Democratic Presidential Candidate Kucinich Announces Support of Medical Marijuana
Presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) on Thursday said that if he were elected president he would issue an executive order legalizing and facilitating the use of medical marijuana "as an act of compassion and expression of humanity," the AP/Las Vegas Sun reports. Kucinich said, "I've talked to too many people who have had family members suffering from terminal illness who feel [medical marijuana] would provide them the most relief from pain and suffering" (Fouhy, AP/Las Vegas Sun, 5/29). He added, "Compassion requires that medical marijuana be available" (Marinucci/Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/29). Although federal law prohibits the use or possession of marijuana for any purpose, eight states, including California -- where Kucinich was campaigning when he made the announcement -- have legalized the use of medical marijuana for people with chronic or life-threatening illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS and cancer. Presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), also campaigning in California, said on Wednesday that he would not overturn the existing marijuana law but would establish a commission to study the medical effects of the drug (AP/Las Vegas Sun, 5/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.