October 8th, 2007
02:23 PM ET
12 years ago

Romney confronted with medical marijuana issue

Watch Romney tackle the medical marijuana issue with a voter in New Hampshire.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was confronted head-on Saturday over the issue of medical marijuana.

Following a campaign appearance in Dover, New Hampshire, a member of the audience, Clayton Holton, told Romney he has muscular dystrophy and said five of his doctors say he is "living proof medical marijuana works."

"I am completely against legalizing it for everyone, but there is medical purposes for it," Holton told Romney.

Romney pointed out that there is synthetic marijuana as well as other pain medications available.

"It makes me sick. I have tried it, and it makes me throw up," Holton said. "My question for you is will you arrest me or my doctors if I get medical marijuana."

"I am not in favor of medical marijuana being legal in the country," Romney said as he moved on to greet other people.

Holton continued, "Excuse me, will you please answer my question?"

"I think I have. I am not in favor of legalizing medical marijuana," the Massachusetts Republican said.

Other Republican presidential hopefuls have also recently been confronted by patients on the issue.

The New York Times reported a patient in New Hampshire accused former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani of saying he would have “federal agents arrest the sick and the dying.”

"I never said that," Giuliani said.

Meanwhile, The Associated Press reported late last month Arizona Sen. John McCain told a patient, "Every town hall meeting I have, someone shows up and advocates for medical marijuana, and, by the way, in all due respect, alleges that we are arresting the dead and the dying, and I still have not seen any evidence of that."

Click here to CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Mitt Romney • New Hampshire
soundoff (274 Responses)
  1. Common Sense

    Sounds pretty aarogant to me. Open-mindedness is so looked down upon. I bet Mitts is in favor of alcohol use despite the thousands of lives it takes yearly compared to the thou-, the hund-–, zero lives Marijuana claims yearly.

    Legalize it and tax it. Wake Up. Hipocrisy runs sooo deep in our government.

    October 8, 2007 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  2. Kyle, Champaign IL

    idiot. I hate this man.

    October 8, 2007 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  3. Sam, Tampa, Florida

    He would only be in favor of legalizing medical marijuana if a member of his family or himself were afflicted with muscular dystrophy. It's the same story with all of the other hypocrites in Washington who oppose stem cell research or legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. They opposite it because it doesn't affect them.

    October 8, 2007 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. freetobeme, Rochester, PA

    Did you expect anything else from this creep Romney? Yeah, why allow someone who is sick to benefit from something that can be grown dirt-cheap for free when you can make them pay through the nose for a chemical cocktail?

    October 8, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  5. StephenD, Tulsa, OK

    Do we really want a president who's so ignorant of the facts about cannabis making policy? What else is he ignorant of? Just what this country needs, more raids on doctors and cancer patients and more prisons filled to the brim with nonviolent pot smokers, instead of actually focusing on crime and the horrors the so-called war on drugs has perpetrated on this country.

    October 8, 2007 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. Buggie, San Diego, CA

    Please keep in mind that Mormons are not allowed to use mind altering substances. This includes marijuana, alcohol and caffeine. His stance is no surprise to anyone who knows anything about Mormon beliefs.

    October 8, 2007 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. JR, McMurray PA

    I don't know what's more typical of a Republican, dodging very important questions or being ignorant in the face of science for their own faith. Mitt Romney's ignorance towards this young man only further expresses the ignorance displayed by the party as a whole. Republicans love money, dispise diversity and equality and waste time with their churches' ludicrous teachings. Mitt Romney is just plain wrong for the enevitably progressive America.

    October 8, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. George

    Please keep in mind that Mormons are not allowed to use mind altering substances. This includes marijuana, alcohol and caffeine. His stance is no surprise to anyone who knows anything about Mormon beliefs.
    Posted By Buggie, San Diego, CA : October 8, 2007 11:26 am

    Many would say that religion itself is a mind altering substance.

    October 8, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Mark, Rio de Janeiro

    Who the hell are these people to tell us what we can and can not consume to ease our pain and suffering?

    Medical marijuana DOES NO HARM in any way, whatsoever, to those who do not want a part of it.

    October 8, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. David Frazier


    He is not in favor of it becasue it will cost the Drug industry billions. It's only about the money for thease guys. Would Jesus deny thi sguy treatment. Ask yourself that.

    October 8, 2007 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. Tom Petty, Sacramento, CA

    The shocking thing about this video is not Romney's position on medical marijuana. His position is actually pretty conventional. The shocking thing is his refusal to answer the young man's question and then to move on with his plastic, fake smile ignoring the guy. It shows a callousness that should disqualify Romney from being President.

    October 8, 2007 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. Lou, Miami Florida

    wao, Mitt show you care a little at least when you are in front of a camera and try not to be so fake and uncaring if you like to get to the WH.

    October 8, 2007 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. John, St.Paul,MN

    I will never vote for this guy now

    October 8, 2007 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. Evan, Milwaukee

    I honestly cannot understand how anyone can support this guy. He just seems so sleazy.

    October 8, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. StephenD, Tulsa, OK

    "Please keep in mind that Mormons are not allowed to use mind altering substances. This includes marijuana, alcohol and caffeine. His stance is no surprise to anyone who knows anything about Mormon beliefs."

    I don't care about the religious affiliation of a presidential candidate. I do care if they see fit to shove the nonsensical beliefs of their ridiculous cults onto the rest of us.

    October 8, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  16. Larry

    I cant say that I agree with Mitt on this subject, but at least he did not side step the issue. He answered directly. I would like to hear the other candidates stances on this subject, and see how many of them skirt the issue.

    Maybe if they legalized it then put taxes on it, we could fund programs like SCHIP.

    I wonder if Hillary will say she didnt inhale when she was smoking it with Bill?

    October 8, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. Mike in Dallas

    Lets face facts, it could be proven to cure cancer and the Republican flat-earth machine would manufacture some data that claimed it caused hairy palms! Romney is only a reflection of the narrow-minded, fanatical fascists that make up his dark-ages party...

    October 8, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. Hooligan, Everywhere, America

    To Biggie in San Diego:

    The majority of the Starbucks in Utah are run by one, large business consortium – a consortium owned by a prominent Mormon. He also owns a large trucking company in this country – Swift Transportation.

    Aren't facts grand?!

    October 8, 2007 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. Evie, TS FL

    Prohibition didn't work for booze, hasn't worked for pot.

    Our politicians are paid by big business. Pharmaceuticals are big business. Pot is grown from a seed and if a field is left alone ... we see why we also call pot weed.

    October 8, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  20. Diane S. Muldraugh, KY

    When he sxpresses HIS opinion, he is "shoving his beliefs" on you, but when you express YOUR opinion, we are expected to agree or else we are "nonsensical"? Don't even the candidates have a right to hold and state an opinion? You are entitled not to vote for anyone who does not think the way you do. Personally, wether I agree with him or not, I rather like the fact he was willing to state his opinion, and stick to it.

    October 8, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. South Bend, Indiana

    I'm Democratic and I agree with Romney.

    October 8, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. Matt, Canoga Park CA

    Another reason why you do not elect a member of a cult to political office or the presidency. A cult is a cult wether it's been around for less than 50 years like scientology or 150 years like the Mormons.

    Wrapping it all up under the name of God does not make it any less a cult.

    Avoid this guy America or fear the consequences. This is just the tip of this guys iceberg.

    October 8, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  23. Greg, NY, NY


    You are absolutely correct.

    "Religion is the opiate of the masses."

    October 8, 2007 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  24. Evan, Milwaukee

    For me, and I think a lot of the commenters on here, it's not his stance that's disgusting (I don't support the legalization of marijuana, but I wouldn't deny it to someone with an illness such as MD), it's his treatment of that kid. He DIDN'T answer his question. The kid asked if Romney would throw him in jail and dodged and weaved and walked away with a plastic grin. He didn't have the decency to show this kid any respect.

    October 8, 2007 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  25. DF in FL

    Yeah, well I'm not in favor of medical Oxycotin. But I'm not going to force 300 million Americans to submit to my personal preferences.

    October 8, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11