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Palin Pick Makes Medical Marijuana a Problem Issue For McCain

We know she used marijuana when it was legal in Alaska. And we know that she hypocritically claims to oppose legalization. But Sarah Palin is also governor of a state that’s had a medical marijuana program for ten years. How does she feel about that?

Does Sarah Palin share John McCain’s open hostility towards seriously ill patients who use marijuana on the advice of their doctors?

Frankly, I highly doubt Palin agrees with this. It’s bad politics for her in Alaska and, for that matter, everywhere else as well. If pressed, she’ll be forced to take the party line, but that won’t go well for her. Palin can’t conveniently defend federal supremacy over state medical marijuana laws because she’s already argued that her own past marijuana use was legal in Alaska. She can’t defend medical marijuana raids without labeling herself a criminal.

The point isn’t that there’s anything damaging about her admitted marijuana use or that people who admit trying marijuana become obligated to support medical access. Neither is true. The point, rather, is that Palin’s personal story highlights the absurdity of bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. telling people all the way up in Alaska what sorts of petty drug laws they ought to have. She doesn’t want to go there. It’s a terrible jumping-off point for initiating a defense of federal authority to arrest sick people.

That’s why the Obama campaign would be smart to apply pressure here. Public support for medical marijuana is overwhelming and the video of McCain literally turning his back on a wheelchair bound patient is compelling. This debate polarizes independent and libertarian voters in Obama’s favor, while forcing McCain to defend another unpopular Bush policy. Biden’s obnoxious drug war background also becomes a counterintuitive asset, as he can ably deflect any shrill attacks from the law & order crowd on the right.

As the democrats clamor for opportunities to puncture the narrative of McCain/Palin as a "reform" ticket, there is nothing to lose, and potentially much to gain by directly challenging McCain’s deeply unpopular views on medical marijuana.

(This blog post was published by's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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With my own eyes I've seen

With my own eyes I've seen people really live all the way up until they died, by using pot rather than that extra dose of sublingual morphine. Once you've seen its efficacy, this video becomes almost too much to bear.

And once you've visited friends in prison for using drugs, watched good men go mad with fear and then destroyed utterly, you are changed as well.

I am greatly saddened by our "choices" this election season.



McCain married into the money of a Liquor/alcohol distribution $bamk$. Wonder what his position is on the legalization of marijuana? Surely it can`t be as bad as alcohol distribution. Hypocrisy anyone?

Drug Dealer Cindy

McCain say's he will end the war on drugs?

Last night 8-4-2008 McCain address the nation and said he will eliminate all failed programs. What great news with most of the country knowing full well that the war on drugs is one of this countries greatest failures. Sad thing is I don't think he knows that it is a failed program. Unless if the harms associated with drug prohibition is what McCain and the others who support this failed policy is what they want. Then yes, the War on Drugs has been a success.

Kwame D. Binta I

Failed Programs


" This was not a failed operation", said the Spokeswoman from the Prince George County Sheriff` Office after the Mayor`s home was broken into and shot up over a pot bust gone wild. As long as "drugs" are found, at some point, it`s never a failed operation [program] . Nixon made the "drug war" a top priority for law enforcement nationwide. It still is today. Clinton said that he would look into mandatory minimums. He did. He looked to Joe Biden.

Cops Gone Wild


Pot Bust` Gone Wild, Drug Bust` Gone Wild, Cop`s Gone Wild. Something. DRC NET or MPP or someone should make a DVD of news footage to sell to raise some funds. Late night commercial time?

This is not a problem issue at all.

I haven't heard it mentioned on mainstream TV or newspapers.

McCain/Palin support

I believe in the McCain campaign and all he will do as Commander. There is the issue of medical marijuana and decriminalization, though. I am an advocate of legalization for responsible use and the aforementioned as well, but unfortunately, McCain does not share the same view. Can we not be conservative and open-minded? Is it such a paradox that people will not give it their full attention? I pray that McCain IS elected, marijuana laws change and the war on drugs will cease and desist. I remain hopeful because without hope, where does our purpose lie? As for Palin: she rocks!


How does putting McCain in office help us? Wouldn't he continue the raids on medical marijuana clinics?

Palin Pick, Medical Marijuana and McCain

The United States Government believes, and has its own statistics, to prove that the war on drugs is a success. What they fail to mention, even though they realize it, this countries economy would suffer greatly without the huge amounts of illegal drug money flowing through it. Just look at Oliver North, he is free and has his own TV show while the people under him involved are in prison. The Iran Contra affair exposing the CIA's involvement in drug running is still true today. Sad and stupid but true.

No way

The issue will not get any real time, it isn't now and it just won't. Why debat the issue now and expose the hypocrisy. The media might make a story on the issue, the truth might come out.

What would happen to law enforcements federal grants, cops might get laid off, swat would be called on less often. The boys would lose the chance to play Army. No ! No! not a chance. This is America after all.


Oh yeah. I’m definitely cringing at the hypocrisy. I like the boldness of McCain’s choice of Palin and that of the woman herself. David Clifford

Yeah, right...

I don't think his pick of Sarah Palin will make medical cannabis an issue at all. To even mention a reasonable approach or interest in debating our failed drug policies is tantamount to political suicide. I'll bet my life that the "maverick" has neither the brains nor the courage to speak up on this issue. For that matter, I'll bet 99% of our so-called "leaders" don't, either! All I can hope is that Obama is avoiding the issue to win the election, and once in office, he will use his God-given common sense to start changing our counterproductive drug laws. END THE WAR ON AMERICA NOW!!!

I think you missed my point...

Medical marijuana is supported by a large majority of Americans. So no, it is NOT political suicide to stand up for patients.

In reality, if Obama is interested in advancing sensible policies on medical marijuana, the very first thing he must do is vocally and repeatedly declare his support for medical marijuana while he's still on the campaign trail. That way, if he's elected, it will be clear that this is what the people want.

In 2008, no one is going to lose votes for supporting medical marijuana.

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