those sufferer’s and the substance would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious.”—Francis L. Young DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge, 1988. They buried that report, it never saw the light of day, then Francis was ordered to produce another report dwelling only on the negative aspects of marijuana. Rather than deny his Hippocratic Oath he quit. But let us keep up the good fight, now that Jocelyn Elders, former surgeon general, has joined our cause by endorsing the paper put out by the ACP in favor of medical marijuana, and actually blowing the 2 main reasons the feds keep cannabis in a schedule 1 catagory out of the water. They have proven the medical efficacy of cannabis for the control of pain and other severe diseases/disorders plus it is not physically addictive. There is no other drug that controls nausea as well as marijuana with the safest toxicity margin of any drug in existance. It is the only drug you cannot die from, it is impossible to OD on it. What more is there to say but, “Legalize Marijuana all together and collapse the Marijuana Black Market.” That would be a good thing, right? I say right because we all need to ask ourselves where and how marijuana fits into our society medically, industrial and personally and act upon it. If you are unfamiliar with the short and long term effects I can enlighten you from 35 years of experience. Prohibition never works no matter what you are trying to prohibit. Marijuana is proven to be healthier than alcohol/nicotine, medically theraputic and safe. Why is it not legal federally. Two words, “Racial Prejudice.” Don’t beleive me, check into why marijuana was first outlawed in the latter ’30’s after being legal since medical pratice began. Just Google ‘when and why was marijuana outlawed,’ and educate yourself to the truth. Peace…

  • Jamie

    I just don’t understand why marijuana is not lagalized??? Many Americans smoke whether they would like to admitt it or not. I think it could help our economy and help us grow. Not only that but bring down our crime percentage. Majority of people just get caught with marijuana nothing else but yet charged to the fullest and thrown in jail for some time. I personally believe it does no more harm then alcohol/tobacco. From experience I rather have my father a pothead then a alcoholic because I know if he smoked rather then drink he wouldn’t get crazy on some nights and destroy our valuables. He would be calm cool and collected as we all should be so that’s why marijuana should be legalized . If we live in such a free country with all this freedom why can’t we the people enjoy the natural herbs that God created for us, not man made s—, that does more harm then good, legalize marijuana for the sake of Americans and America!!!!!!

  • Peter

    I’m with jamie 100%

  • John

    I’m with Peter 99%

  • Aaron

    legalize it! legalize it! legalize it! legalize it!
    legalize it! legalize it! legalize it! legalize it!
    legalize it! legalize it! legalize it! legalize it!
    legalize it! legalize it! legalize it! legalize it! legalize it! legalize it! legalize it! legalize it!
    legalize it! legalize it! legalize it! legalize it!
    legalize it! legalize it! legalize it! legalize it!
    legalize it! legalize it! legalize it! legalize it!

  • No. I hate stupid pot heads and none of you really care about the people who need it you just want to rip on mary jane all day.

  • Joe

    I say legalize it so there will be more peace in the u.s

  • Elwood

    Millions of sick people needing their medicine!

    Who knew?