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 Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.
Should the federal government arrest people for using medical marijuana in states where medical marijuana use is legal?
Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, stated the following in the Oct. 7, 2011 statement "Gary Johnson on Fed Crackdown on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries: DOJ Has Better Things to Do," available on www.garyjohnson2012.com:
"With weapons being allowed to ‘walk' to drug cartels in Mexico and Solyndra walking with $500 million of taxpayers' money, I would think DOJ and the Administration have better things to do than mount an assault on medical marijuana dispensaries in California that are legal under state law. Regardless of one's view of medical marijuana, Americans who believe in states' rights should be extremely disturbed that the federal government is in the process of shutting down businesses, threatening criminal charges, and confiscating the property of small businesses operating under good faith according to state law." Oct. 7, 2011 Gary Johnson
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, in reference to his Aug. 21, 2007 quotation shown below, made the following statement during an interview with Rolling Stone's Jann S. Wenner published on Apr. 25, 2012, "Ready for the Fight: Rolling Stone Interview with Barack Obama," available at www.rollingstone.com:
"What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana. I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana – and the reason is, because it's against federal law. I can't nullify congressional law. I can't ask the Justice Department to say, 'Ignore completely a federal law that's on the books.' What I can say is, 'Use your prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize your resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage.' As a consequence, there haven't been prosecutions of users of marijuana for medical purposes." Apr. 25, 2012 Barack Obama
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, stated the following on Aug. 21, 2007 at an election campaign event in Nashua, NH, available on You Tube:
"I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It's not a good use of our resources." Aug. 21, 2007 Barack Obama
[Editor's Note: On Oct. 19, 2009 the US Department of Justice announced in a memo that federal prosecutors should not target "individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana."
The memo stated that "prosecution of commercial enterprises that unlawfully market and sell marijuana for profit continues to be an enforcement priority." It is also explicitly stated that the memo "does not 'legalize' marijuana or provide a legal defense to a violation of federal law."
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 other actions of the US Department of Justice reflect a Pro position for Barack Obama.]
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, said the following at a town hall event in Exeter, NH on Oct. 25, 2007, available on YouTube.com:
"I don't do any arresting. In my view, marijuana should not be made legal either for medicinal purposes or recreational purposes. It's the opening way to drug use for many, many people in our country and I'm opposed to medical marijuana." Oct. 25, 2007 Mitt Romney
Jill Stein, MD, former Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, was quoted in an Apr. 22, 2012 article "Stein Challenges Obama on Marijuana Policy," available at www.jillstein.org:
"[I would] order the DEA and the Justice Department to cease and desist all attempts to harass or prosecute medical marijuana clinics or other legitimate marijuana-related businesses that are operating under state laws...
President Obama promised to use a science-based approach to public policy. But when it comes to marijuana, he has continued the unscientific policies of George Bush, and has even gone far beyond Bush in his attacks upon medical marijuana clinics. He supports the irrational classification of marijuana in the most dangerous drug category, and he supports the ban on commercial hemp growing. This is mania-based policy, not science-based policy." Apr. 22, 2012 Jill Stein
Herman Cain, Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and Chairman of Godfather's Pizza, stated the following in the May 25, 2011 article "Herman Cain: Spying on Americans Is Okay, But Not Assassinating Them," available at www.theatlantic.com:
"[T]he state should take the lead in most instances on those issues [drug laws and medical marijuana]. There could be some circumstances where it's better for something to be issued as a federal statute. But the best approach, that notwithstanding, is for the states to put their solutions on the table. We have a very wasted resource in this country. Why not use the 50 states. Give them the power. Empower them to solve their own problems..." May 25, 2011 Herman Cain
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives (R-GA), made the following statements in his Nov. 28, 2011 interview with Chris Moody, “Newt Gingrich on Drug Laws, Entitlements, and Campaigning: The Yahoo News Interview,” available at www.yahoo.com:
Chris Moody: "Would you continue the current federal policy making marijuana illegal in all cases or give the states more control?"
Gingrich: "I would continue current federal policy, largely because of the confusing signal that steps towards legalization sends to harder drugs.
I think the California experience is that medical marijuana becomes a joke. It becomes marijuana for any use. You find local doctors who will prescribe it for anybody that walks in."
Chris Moody: "Why shouldn't the states have control over this? Why should this be a federal issue?"
Gingrich: "Because I think you guarantee that people will cross state lines if it becomes a state-by-state exemption.
I don't have a comprehensive view. My general belief is that we ought to be much more aggressive about drug policy.” Nov. 28, 2011 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
Buddy Roemer, Governor of Louisiana, made the following statement in a Jan. 12, 2012 interview titled "Exclusive: Interview with Presidential Candidate Buddy Roemer," available at newtopiamagazine.wordpress.com:
"There are certain things that are the national government: military defense, relations with foreign governments, that’s all Washington D.C. But things like the application of marijuana laws or the application of certain work standards, those sorts of things are under state purview. I would honor that." Jan. 12, 2012 Buddy Roemer