GOP Presidential Hopefuls Debate Marijuana Policy

Sep 21, 2015 , , , , ,


Last week, Republican presidential candidates were asked about their positions on marijuana policy reform. While most of them responded that they would let states determine their own policies, they also stated their opposition to making marijuana legal for adults and revealed their serious misunderstandings of the relative harms of marijuana compared to alcohol and other drugs.

Here is the portion of the debate concerning marijuana policy:

Vice‘s coverage included some great comments from MPP’s Dan Riffle:

Riffle added that he was disappointed that “scientifically incorrect” information mentioned during the debate was not challenged, particularly Christie’s assertion that marijuana is a gateway drug.

“It’s troubling to have presidential candidates to be so misinformed on marijuana,” said Riffle. “The Institute of Medicine, the nation’s foremost authority on science, medicine, and health, has said there’s absolutely nothing about the physiological properties of marijuana that leads people to use other drugs.”

Riffle noted that he agrees with former Hewlett-Packard executive Carly Fiorina’s comment during the debate that young people are being misled “when we tell them that marijuana is just like having a beer,” but not for the reasons she implied.

“It’s not like having a beer,” he said. “It’s safer. And there’s an abundance of medical and scientific research that has shown this.”

Click here to see MPP’s guide to the 2016 presidential candidates.


14 responses to “GOP Presidential Hopefuls Debate Marijuana Policy”

  1. The fact they say Marijuana is a gateway drug is ridiculous. I’ve smoked marijuana for probably 40 yrs now, I’m in amazing health and by no means have I used marijuana and thought that I needed to use harder drugs. Being that they don’t use or don’t admit to using marijuana really doesn’t give them the right to say these things about a plant that was created by GOD. Saying marijuana is just as bad as alcohol is absurd. Give someone 6 puffs of marijuana and see the outcome. Give a person six shots of alcohol and I bet the outcome is greatly different if not harmful to society.

  2. Just goes to show you that politicians don’t give a damn what the people want. If they did, it would be legal across the USA. I’m surprised too because politicians only care about $$ and yet they refuse to see the profits from the legal states. Guess that’s how it is when you are paid off by big pharma and you own stock in pharmaceuticals. I live in Virginia and will probably never see it legal in my lifetime in this state… And I’m only 38. It’s sad to say the USA is free and we have freedom when it’s totally opposite of that.

    • Actually freedom is selective to politicians in what they allow and what they outlaw and although it revolves around marijuana it doesn’t exclude other freedoms we’ve had taken away or strictly regulated and taxed…

  3. ‘Drug addiction’ is not ‘taking too many of our young people.’

    The Drug War is taking too many of our young people.

    The Drug War is taking them out of our homes and putting them in prison.

    And the Drug War is killing them, by forcing them to procure drugs of unknown quality, and unknown quantity, from criminals.

    My son went to the hospital for a week, after a methadone overdose. Methadone he bought on the street.

    Republican and Democratic politicians are beneath contempt.

  4. Christie is obviously ignorant about the properties of marijuana. Marijuana has evolved with human species for thousands of years. Because of this, humans have developed chemoreceptors throughout the body. You cannot overdose on marijuana. It can stop tumors from growing and go into remission.

    Christie may have passed cannabis oil but he didn’t pass a way for it could be developed to be used as medicine. As he has said to the media before “not on his watch”. He may have passed cannabis oil but he made sure that it cannot be made for medical use in his state. He really is an arrogant and obnoxious person. He is not someone we want for president because he is basically a tyrant, which is exactly why the Constitution was created. We don’t want a dictator of tyrant forcing us to live the way he want instead of how the people vote.

  5. I am a conservative who has smoked pot for 40 yrs . alcohol is more a drug gate way than cannabis will ever be.Bryan I feel ya Brother I also live in VA, maybe some day, maybe some day…

    • Marijuana should have never been type cast as a ‘drug’.. Drugs are created in a lab, processed with additives and other medical serums.. Pot grows in a field , is processed by the sun and contains no outside pharmaceuticals or treatment processes. Marijuana is a natural herb and to rate it next to heroin is ludicrous and propagandized. I hate when someone refers to it as a drug and I quickly correct them but to no avail. Although they do not trust their own g’ment in all affairs, their willing to take g’ments word over a ball faced lie.. Does this make them hypocrites? In my opinion, yes!.. it does.

  6. I subscribe to the MPP.org newsletter, and I can’t thank you enough for what you are doing to help people like me. I really hope our government legalizes marijuana by the end of my lifetime. I’m 51, and I don’t drink or do drugs. I take prescribed pills, for my various “disorders” and for my chronic pain, that don’t work at all anymore. After over 20 years of taking them, they have completely lost their efficacy and they have harmful side effects over time. For example, the medications I have taken for anxiety and insomnia long-term cause early dementia. Now that I’m older, I’m really worried about that happening.

    My officially diagnosed “disorders” or conditions are PTSD, Panic/Anxiety, Insomnia, Bipolar II, and Chronic Pain. I’ve been in counseling since the 2nd grade due to a traumatic event. Several orthopedic doctors wanted me to have total knee replacement surgery over 10 years ago. My back hurts constantly due to degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, and scoliosis. I decided to suffer with chronic pain instead of losing my natural knee at such a young age. The only thing that gives me relief, from all of these serious conditions, is marijuana. I support any candidate who sees the light about marijuana. It is absolutely Not a “gateway drug,” is Not harmful as alcohol can be, and is immensely helpful to someone like me!

  7. My Congressman Peter DeFazio and my Senator Jeff Merkley here in Oregon both support legalization of Cannabis so no not all Democrats are against it. I can count over 50 who support it while just a few of republicans do.
    I never thought it would become legal in my lifetime as well but state by state the tide has turned and the majority of U.S. citizens support it.
    Big Pharma is fighting it, obviously, and the politicians who keep repeating the same old propaganda from the 1930s are paid to fight legalization. Its sickening how voters actually put these people in office. I know of dozens who never vote but support legalization, it can’t be done unless you vote too!

  8. Come election time a hope there is a straight cannabis legalization ticket. Or better yet stick it on the presidential election, the one with the biggest voter turnout and let the people decide for themselves. Electing another senate to do it for us probably isn’t going to work again, we’ve tried that already a couple times.

  9. We listen to the politicians talk about radicalized young men and women becoming terrorists. We forget that when we imprison young people for a simple offense like possession of a plant, we expose them to the ugly underbelly of our society-the prison system where they learn to become hardened criminals. That in itself is far more damaging to our society than smoking a little pot.
    Most politicians are self-serving assholes.

  10. I want to point out that the lady Ms. Forina lost a son to drugs and would be like Nixin all over again . War on pot. I am in Tx and we got a chance in Jan 17 a medical pot bill passed committee and will go before full house
    in 17 but we have to elect a president that will be fair and not too liberal because they like to spend too much money on foreign countries and not take care of our countries. We need to get rid of all that have been in office 12yrs .We need to go with a hawkish don’t mess with us or else. Russia needs to be taught that obama was weak but USA is strong and the next term we show them how we really are. not a pussy like obama or clinton

    • Well Glen, indeed the liberal branch of Democrats seem to spend our money to better the lives of people in other countries which I disagree unless we first take care of our own and I’m not implying just giving it to them but mandate that they contribute to society for that privilege which can be accomplished if only the two parties would bump brains together instead of heads but, giving the reign to the right wing conservatives, they would take these monies away from both us and the other needy countries and invest in what they see as most important, war and tax breaks for the wealthy so which one can you get behind? They’re both contrary to the American citizen but like the election process, we only have one of the two choices.. anything else is ignored both by the political system and the voting public.No one can change the Democrats philosophy nor the Republicans, BUT we can damn well change the areas in which they’re presently operating in and vote in those who do not rule in the far extremes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *