George W. Bush Backs States' Rights On Marijuana

George W. Bush Backs States' Rights On Marijuana
Posted by FoM on October 20, 1999 at 17:57:34 PT
He opposes medical use but favors local control 
Source: Marijuana Policy Project
Gov. George Bush said he backs a state's right to decide whether to allow medical use of marijuana, a position that puts him sharply at odds with Republicans on Capitol Hill. "I believe each state can choose that decision as they so choose," the governor said recently in Seattle in response to a reporter's question.
Chuck Thomas, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, a medical marijuana lobbying group, praised Mr. Bush as "courageous" and "consistent on states' rights. I would hope he would be an example for Republicans in Congress." Aides said Mr. Bush does not support legalizing marijuana for medical use. But his position supporting state self-determination opens the door to medical marijuana use in some places. President Clinton and most Republican lawmakers, by contrast, oppose all state medical marijuana legalization laws, saying they could lead to abuse. But Mr. Clinton -- in a move philosophically in tune with Mr. Bush -- has said Republicans in Congress went too far in seeking to block the District of Columbia's medical marijuana ballot initiative, which won 69 percent support last year. The president recently vetoed the district's $4.7 billion budget approved by Congress, in part because of a provision to overturn the medical marijuana law. "For us, that's an issue of local control," of not "micromanaging local government," said White House spokesman Jake Siewert. The veto was not about the merits of the issue, he said. Among the Republicans leading the charge against the district's law are GOP House leaders and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Bush supporter and chairwoman of the District of Columbia Appropriations Subcommittee. The district should not be "a haven for marijuana use, even for medicinal purposes," Ms. Hutchison said on the Senate floor. "I don't think we should take an illegal drug and allow it to be legalized in our capital city." Alaska, Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington have approved medical marijuana laws, giving the issue prominence in key Western states. Mr. Bush, campaigning for president in Seattle on Saturday, told reporters he felt certain that such a move was "not going to happen in Texas." The state has no direct referendums or voter initiatives. Although addressing the states' rights issue, Mr. Bush didn't comment directly on the District of Columbia issue. His position of opposing the medical marijuana but saying states should decide is unique among presidential contenders, Mr. Thomas said. Staff writer Wayne Slater in Austin contributed to this report. THE MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT'S ANALYSIS: George W. Bush is the second most supportive presidential candidate. George W. Bush's comment in support of states' rights on medical marijuana makes him the second most supportive presidential candidate. His position puts him in favor of H.R. 912, the states' rights medical marijuana bill currently pending in Congress.Please see: Unfortunately, Governor Bush was also responsible for signing into law a bill that prevents local communities in Texas from enacting their own medical marijuana policies. Please see: The most supportive declared candidate is Pat Buchanan. During the last presidential campaign, Pat Buchanan was asked, "Would you support the medical use of marijuana?", in an interview in the North Carolina newspaper, The Charlotte Observer, on July 29, 1995 (page 12C). He responded, "If a doctor indicated to his patient that this was the only way to alleviate certain painful symptoms ... I would defer to the doctor's judgement." Buchanan made a similar statement in Iowa when confronted by one of the eight patients who can legally use marijuana nationwide. Donald Trump, who is considering a bid for the Reform Party nomination, would be the most supportive candidate if he formally declares his candidacy, in that he has come out in the past in favor of marijuana "decriminalization," thereby opposing the policy of jailing sick or healthy marijuana users. Unfortunately, Bill Bradley, a former marijuana user, recently said he wouldn't change the medical marijuana laws now, thereby endorsing the status quo of arresting and incarcerating seriously ill people. And there is little hope that Al Gore, also a former marijuana user, will be much better. Vice President Gore, who has been with the Clinton administration for more than six years, has not separated himself from the views of the administration, which has waged the most vicious war on medical marijuana users of any presidential administration. Barry McCaffrey, the Clinton administration's drug czar, is an extremist on this issue. An interesting juxtaposition of quotes: "We concluded that there are some limited circumstances in which we recommend smoking marijuana for medical uses."Institute of Medicine Principle InvestigatorJohn Benson, IOM's 3/17/99 news conference see: "Smoked dope is not medicine ... I think it's a crock." -- Barry McCaffrey, Albuquerque Journal, 10/8/99 HOW TO SUPPORT THE MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT: To support MPP's work and receive the quarterly newsletter, "Marijuana Policy Report," please send $25.00 annual membership dues to: Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) P.O. Box 77492 Capitol Hill Washington, D.C. 20013202-232-0442 FAX 
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Comment #6 posted by GPR on October 21, 1999 at 12:12:08 PT
More Rhetoric
Please do not buy into Bushs' courting the legalization movement. He is a liar, a cheat, and a thief who would stop at nothing to get elected.Enough of this BS. Elect a third party candidate every chance you get. Only when Rep.&Dem begin losing seats, will WOD end. Vote against Repubicans & Democrats every chance you get. If we are serious about regulation then let's kick butt and take name! Check out this site for a list of US representatives that voted for repeal of initiative # 59 in DC. Check out the politician's page. Let's vote 'em all out of office for this act of treason!http://greenpr.tripod.comUnited we stand; divided we fall!Green Prisoner's Release of Florida
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Comment #5 posted by brixey on October 21, 1999 at 07:52:21 PT:
Geo, jr. & Project Analysis
 They tell us what they think we wanna hear & when they're elected they do whatever supports their party's position(s)etc.  Supporting State's rights to choose is a easy way to get out of taking a stance but its workable as long as the FDA declassifies mj.  Since some hi profile people have broke the news that the War on Drugs is lost it may be a good sign to apply as much pressure as possible. HR912 passage is a good step.I just can't see decriminalization happening .. it's their price support system. It feeds the big Federal Porkers & their pet projects (aka:Columbia). 
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Comment #4 posted by Pete M on October 21, 1999 at 03:33:04 PT
As mentioned by Kaptinemo above once legalised it would open a floodgate of litigation. However there must be a way of avoiding this ? When prohibition was repealed there were no bootleggers suing the Gov. The same with bringing in a new law you can't (in most circumstances) prosecute retrospectivly. It should not be beyond legislators to draft a bill where this can't happen ? I'm not saying that this would be right, if I'd spent time in jail for smoke I'd want compensation. However we should not let politicians "hide" behind this sort of stance.   
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 20, 1999 at 20:54:01 PT
I Agree
I know he doesn't mean it but I know he is paying attention and maybe he will think a little more about needing to form a definite opinion, particularly since he is followed by the ghost of cocaine past. Just a thought!
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on October 20, 1999 at 18:17:03 PT
(Political) smokescreens, a.k.a. bait-and-switch
I sincerely hope those who are regular readers here don't honestly believe "Junior" is really on our side. His family has made billions directly and indirectly from the War on (Some) Drugs, and will say whatever he needs to to court favor with any group he is confronted with... while continuing the same old policies. He is a creature of the status quo, just as much as Billy Boy is. Just take a gander at what Mommy Bush has done in adding her two cents worth of hot air to try to spoil the Maine MMJ initiative. Do you really think that if he is elected to power, he will not toe the family/party line?As had been pointed out in the Renee Boje Web Site, to legalize cannabis and end prohibition is to invalidate every conviction ever made for possession and use. That would open a floodgate of litigation stretching back 62 years. The national and State treasuries would be bankrupted. The Powers-That-Be know this all too well. That is one of the primary reasons they are becoming ever more strident in their propaganda, using the Hitlerian tactic of repeating old lies that have long been proven false by research. Look at the IoM study; invalidates ALL of McCaffrey's bull, but he ignores it and keeps trumpeting the basest lies about cannabis as if nothing's changed. This is excactly the way Nixon ignored the Shaffer Commission's report 27 years ago. The big difference is the Internet; it's getting harder and harder to lie and get away with it.As "Junior" is finding out, much to his (deserved) discomfort.
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Comment #1 posted by Scott on October 20, 1999 at 18:08:11 PT:
Let me get this straight...
Alright, let me get this straight. Yesterday I read an article saying that former First Lady, Barbara Bush, is opposed to medical marijunaa because it is a "dangerous, illegal drug" while her son says "let them make their own mind about medical marijuana". I have a feeling his opinion will change in a few days. Then again, the media is already against him, so who's to say that he actually did say anything?
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