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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- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Mitt Romney • New Hampshire
soundoff (274 Responses)
  1. Jeff, Houston, Texas

    No marijuanna, but bubba redneck can have all the beer he wants. hmmmmm...

    I do not favor the legaliziation per se, but when are we going to wake up and admit we like to use recreatioinal drugs as a nation? Alcohol, nicotene, caffiene?

    October 8, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. J, NC

    I do not understand what the big deal is.... If it helps the sick why not legalize it. I mean my gosh... IT FREAKING GROWN IN NATURE. How is it different from tobbacco... or alcholo??

    October 8, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. John, Texas

    "He showed incredibly good judgment by walking away from a political activist who was trying to trap him into saying something regretful. Talk about shameful, the "poor boy" uses his wheelchair as a political platform to obtain instant mercy whether warranted or not. There are MANY options people. Find one that is legal."

    Well gee, if I was in a wheelchair and under threat of arrest for using my medicine, I would probably be an activist on the issue as well. What the hell is wrong with you?

    You are wrong when you say there are plenty of options. The options that exist don't always work for every patient. For a sub-population of patients, medical marijuana works best for them, and may be the only thing that works at all. Anti nausea and pain options are weak.

    October 8, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. Linda - Albany, NY

    Sue Aspen – Granda Hills, Ca:

    Some of us are extremely familiar with Mormon beliefs & doctrine. Your "enlightening" facts still do not justify Romney's ignorance and disrespect towards that young man's affliction, nor did he answer his question fully.

    Politicians are to uphold the separation of church and state – this means putting aside his own personal/spiritual views/agenda.

    Still, you have not given a persuading argument as to why medical marijuana should not be allowed. Given it's healing properties for those afflicted with an array of diseases, it should be allowed. Just because Mr. Romney doesn't view it as valuable, doesn't mean that's so.

    You should also be aware of the "church's" belief that there is a natural cure for every ailment. Perhaps you should continue your studies so you can present a better argument next time.

    October 8, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. bukky, Baltimore, MD

    David Glick, Staten Island, NY

    So what his wife has MS. The drug he is talking about may work for her but it has also been shown NOT to work for everyone.

    ALSO Mitt has a personal wealth of over 30 Million dollars. and him and his wife get the best healthcare money can but FOR FREE.

    It does not help his case that his wife has MS, it makes him seem less human that he has seen the pain a person goes through FIRST hand and still refuses to make ALL options available.

    YIPPIE his wife has found an aid that helps AND she can afford. MILLIONS other are not so lucky

    October 8, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. Trevor, Fresno, CA

    Ha, it is so interesting to hear all of you say things like, "This guy is a jerk" and a "hypocrite" and is "close-minded" and so on but show those same qualities with the comments that you post. There is absolutely nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone because of the policies that they have. It is American to question. But it is completely different to bash on someone because of their religion. Yes, I would agree that religion does play a large part in how someone goes about with their lives, but some of you go farther than just disagreeing with the man. I'm talking about your biggotted comments against Mormonism that are neither true nor...as some of you would say "factual". Which is worst? Hypocricy or Biggotry?? I would say that both are terrible qualities to have. A great man once said.. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". Mitt Romney doesn't represent the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – he is only a member of the church. He doesn't speak for the church, neither does the member who owns all the Starbucks Coffees in Utah. (What a rediculous comment that was by the way). Attack Mitt, not his religion, or be just as guilty as you claim he is. Enough said..

    October 8, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  7. Jones

    It's clear this video has captured the attention of the Legalize Marijuana crowd. I don't think there is much that can be done to change their minds. To Romney, I think his answer was correct, even if he did move quickly to get out of there. This was a trap designed to provoke a Romney. There's pretty much nothing he could have said that would have satisfied the boy. I'm pretty sure if he had hung around and engaged sincerely in the conversation, the "boy" would have continued with over provoking loaded questions. Come on people, you expect Romney to be Mother Teresa when confronted by a wheel chair activist who very insincerely asks "will you throw me in jail...". Romney was right to make a quick exit rather than hang around in a hostile situation.

    October 8, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. Chris Minneapolis MN

    Who cares ablout medicinal, what about recreational? LEt's be honest, it is a much safer alternative to alcohol. I'm amazed by all the people who have been conned by the establishment that MJ is somehow harmful. The reason it is frowned upon is that it somehow encourages thinking. And what is more dangerous to a government than a thinking population? People go to jail for nothing when they go to jail for cannabis offences. It is a shame.

    October 8, 2007 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. kiima2cute cincinnati ohio

    what the heck man, when i become the next woman/black president, don't worry you guys, if its not legalized by then i will leaglize it for sure.

    October 8, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. Jim, Topeka, KS

    What about medical poppy. Are you ready for that? I hope so, medical uses of the poppy are your opium based pain killers.

    While I am not in favor of legalization of marijuana for sale across the counter, it has been proven to have certain properties that are useful in treating a number of illnesses, not curing them, but permitting individuals to maintain a somewhat accetable life style where they would be unable to do so other wise.

    A great number of drugs are from plants, however the drugs have been developed with a delivery system that can control the dose and be sold in the phramacy.

    October 8, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Leigh,Pa.

    Mitt lost me from the very beginning for hauling his dog on the roof of his car, but this really makes my blood boil!!

    Mitt's a pretty face, phony, a–hole!!!

    Everyone should see this. It speaks volumes!

    October 8, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. John, Texas

    Jones said:

    "It's clear this video has captured the attention of the Legalize Marijuana crowd. I don't think there is much that can be done to change their minds. "

    The legalize medical marijuana crowd is around 70% of the nation.

    " To Romney, I think his answer was correct, even if he did move quickly to get out of there. This was a trap designed to provoke a Romney. There's pretty much nothing he could have said that would have satisfied the boy."

    How was his answer correct? His reason was wrong. Synthetic THC is not a solution for every patient. There's nothing he could have said? How about he could have said "No, I won't arrest you for using your medicine. I won't have the DEA target medical marijuana patients."

    " I'm pretty sure if he had hung around and engaged sincerely in the conversation, the "boy" would have continued with over provoking loaded questions. "

    Pure speculation based on nothing but your own bias.

    "Come on people, you expect Romney to be Mother Teresa when confronted by a wheel chair activist who very insincerely asks "will you throw me in jail…".

    Hmm, his position is that he will throw that person in jail since he wouldn't change the law. How was it insincere?

    October 8, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. Lana, Maryland

    I'm pretty sure Sue Aspen was just trying to clarify the Mormon church's exact stance on certain substances, since many on here miscontrue them and use Howard Stern's doctrine on Mormonism. For example, Mormons CAN drink Coke.

    October 8, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  14. Marian

    Holy cow. What a response from the They accuse Romney of being harsh only to spew out biggotry and hatred without restraint. Can't they see that this was just a political activist who wanted his moment in the spotlight? Well, he got his moment. He asked a question, Romney answered and then everyone condemns Romney for being a meany-pants. Way to go Mitt. This was a lose-lose situation and he was right to get out of Dodge.

    October 8, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Gary Bunting Palm Coast Florida

    CNN and the so called mainstream media have departed the ranks of impartial journalism and joined the ranks of the partisan advocates for a liberal take over of the government. Tell me, do you collaborate much with the "mainstream media" in Venezuela. You have so much in common.

    October 8, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. Sybil

    Meany-pants... hilarious. I would have done the same thing. This guy had an axe to grind and was trying to grind it on Mitt Romney. How about he use the existing democratic process to get the law changed? If so many people agree with him, it should be a piece of cake to pass legislation to legalize marijuana. So I pose the question of why has it not been legalized? BECAUSE IT'S A DUMB IDEA. Just what we need in society, a bunch of dope-heads using their sore back as a means to obtain mind-altering drugs. Duh.

    October 8, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. Barabas, Hot City, TX

    He DID answer the question. Not being in support of legalizing marijuana means....YES, if you are taking it and your Dr. prescribes it to you than both of you can be taken to jail. How is that not answering the question.

    This was all a trap to get Romney to say he would arrest the poor little wheelchair kid to his face. I think he handled it just like any of you hipocrites would.

    I'm not going to vote for Romney, but most of you people are idiots.

    BTW, I don't think legalizing medical marijuana is bad, as long as it is regulated just like any other medicine to help keep doctors from prescribing it to healthy people or trying to make money off of it on the side.

    October 8, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    The powers that be evidently manufacture candidates from the same robotic/slave formula they want to inflict upon the general populace. It doesn't matter that they've been documented as implictly advocating arrests of the medically needy. What really does matter is the query: How long must we let out-of- touch politicians rule our lives by their same out-moded, old-fashioned, ignorant knee-jerk condemnations of something they can never have first-hand experience with? The candidate without compassion is the candidate who'll cause more problems as another corporate tool. Too long has the working class had to carry the corporate welfare class, with scorn its only reward. We don't need their permission to be happy, and we need not apply for it.

    October 8, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. Larry B Ft Worth, Texas

    I never cared for Romney. Good that the media shows this. Walking away from a sick guy wanting an answer breaks my heart! Wonder how Dr. No would have answered his question? Were did cannabis ever go wrong? cannabis is Big money in alot of areas (court fees, Lawyers, cash busts, etc.)
    plus this harmless weed puts so many behind bars.

    October 8, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. David, Staten Island, NY

    It must be really hard to be a Republican these days. If they hadn't enabled the worst pResident in History, I'd almost feel sorry for them.

    Let the Gopers Lament.

    October 8, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. BreifnReal, Syracuse, New York

    Kucinich is pro medical marijuana use.

    October 8, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  22. m T

    China is free to grow hemp! America is free to arrest people and grow the for profit prison-industrial complex. America is also free to import millions of dollars of hemp products from communist China! So free in the USA!

    October 8, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. Kevin, Columbus OH

    There is no way that the corporate society (of which he is a member) will give up any aspect of their prison/police/medical money making schemes, no matter how damaging it is to the country or individuals. Romney is not a person we want for president.

    Ron Paul would legailize medical marijuana and get rid of the DEA, we should all be supporting him.

    October 8, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. Neil Rove

    If the majority of the base supported this issue, I am sure he would be for it. This guy will say anything to get elected. He has no principles and it is shocking to see the supposed Party of Principles tout his candidacy.

    Check out this link:


    October 8, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  25. Frightened American,

    God, I hate republicans so much. They claim they want less government interference in the everyday lives of citizens and then they say "listen, we know better than your doctor on this one."

    RON PAUL IN 2008!!!!!

    October 8, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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