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. Anonymous

    hempcar.org vs dependance on foreign oil.... hmmmmmmm....hmmmmm. ..that's a tough one.

    October 8, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. Drew, Hackensack NJ

    Legalize Marijuana NOW! How is it that booze is legal everywhere you go and kills thousands of people a year? You can't overdose at ALL on weed, driving (while it would probably be outlawed) high is a lot safer than drunk as well! How many times have you seen kids die from car accidents on prom night from drivers who were high and not drunk? It's rediculous how a tiny little plant can cause such a raucous. Check out most of the people commenting on this subject and you'll see they're all in favor of legalization. How many songs do you hear on the radio about smoking pot? It's time the country that LET'S US live "free" started letting us do what we want to ourselves!

    October 8, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. Darren, Los Angeles, CA

    The truth is that a bag of weed is far cheaper than those toxic pills the drug lobbies want you to buy.

    That's the reason cancer patients take it so they can keep an appetite and not want to vomit from the toxic pills.

    The truth is that marijuana is so cheap people could potentially grow it for free in the backyard...which could mean billions in lost tax revenues and corporate profits for the drug lobbies.

    October 8, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. Martin, New York, NY

    Who cares what Romney thinks about ANY issue becuase he'll flip 180 degrees to suit whatever audience he's pandering to at the time. What's left to know? We know everything about him already...he's a liar, a panderer, a fraud, a fake.

    October 8, 2007 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. Medical marijuana supporter

    I really don't expect Mitt Romney to support any medical marijuana intiative because the mormon faith dosen't even support the use of coffee. I was struck though by his total disconnect to even to listen to the young man and allow him a moment to explain his treating some of his symptoms with marjuana.

    October 8, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. m T WI

    hempcar.org vs. dependance on foreign oil......hmmmmm that's a tough one.

    October 8, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. m T WI

    China free to grow hemp! America free to feed the for-profit prison-industrial complex with non-violent hemp users! America- free to import millions of dollars of hemp products from communist China!

    October 8, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. Chris, Cincinnati, OH

    This is not a free country – No one can give me a good reason why in the land of the free it is illegal for a tax paying, law abiding (ration laws) adult citizen to go home to his or her private residence and ingest whatever he or she wants. In the privacy of your own home you should be able to take whatever you want into your own body, anything less than that is not a free society – realize this please – no where in the constitution gives anyone the right to tell an adult American what he or she can ingest, period!

    October 8, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. m T WI

    hempcar.org vs foreign dependance on oil.....hmmmmmm....that's a tough one.. .....

    October 8, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. David Berenstein, Honolulu Hawaii

    This video seriously creeped me out. I am scared of this man. Put medical marijuana aside... Romney was asked by a suffering patient about whether they would continue the federal RAIDS on himself and his doctors, and romney WALKED AWAY... Oh my goodness... I literally got goosebumps. How dare he ignore a constituent. He said "I believe I have answered his question" which means that his answer was "yes I will arrest him and his doctors."

    Putting medical marijuana aside, how can anyone vote for a man so cruel as to walk away from a disabled person. If this person wins presidency, I am literally leaving the country.

    October 8, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. Chris, Huntington, California

    I think enough people are doing this dumb drug already. I feel it's the reason why our population is getting stupider. Romney is standing by his choice, I have heard of many who aren't even sick taking advantage of "medical marijuana" so who legalise it, you just know it'll end up in the wrong hands.

    October 8, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. Andrew, New York, NY

    How arrogant, unfeeling, disrespectful and basically Teflonesque can you get?
    NO ONE like that deserves to be in public office – no matter how rich he might be.

    October 8, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  13. Charles A.Maraganis Dracut,Massachusetts

    Great!!!!! Law and Disorder conservitives! If u plant the seed and let mama nature take over your a drug dealer!!!! I have cancer and I have to go to Vermont from Massachusetts,because of religous politicans!!!!Rommy makes me sick,more than my cancer!!!!

    October 8, 2007 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  14. Nathan, Seattle Wa

    I was a life long democrat (voted first time for Mondale) and watching this video has me a tad scared to vote repulican, however I am voting for

    Ron Paul!

    I think democrats need to give a serious look at Ron Paul, the democratic party isn't giving any options to the far left, their candidates are only appealing to the moderates. Ron Paul is anti war, for the legalization of all drugs, etc

    October 8, 2007 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  15. Jim, Palatine IL

    How about some Ron Paul coverage?

    October 8, 2007 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  16. Gavin, Gainesville, FL

    “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.”

    Yes, it was a piece of cake for the 14 states that have passed legislation legalizing marijuana. But then the federal government sends its’ henchmen (DEA) to steal the entire cake. That’s the exact topic the axe grinder was addressing.

    “ 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.”

    Just like we don’t need a bunch of drunks driving and running our government. Or a bunch of pill poppers spewing hate on the radio. Or my grandma taking her Sunday drive an hour after her Sunday Nyquil. Or people who write out Duh when typing a comment.

    October 8, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. Ryan, New York, NY

    I have heard of many who aren't even sick taking advantage of "medical marijuana" so who legalise it, you just know it'll end up in the wrong hands.

    Posted By Chris, Huntington, California : October 8, 2007 5:03 pm

    Chris, I have heard of many who aren't even sick taking advantage of Valium, Codeine, Vicodin, Percoset, Klonopin, etc. Why aren't they illegal?

    I don't know why anyone's surprised about this with Romney, or many others in the GOP, but that doesn't strike the fact that it's yet another decision that they're not basing on science. We all know the reason why it's illegal and Romney's response underscores that truth – that there are synthetic medications available, ones that are made by Pfizer, Bristol Myers-Squibb, and all the other companies who benefit from sales. What's worse is that our tax dollars support the propoganda television spots against marijuana, only to be followed by the ads for Ambien CR and Levitra. It's like a "Buy One, Get One Free" special for advertisers.

    October 8, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. melissa, woodbridge, va

    PLEASE READ: http://www.november.org/thewall/cases/magbie-j/magbie-j.html
    Then, check out the victim section on this site: http://www.mpp.org
    I don't trust most polititians, they feed you want you want to hear (or maybe I'm just paranoid:)

    October 8, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. Gavin, Gainesville, FL

    edit: Legislation legalizing Medical Marijuana.

    October 8, 2007 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  20. John, Phoenix, AZ

    what an idiot. what kind of stupid question is that to ask? of course no one in their right mind would legalize any form of marijuana. That is a self interest question that got more of a response than it deserves. All they need to do is put THC in a pill. The real question is to ask clinton why she wants to kill america and make it a socialist state. after all, she's lived off the taxpayers dime for decades...

    October 8, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. Rob, Berkeley, California

    LOGIC! Some people use it to solve riddles and disputes.

    There is NO logical reason to deny the public marijuana and not deny us tabacco or alchohol. If, that is, they are sticking to the whole " For your own good" line. Think about it for a second. This is and has always been about money! Relax, the right is going to lose on this one. Do you know why? It can be grown with out any effort. Seriously its nothing...or so I've heard.

    October 8, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  22. Gavin, Gainesville, FL


    "what an idiot. what kind of stupid question is that to ask? of course no one in their right mind would legalize any form of marijuana."

    So you're saying that their is no one with "right mind" in California, Vermont, New Hampshire etc...That's alot of anger to be spewing at a person stricken with a disease such as muscular dystrophy, who is merely asking a question. Karma

    October 8, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  23. Scottsdale, AZ

    I have a tough time understanding people that think he didn't answer the question. He said that he dows not support making it legal (which it currently isn't). If the police found him with Marijuana then of course they would arrest him. There is nothing left to the imagination. The primary reason they have not legalized Marijuana is the huge costs. Yes, you could tax it, but there would be huge costs in prosecuting doctors that are writing illegal prescriptions, crops that are stolen and the majority of the country does not support legalization!!

    October 8, 2007 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  24. Matthew, Cambridge, Ma

    As a Massachusetts resident who lived through Mitt Romney as governor, I am not surprised. He was always arrogant and never answered questions that mattered.

    He put this state in a horrible place economically and structurally. I can only imagine the damage he would do as president.

    October 8, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  25. MIngusDew, Somewhere in Kentucky

    If you want intelligent honest and balanced commentary on this please take a listen to the Dopecast on dopefiend.co.uk. I think the first thing the public needs to see is that we are not the "Cheech and Chong" sterotype. There are ALOT of successful professional people who use Cannabis in moderatation just like many of you who fear the "evil weed" use alcohol. I have a BS in Business Management and will soon have a MBA. I have a good job, own my own home in a decent neighborhood By the way, Cannabis is not even listed by the Government on their top five list of dangerous substances.

    October 8, 2007 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
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