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. Shawnie Cannon, Grants Pass OR

    Sam from Florida. Hello? Where have you been? You said:

    "He would only be in favor of legalizing medical marijuana if a member of his family or himself were afflicted with muscular dystrophy."

    Have you met his wife, Ann Romney who HAS muscular disotrophy. He can see right through the guy, knowing FIRSTHAND there are other alternatives.

    Of course we're not going to legalize medical marajuana, there is already proof that it is long-term detrimental.

    I could not respect ANY candidate who would pander to such ridiculous special interest.

    October 8, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    It really says something about a candidate's character when he or she is unable or unwilling to answer a direct question? I mean the man asked Romney if he would arrest the man for using medical marijuana, he did not ask whether or not Romney was in favor of medical marijuana.

    It is sad that the candiate, Mitt Romney in this instance, did not have enough respect for the individual (and by default, us voters) to give him a "yes" or "no."

    October 8, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. maverick

    My Bible says; God gave us all seed bearing herbs for our meat.
    So go figure!

    October 8, 2007 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Most posters are getting hung up on the marijuana issue. The Anti-drug stance, even medical marijuana, is a basic plank in the republican platform.

    What really got me was watching Romney's reaction to the person asking the question. Romney acted as if he'd been stung by a bee or was jumping away from a hot flame. Instead of facing the questioner and explaining his views, like them or not, Romney treated to man as if he were a leper and someone to be shunned.

    That alone is disrespectful and shameful. Romney is not someone I'd even remotely consider presidential.

    October 8, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  5. Thomas J. Hillgardner

    Sure MR expressed his opinion...but he did not answer the question. There is a distinction between legalizing medical marijuana and enforcing the law requiring the jailing of sick people. MR avoided the issue. As for his opinion, he avoided explaining his rationale for his opinion. Why is he opposed to legalized medical marijuana? Is his position based on his religious beliefs? It cannot possibly be a rational view of the scientific knowledge!

    October 8, 2007 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Marco, Park Ridge, IL

    If Hillary says she never tried marijuana, she's lying. I'm from her neighborhood. I know someone that knew her well, back in the day. That individual toked up with Hil and her brother Tony on several occasions.
    I'd love for some reporter to ask her this question.

    October 8, 2007 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. Carl Spackler - IL

    To Anonymous

    Just because Hillary was upset that one of her friends was using drugs, does not mean she was not using them. She could of been upset that someone else, besides herself, was using illegal drugs.

    She is not all that clean herself. None of the candidates are.

    October 8, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. Me, Fullerton, CA

    All of you who agree with medical marijuana must be drug mafias. You are really evil, you use sick patients to get marijuana legalized. May all of you who want marijuana to be legalized be put in hell by God's own hands. Do you really think that you can confront God? Once you'll his hands, you'll realize that there is really God, but it'll be too late, dear.

    For those the patients who want to get cured, there are many other ways rather than using marijuana. First of course you must repent (remember you almost die and will face the Creator soon, so you'd better repent when there is still enough time). Second, consult with second, third of fourth doctor to get other opinions for your illness. There must be another way, remember that. May God bless you.

    October 8, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Todd, Mount Pleasant MI

    Why prevent people from receiving effective medical treatment, Mr. Romeny? Are you afraid of smoke blown in your face? Or are you more scared of the “Fall-out” you’ll have with your sanctimonious supporters?

    Romeny belongs in church, not in The White House. His Mormonism, like Christianity, is not grounds to dictate law. He may have his opinions; however, as a lawmaker, Romney's religion and state of mind are inseperable. We have enough Puritans in office...

    October 8, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  10. Evan, Milwaukee

    Shawnie Cannon: Actually Ann Romney has Multiple Sclerosis, not muscular dystrophy (it's actually a common confusion, so I don't fault you for that).

    BUT, you said "He can see right through the guy, knowing FIRSTHAND there are other alternatives."

    He raised those alternatives with the kid (pain meds, synthetic THC, etc..) and the kid said he's tried all of those and that medical marijuana works best for him. Are you calling the kid a liar?

    October 8, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  11. Mark, Rio de Janeiro

    to Shawnie Cannon, Grants Pass OR:

    Who are you to tell this man how he can and can not suffer and what he can do to alleviate this?

    You are concerned that "there is already proof that it is long-term detrimental."

    HELLO! What do you think muscular dystrophy does to you long term?

    You live your life. You let him live his. That's freedom.

    October 8, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. Michael, Brookline, MA

    the guy was acting he isnt really sick

    MITT ROMNEY JEB BUSH '08!!!!!!!!! WOO BABY!!

    October 8, 2007 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. Gavin, Gainesville, Florida


    "Of course we're not going to legalize medical marajuana, there is already proof that it is long-term detrimental."

    I have two family members living with MS and before they discovered cannabis their doctors were happily prescribing them 16 different prescription drugs to take during the day and they still suffered greatly. Not to mention went broke. Then they went to a doctor who prescribed cannabis. They were able to dwindle down to 4 prescriptions and the cannabis helped in a way the pharmos never did. Cannabis has no long term affects if taken through vaporization or ingestion. Not something you can say about the pharmos.

    "I could not respect ANY candidate who would pander to such ridiculous special interest."

    Thats interesting you say that because by denouncing marijuana(amidst loads of postive research) he is pandering directly to one of the most corrupt special interests, Pharmaceutical.

    Presrciption drug deaths each year: 200,000 plus

    Tylenol deaths each year: 3,000

    Cannabis deaths since written documentation. 0


    October 8, 2007 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. John, Michigan

    I didn't know presidents had the power to arrest individuals. I think the person did get a reasonable answer to the issue of medical marijuana.
    What troubles me is all those who might say I have an exam next class and I feel stressed. Or claim it helps them kick their tobacco habit.
    If it provides for a better quality of life for a cancer victim I am for medical marijuana but we need clear limitations and controls.

    October 8, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. Tom, Somewhere, WI

    All one can say about this man is, What a Shmuck.

    October 8, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Michael I Hastings Minnesota

    he is in favor of synthetic cannibis because some conglomorite can take your money and please the share holders

    The GOP are against some thing you can grow your self for free

    And as other posters have said , if his kid suddenly could benifit from it he would change his mind no matter how small it is

    October 8, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. T. James, Las Vegas, NV

    Mormons are not allowed to use caffeine, so you might want to ask why it is, therefore, that their church owns stock in Coca Cola.

    October 8, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. Brad, Vancouver Wa

    one interesting point: a number here have said "this is a Republican issue". Have any of the Dems been asked this question? And how did they answer?

    October 8, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. Sensible in Connecticut

    I believe that everyone here who has posted against the legalization of medical marijuana is a hypocrite. If you or a loved one had an ailment where it could subdue the agony of pain you would be a proponent of it use or would get it illegally. You need to smell the crap you are shoveling.

    October 8, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. Paul, CA

    How can anyone say they are pro-life yet actively deny the very sick the medicine they need most? He's a hypocrite who has shown his true colors in this video. Just another glad-handing poltician who cares more about political expediency than doing whats right.

    October 8, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. Common Sense

    EEEEWWWWW. I just watched the video for the first time after commenting after merely reading the article. Romney looks disgusting. He should be ashamed of the way he treated that kid first of all. He was completely dismissive and disrespectful to a young man that afforded him every respect only to have his face spit in. It's sad people are actually considering this rude businessman as a possible candidate. Shows me how much farther this country still has to go...

    Go Obama!

    October 8, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. Mark, Rio de Janeiro

    By the way, there is a candidate who opposes the drug war. His name is Ron Paul.

    October 8, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. Andrew B, Laurel MD

    What's the worst ANY drug can do?

    It can kill its users.
    It can make its users more likely to harm or kill others.

    Alcohol does both of these, yet we live with it, and no candidate is calling for outlawing it. So why are people in "The land of the free" so willing to give up their freedom to use other drugs?

    The vast majority of the problems caused by illegal drugs are caused by the money involved, not the drugs themselves. Legalize and live with it.

    October 8, 2007 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  24. Joel, Columbus OH

    I wish they would legalize it for all, our tax dollars are wasted on this harmless drug. It would free up millions to go after real drugs like crack and heroin. Medically would be a great start.

    October 8, 2007 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. alison atlanta ga

    In order to stay within his religious boundries he would have to allow innocent people to suffer instead of taking advantage of a low cost and natural relief. In addition to that if he cannot handle mild mannered confrontation with a young man asking him questions about legalizing marijuana how in the world will he handle confronting terrorism? He now appears not only rude, but spineless.

    October 8, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
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