McCain's VP Pick Acknowledged Marijuana Use

Aug 29, 2008

marijuana, McCain, Medical Marijuana

Noting that his just-announced vice presidential pick, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, has acknowledged having smoked marijuana, MPP is urging Sen. John McCain to respect states' rights to set their own marijuana policies if he is elected president.

On Aug. 6, 2006, the Anchorage Daily News reported:

Palin said she has smoked marijuana -- remember, it was legal under state law, she said, even if illegal under U.S. law -- but says she didn't like it and doesn't smoke it now.

 'I can't claim a Bill Clinton and say that I never inhaled.'

The paper quoted Palin as saying she opposed legalization of marijuana because of the "message" that would be sent to her children.

"Governor Palin is one of many millions of Americans who have used marijuana and gone on to live productive, wildly successful lives," said MPP executive director Rob Kampia said in a statement released a little while ago. "That she used marijuana is no big deal, but what is a big deal is that she thinks that the 100 million Americans who have used marijuana, including herself, belong in jail. That wouldn't be good for her kids.

"Perhaps most importantly, Alaska is one of 12 states that allow the medical use of marijuana, and one in five Americans currently live in those states. The heavy hand of the federal government has trampled state authority and tried to interfere with the implementation of these state-level medical marijuana laws. The GOP ticket should embrace the time-honored Republican principle of local control by promising to end the federal government's war on sensible medical marijuana laws in both red and blue states."

Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington have medical marijuana laws. New Mexico's is the latest, passed by the Legislature last year. Montana's medical marijuana law appeared on the November 2004 ballot, receiving 62 percent of the vote, exceeding George W. Bush's total of 59 percent.

Early in the presidential campaign, McCain seemed to support a states' rights position on medical marijuana, but later backed away from this and became overtly hostile, receiving an "F" grade from Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana.