Pubdate: Thu, 12 Apr 2007 Source: Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco, CA) Copyright: 2007 The Bay Area Reporter Contact: http://www.ebar.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/41 Author: Bruce Mirken PREZ CANDIDATES AND MEDICAL MARIJUANA 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.