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."

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Filed under: Mitt Romney • New Hampshire
soundoff (274 Responses)
  1. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    The answer, of course, is that Mitt _will_ arrest him, wheelchair and all, and send him to a federal correctional facility in the midwest to await the Second Coming According to Mormon.

    October 8, 2007 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. matt

    Nice move, Mitt. He always ignores the tough questions. Doe4sn't matter if it's Chris Matthews or some "dumb voter" asking them.


    October 8, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. Anonymous

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

    Posted By Larry : October 8, 2007 11:40 am

    Bill "didn't inhale" at Oxford University, long before he met Hillary. A lame excuse but probably true as he does smoke. Letters Hillary sent to someone nearly 40 years ago recently published included one in which she was upset about a friend who was using POT. This provides absolute proof that Hillary did not use any illicit drugs in the 60's when such use was common.

    October 8, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. Ryan, Nashua NH

    Romney thinks everyone should conform to his religious ideals. He doesn't believe in modern medicine, he believe's in magic underwear. Vote for him and seal your fate...

    October 8, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. Sue, Yellow Springs OH

    Such arrogance - he just lost my vote.

    October 8, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. Tom Dedham, Mass

    I support Romney, but disagree with him on this issue. Unlike the sheep that support their candidates every view (see Clinton, Hillary).

    For the uninformed who say he would support this if it was a member of his family, well, his wife has MS, but you wouldn't know that because unlike OTHERS, they don't SHOVE that down our throats.

    Diane from Kentucky put it best, he is only expressing his opinion and NOT shoving any beliefs down our throats.

    How do you think Shrill would have answered this, vaguely as hell depending on what group she was pandering to that given day.

    I DISAGREE with him, but he was not arrogant or "vague", he answered the question, PERIOD.

    October 8, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Ethan, Los Angeles, CA

    Romney is just another presidential candidate who is willing to "play ball" with the rank and file elite of this country. He believes that he "is doing God's will" by imposing his beliefs on the entire nation.

    There is only one member of the GOP who knows it is not his place to push his beliefs on every American and that is Dr. Ron Paul. Please look at him America. Don't let the media tell you who you can or can't vote for. Hillary will likely be the Dem front runner. If Dr. Paul does not win the GOP ticket via the primaries, 2008 will be a presidential debate between an anti-war candidate (Hillary) and a pro-war candidate (Romney, Giuliani, Thompson, McCain, etc..)

    On the other hand, if Dr. Paul wins the GOP ticket, we will be able to choose between two anti-war candidates. personally, I sincerely hope Paul wins. That would say something nicely intelligent about the average American.

    October 8, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. Blayze Kohime, Columbus OH

    My sister had cancer and was actually prescribed this. I would not have had her go without it. Its not like she was sitting around with hippies smoking pot, she was just trying to take the edge of horrifyingly intense pain. Lets see him say that if he or someone he loves is in that situation.

    October 8, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. Colin742, Vancouver, Canada

    wonder if Hillary will say she didnt inhale when she was smoking it with Bill?
    Posted By Larry : October 8, 2007 11:40 am

    Bill “didn’t inhale” at Oxford University long before he met Hillary at Yale. Bill’s excuse, while lame, is probably true, as he does not smoke.( allergy ). Letters Hillary wrote to someone nearly 40 years ago included one in which she was upset about a friend using POT. From this we know for certain that she did not smoke pot at a time when this was a common practice.

    October 8, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  10. gooDs, NY NY

    this makes me sick.

    It's hard to believe there are actually people like this in the world, the scary part is they're the ones with power. Please Karma, give Romney some justice.

    It's a good thing that marijuana is readily available here with millions of users. Drug war? laughable.

    I'm sure Romney will be doing some good ol fashioned drinking and driving later tonight.

    October 8, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  11. Ron, TX

    Close your eyes to the world and be blind... or open your eyes to the world and become enlightened.

    It's not like marijuana is hard to find or buy anyway... if we want to turn around our national debt, all we gotta do is tax it.

    October 8, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  12. Rurik, St. Paul, MN

    All the GOP candidates seem to be against helping people and against anyone who deeds medical assistance. Why are they so blind to the needs of these people? Oh, right, they're only interested in the power of the office and not helping anyone but themselves or their cronies, who've had seven years of unfettered greed and stupidity.

    October 8, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  13. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    I totally agree with Clayton Holton. Marijuana is a substance that should be legalized, but only for medical purposes. And while I respect all the candidates' religions, I think Romney is being absurd. "Absurd" is also a word to describe Guliani. Even if he didn't say "federal agents should arrest the sick and they dying," he was undoubtedly thinking it.

    I would like to ask Republican bloggers a question: which of the two is worse in your view: Obama's "kingdom on earth", or the Republican party's stance on the legality of medical mj?

    October 8, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  14. Annoyed, New York, New York

    Soooo, are all of you potheads? That is exactly what we need, more of you.

    October 8, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. David B. Sterling VA

    The hypocrisy of a country that allows heroin and cocaine to be used for medical purposes while continuing to demonize marijuana would be laughable if it didn't have such monumentally dire consequences.

    October 8, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. Wendy, Georgetown, KY

    I would never vote for this guy anyway. Mormons are known for hiring only thier own and making an impossible working enviroment for those who do not believe as they do. I hate that religion has any place in politics, as we have learned with dumya, people will vote thier religious beliefs. The US gov has hid many reports that say pot has many medical benefits. The only reason that pot was not brought back from prohibition is because thier was no way for the gov to make money on it. It can be grown in nature anywhere, therfore no cash for the gov. Wake up people, we are living in a police state and have been for many years now. Death from Alcohol=To many to count, Deaths from Pot=0. Follow the money. My advise to this poor guy who has been helped by pot, keep smoking buddy, do whatever helps you make it through the day. No one knows this mans pain and what he endures everyday. Apparently Romney doesn't care, like someone else said previously, if it was him or someone in his family, he would feel differently, but its not so he will remain ignorant and insensative.

    October 8, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. Martin, San Rafael, CA

    Get over yourself Romney…

    October 8, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  18. Edwin, Worcester, MA

    As a citizen of Massachusetts, I find it absolutely astounding that anyone would support Mitt Romney. He did absolutely nothing as the leader of our state. Not exactly an impressive foundation to base a candidacy.

    If you want an empty suit in '08, vote Mitt!

    October 8, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. Kristen, Storrs, CT

    Even if Mormons do religiously oppose mind-altering substances, so do Buddhists and other religions around the world. Though marijuana is a mind-altering substance, what about alcohol, pain killers, tobacco, and caffeine? These drugs can do a lot worse in terms of addiction, physiological impairment and permanent physical damage. Why are these legal when medicinal marijuana is not? Mitt Romney may just be following his own beliefs but his opinion is decidedly close-minded and hypocritical.

    October 8, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    DR. RON PAUL is for legalizing marijuana!! and ending the useless war on drugs!
    Look it up.

    October 8, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. Gavin, Gainesville. Florida

    It's sad that after 5,000 years of cannabis use among humans with no deaths directly related to use, no established LD-50, and literally dozens of studies showing the immense health benifits in relation to relative non-toxicicity. Yet the pharmaceutical industry, paper industry, oil industry, alchohol industry and more still have the power to keep the failed drug war alive. Not to mention the DEA and Private prisons making billions off of minor drug offenses.

    All while I can go down to the gas station buy cancer sticks an the most abused and horrendous drug there is alchohol. And then proceed to my doctor to be prescribed Oxycontin (hillbilly heroine). Thank you for protecting me and the children America.

    October 8, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. Raj, Durham, NC

    I have no idea why marijuana (for medical purposes) is not legalized. Yes, it is controversial, but still less-so than leaving a suffering patient with no other viable options.

    October 8, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. Kris, Toronto, Canada

    A classic case of ideology winning over science.

    Of course, Mitt has no problem allowing the drug industry to extract the THC from the cannabis plant, and turn it into a pill to sell for millions of dollars to suffering people, instead of letting people grow it for themselves (which is extremely easy, afterall it's a weed).

    Like many other herbs, I think this one is special.

    October 8, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  24. Garry Minor, Columbus Indiana

    Cannabis has been used as medicine, food, fuel, shelter, and spirituality from the first time man discovered it. It wasn't illegal and it worked. lol! It occupies first place on a list of 10,000 medicinal plants in the Zend Avesta centuries before Christ. You and I have cannabinoid receptors in our body! In Canada and Europe cannabis has been found to promote the growth of brain cells and destroy tumors. It is also quite helpful with Alzheimers, autism, MS, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain, depression, nausea, migraine, arthritis, obesity, asthma, emphysema, herpes, Parkinsons, Huntingtons, Tourettes, Crohns disease, and more! For some reason modern science is only now studying this remarkable plant. Wonder why?
    The cannabis seed is the most nutritious thing you can eat and in our diet could alleviate many of the health conditions mentioned above. It could also replace the need for hormones and remnants in our feedstock which is why American beef is banned in Europe. These additives are believed the reason for the spread of BSE's in our food chain that can cause mental deterioration in some people.
    Anyone that is against cannabis simply does not know what they are talking about. The history is there for anyone that has eyes to see!

    October 8, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  25. Stefano, Tucson AZ

    IT’S A PLANT! ONLY A PLANT! LEGALIZE IT AND TAKE THE CRIMINAL ENTITY OUT OF THIS. This is one war that will never be won no matter how many "billions" you throw at it... Why is this so hard to accept? GET A CLUE!

    October 8, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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