Pubdate: Thu, 12 Apr 2007
Source: Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco, CA)
Copyright: 2007 The Bay Area Reporter
Author: Bruce Mirken


Can a candidate be considered a friend of the LGBT community if he or
she thinks it's okay to arrest and jail people with HIV/AIDS for using
medical marijuana to relieve their nausea or peripheral neuropathy?
The question wasn't raised in your story, "Gay leaders slow to join
Dem prez bandwagons" [March 29], but it's worth asking.

At this point, we don't know where many of the candidates stand on
medical marijuana, but we do know about a few. On April 2, Governor
Bill Richardson (D) signed legislation making New Mexico the 12th
state to permit medical use of marijuana - legislation he actively
lobbied for ["New Mexico gov signs medical pot law," April 5]. Also
supportive, based on his prior statements, is Representative Dennis
Kucinich (D-Ohio).

On the other hand, in 2004, Senator John Edwards (D-North Carolina)
answered questions about medical marijuana by saying it would be
"irresponsible" for the federal government to stop arresting patients.
We don't know whether he has rethought his position, but the Marijuana
Policy Project certainly plans to ask him. We will also be approaching
the many candidates whose positions remain unclear, including
Democratic Senators Hillary Clinton (New York) and Barack Obama (Illinois).

Personally, I'm unwilling to support any candidate who would put my
friends with AIDS in jail for simply trying to stay alive.

Bruce Mirken, Director of Communications

Marijuana Policy Project

Washington, D.C.