Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed by party and in alphabetical order by last name. Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.
Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, stated the following in a Dec. 6, 2010 article by John McCormack, "Gov. Gary Johnson: I Smoked Marijuana from 2005 to 2008," published in The Weekly Standard:
"Rather than using painkillers, which I have used on occasion before, I did smoke pot, as a result of having broken my back, blowing out both of my knees, breaking ribs, really taking about three years to recover." Dec. 6, 2010 Gary Johnson
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, stated the following in a Mar. 22, 2008 interview with Editorial Page Editor Gary Nelson, published in The Mail Tribune:
"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.
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...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." Mar. 22, 2008 Barack Obama
[Editor's Note: On Oct. 7, 2011, federal prosecutors in California announced their efforts to crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries with "significant commercial operations." Some medical marijuana proponents believe that these and similar actions of the US Department of Justice reflect a Con position for Barack Obama. Still others say that Obama is Not Clearly Pro or Con medical marijuana given statements like the one from a Nov. 24, 2007 town hall meeting in Audbon, IA:
"My attitude is, if the science and the doctors suggest that the best palliative care and the best way to relieve pain and suffering is through medical marijuana then that's something I'm open to, because there's no difference between that and morphine when it comes to just giving people relief from pain. But I want to do it under strict guidelines. I want to make sure that it is prescribed in the same way that other painkillers or palliative drugs would be prescribed. I'm concerned about folks just kind of growing their own and saying it's for medicinal purposes, because that's kind of a slippery slope."]
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated the following in an Oct. 4, 2007 Town hall event in Manchester, New Hampshire:
"I believe marijuana should be illegal in our country. It is the pathway to drug usage by our society, which is a great scourge -- which is one of the great causes of crime in our cities. And I believe that we are at a state where, of course, we are very concerned about people who are suffering pain, and there are various means of providing pain management. And those that have had loved ones that have gone through an end of life with cancer know the nature of real pain. I watched my wife's mom and dad, both in our home, both going through cancer treatment, suffering a great deal of pain. But they didn't have marijuana, and they didn't need marijuana because there were other sources of pain management that worked entirely effectively. I'm told there is even a synthetic marijuana as well that is available. But having legalized marijuana, in my view, is an effort by a very committed few to try and get marijuana out into the public and ultimately legalize marijuana. It's a long way to go. We need less drugs in this society, not more drugs, and I would oppose the legalization of marijuana in the country or legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes because pain management is available from other sources." Oct. 4, 2007 Mitt Romney
Jill Stein, MD, former Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, stated the following on her 2010 gubernatorial campaign website jillstein.org, on the page titled "Other Important Issues," available at www.web.archive.org, Sep. 20, 2010:
"Our current approach to the regulation of marijuana is a failure. It has resulted in a massive black market that is creating violence in our communities and pouring hundreds of millions of dollars each year into the pockets of criminal supply networks. Taxpayers are footing the bill for ineffective law enforcement efforts and unnecessary judicial expenses. And the most that can be achieved is to keep a few people from purchasing an herb that appears to be much less harmful than alcohol or tobacco.
It’s time to get rid of the black market and bring marijuana sales under a legal regulatory framework...
One option to be examined would permit limited marijuana sales through existing liquor stores. The use of marijuana for medical purposes would be expedited under separate provisions in which a doctor’s prescription would be required.
As a physician, I believe in caution and moderation with regard to any substance we take into our bodies. And I would apply that same caution to marijuana. But evidence suggests that the effects of marijuana on health are far less harmful than those of tobacco and alcohol." Sep. 20, 2010 Jill Stein
Michele Bachman, US Representative (R-MN), voted no on the Hinchy amendmant, July 25, 2007:
[Editor's Note: Bachmann voted no on H. AMDT. 674 on July 25, 2007. The Hinchey amendment would have prohibited the Department of Justice from using funds to enforce federal anti-medical marijuana laws in states where the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana has been legalized.] July 25, 2007 Michele Bachmann
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives (R-GA), stated the following in the video interview "Sounding the Alarm Against Medical Marijuana in Florida - Question #3," available on www.youtube.com (accessed Oct. 21, 2011):
"There is no medical marijuana. Marijuana is a drug. There is nothing in the Food and Drug Administration that supports the idea that it's medical. There's nothing in the Institute of Medicine that supports the idea it's medical. The American Medical Association has not said it's medical. This is a clever ad for a terrible idea. And the fact is it is a drug, it is currently illegal, it should remain illegal, that’s better for our children, and it’s better for Florida, and it’s better for America." Oct. 21, 2011 Newt Gingrich
[Editor's Note: Prior to the Con comment accessed on Oct. 21, 2011, Gingrich made the Pro comment below in his article "Newt Gingrich Letter Supporting Medical Marijuana,"published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Mar. 19, 1982.]
"We believe licensed physicians are competent to employ marijuana, and patients have a right to obtain marijuana legally, under medical supervision, from a regulated source. The medical prohibition does not prevent seriously ill patients from employing marijuana; it simply deprives them of medical supervision and denies them access to a regulated medical substance. Physicians are often forced to choose between their ethical responsibilities to the patient and their legal liabilities to federal bureaucrats.
Representative McKinney and I hope the Council will take a close and careful look at this issue. Federal policies do not reflect a factual or balanced assessment of marijuana's use as a medicant. The Council, by thoroughly investigating the available materials, might well discover that its own assessment of marijuana's therapeutic value has, in the past, been more than slightly shaded by federal policies that are less than neutral." Mar. 19, 1982 Newt Gingrich
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX), stated the following in a June 23, 2011 interview on NBC's The Kudlow Report, speaking of the bill HR 2306, introduced on June 23, 2011 by Ron Paul and Barney Frank, to remove marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances:
"[HR 2306 would remove marijuana] from the jurisdiction of the federal government and allow the states regulate it like they would alcohol, and you know this seems to be strange for a lot of people, but you know I'm only going back to 1937 where that's the way it was handled...
And I am motivated strongly also because the states legalize it for the use of medicinal purposes, and it is helpful for people who have cancer and are getting chemotherapy... It is something that was legal for a long long time and the war against marijuana causes so much hardship and accomplishes nothing...
The modern day war on drugs started with Richard Nixon and it's a catastrophe just as prohibition of alcohol was a catastrophe." June 23, 2011 Ron Paul
Perry spokesman Mark Miner stated in a Sep. 26, 2011 email to reporter Jennifer Rubin, "Did Santorum Bring Down Perry?," published by The Washington Post:
"The Governor [Rick Perry] does not support legalizing any drug. The Governor supports federal drug laws where appropriate. And while the Governor is personally opposed to legalizing the use of medical marijuana, if states want to allow doctor prescribed medical marijuana, it seems to him that under the 10th amendment, they have the right to do so." Sep. 26, 2011 Rick Perry
Buddy Roemer, former Governor of Louisiana, co-sponsored the Apr. 25, 1985 bill H.R. 2232, "A bill to amend the Controlled Substances Act to provide for the therapeutic use of marihuana, and for other purposes," available at thomos.loc.gov:
The Congressional Research Service summary of H.R. 2232, a bill co-sponsored by Buddy Roemer, states that the bill "Amends the Controlled Substances Act to transfer marihuana from schedule I (abuse potential, no accepted medical use) to schedule II (accepted medical use) under such Act... Establishes procedures for the production and use of medical marihuana." Apr. 25, 1985 Buddy Roemer
Rick Santorum, former US Senator (R-PA), stated the following in a Sep. 28, 2011 article, "Santorum Attacks Perry on Medical Marijuana," available at StoptheDrugWar.org:
"It's certainly Gov. Perry['s] right to believe marriage can be redefined at the state level, that marijuana can be legalized and that tax dollars should be used to give illegal aliens special college tuition rates, but that’s completely out of touch with what most Americans believe." Sep. 28, 2011 Rick Santorum