Mitt Romney Avoids Questions About Marijuana

| by Reason Foundation

By Jacob Sullum

During his 2008 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney had this to say about federal interference with state medical marijuana laws:

I'm not talking about arresting sick and dying people, but I am talking about keeping marijuana from being a product on the street and being misused. The drug czar of our nation says it is the gateway drug for people becoming involved with drugs and drugs are a scourge of this country....

I as a candidate support keeping marijuana illegal, because I don't want to encourage more involvement in or allow more people to get involved in the marijuana and the drug culture....

Marijuana is the entry drug for people trying to get kids hooked on drugs. I don’t want medicinal marijuana; there are synthetic forms of marijuana that are available for people who need it for prescription. Don’t open the doorway to medicinal marijuana....

I'd continue to enforce the law as it is, and in my view the law ought to be that medical marijuana is illegal. Marijuana is the gateway to illegal drug use in this country. Drug use is a plague on American society; I want to eliminate it. I do not want to expand it....

We'll follow the law....Medical marijuana is, if you will, a Trojan Horse for bringing marijuana into our society, and I think that's the wrong way to go. 

This time around, The Raw Story notes, Romney is a bit more evasive on the subject of the marijuana and the drugs in general:

At a campaign stop in Bedrock on Monday, a student asked Romney if he thought the drug war was working.

"It's a long question that deserves a full answer, and not just in a photo line like this," he responded. "So come look on my website. You'll see my answer."

But his website mittromney.com makes no mention of the war on drugs, except for the transcript of an speech from October in which he said he would begin talks with Mexico “to strengthen our cooperation on our shared problems of drugs and security.”

Last week in Laconia, another student asked Romney if he thought patients that used medical marijuana should be arrested.

He dodged that question with a jumbled answer, stating he was "in favor of having the law not allow illegal marijuana."

Jumbled? Romney's position is perfectly clear: If the law does not allow marijuana, that makes it illegal, which means the law should not allow it.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy, which has been pushing Romney and other candidates to address that subject, has video: