On May 29, 2003, Rep. Kucinich was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle as supporting medical marijuana “without reservation” and indicated that as president he would be willing to sign an executive order permitting its use. This came on the heels of his May 27, 2003 announcement calling for a broad rethinking of anti-drug policies, emphasizing treatment over criminalization. Kucinich signed on as a cosponsor of the excellent Truth in Trials Act on May 1, 2003. On June 16, 2003, he signed on to cosponsor the States’ Rights to Medical Marijuana Act. His position on the issue has improved markedly over the years, as he earlier voted for a 1998 resolution condemning state medical marijuana initiatives.
What Rep. Kucinich Has Done:
Rep. Kucinich was the first Democratic presidential candidate to come out in favor of medical marijuana access during the 2004 presidential campaign. Rep. Kucinich has consistently voted in favor of the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment, which would bar the DEA from spending any money to raid or arrest medical marijuana patients and caregivers in the states that allow the medical use of marijuana.
What Rep. Kucinich Has Said:
Although Rep. Kucinich has yet to make a public statement in 2007, at a town hall meeting hosted by his campaign on October 22, 2003, a GSMM member thanked the congressman for his compassionate position on medical marijuana. Rep. Kucinich replied, “The sight of federal agents going in and busting terminally ill medical marijuana patients in California, to me … is just a sign of government gone wrong. It’s just a matter of simple human awareness and compassion.”
At his Manchester campaign headquarters opening in 2003, Rep. Kucinich responded to a statement of gratitude for his compassion on medical marijuana from GSMM member Linda Macia, saying “It’s not even a question, if someone needs it.” Rep. Kucinich then left the podium and stepped toward a teary-eyed Macia to hug her. When the congressman returned to the podium, he said, “Thank you, Linda … In my administration, you’re going to get the help you need.”
Rep. Kucinich bolstered his previous strong public statement on July 22, 2003, with an impassioned speech urging his colleagues’ support for an amendment that would have barred the DEA from spending any money to raid or arrest medical marijuana patients in the states that allow it.