Newsbrief: California Governor Candidates at Debate All Endorse Medical Marijuana 9/5/03

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The California polity is riven by a multitude of issues and those differences are reflected in the views of the multiple candidates running to replace sitting Gov. Gray Davis (D). At Wednesday night's televised debate, featuring Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, independent candidate Arianna Huffington, state Sen. Tom McClintock (R), Green Party candidate Peter Camejo, and businessmen Peter Ueberroth, running as a Republican, the candidates sparred over a broad range of issues, from tax and energy policy to coastal development to reining in the politically powerful prison guards' union. The one thing none of them disagreed on was support for medical marijuana.

Most comments on medical marijuana came in a rapid-fire segment where candidates were given 15-seconds to stake out positions on various topics. "When people are suffering," said Ueberroth in a typical statement, "you give them everything you possibly can do to take away that suffering."

Huffington, a favorite of many drug reformers because of her columns attacking the drug war, was most aggressive, saying that she would confront the Bush administration on that and other issues. She also said she would cancel new prison construction. Green candidate Peter Camejo called for outright legalization of marijuana, pointing out the absurdity of prohibiting marijuana but allowing the sale of tobacco.

Bustamante, the Democratic establishment politician, was the most equivocal, noting that he supported medical marijuana "as long as it was properly distributed."

Celebrity candidate and media darling Arnold Schwarzenegger did not attend the debate, choosing instead to visit a college campus where he was pelted with eggs by students.

It appears the serious contenders for the California governorship are listening to California voters, who overwhelmingly supported medical marijuana. Is the Bush administration listening, too?

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Issue #301, 9/5/03 New DRCNet Book Offer and Donations Appeal | Alaska Appeals Court Legalizes Simple Marijuana Possession, Law Enforcement Dazed and Confused, Suffering Denial | Bad Bills: Rave Act II, CLEAN-UP Act, VICTORY Act | Dutch Begin Selling Prescription Marijuana in Pharmacies | Hemp on the High Plains: HIA Goes to the Pine Ridge Reservation | Cheryl Miller Memorial Congressional Phone Slam Day, 9/23/03 | Current Action Alerts: Medical Marijuana, Plan Colombia, HEA, Ashcroft's Attack on Judicial Discretion | Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions | Organizations Protesting DEA-Sponsored Traveling Exhibit Conflating Drug and Terrorism Issues | Newsbrief: Massachusetts Researcher Seeks Permit to Grow Marijuana for Medical Research | Newsbrief: Federal Judge Rejects Santa Cruz Medical Marijuana Lawsuit | Newsbrief: In Colombia, Social Distortion as Narcos Grab Land | Newsbrief: California Governor Candidates at Debate All Endorse Medical Marijuana | Newsbrief: LA NORML's Margolin Joins California Governor Race, Vows to Be "Terminator" of Marijuana Prohibition | Newsbrief: UN Drug Head Calls for US-Led Occupation Forces to Fight Afghan Drug Trade | The Reformer's Calendar

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