Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN)

In Short

The former senator from Tennessee has not committed to ending the federal raids on medical marijuana patients.

What Sen. Thompson Has Done:

Sen. Thompson has neither cosponsored nor voted on any legislation specifically addressing medical marijuana.

What Sen. Thompson Has Said:

While meeting voters at a Stratham, New Hampshire, campaign event on September 8, seriously ill Dover resident and GSMM volunteer Clayton Holton asked Sen. Thompson what he would do to stop federal raids on medical marijuana patients like him. Sen. Thompson replied, “Well, we’ll have to look into that. I’m not prepared to tell you ultimately. I can’t imagine what you’re having to go through and what your needs are, and I really can’t address that right now. But, I’ll be glad to sit down and talk with you sometime about it.”

Holton resonded, “Is this something you will think about?” Sen. Thompson replied, “Well, I’m familiar with the issue generally. You know, there are federal laws involved and there’s federalism issues also involved. It depends on a lot of different circumstances, and I just can’t give you a definitive answer to that right now.”

The next day, on September 9, during a town hall event in Nashua, a GSMM staffer asked Sen. Thompson if he would respect states’ rights and end the federal raids on medical marijuana patients. Sen. Thompson answered, “Well, you’ve got federal drug laws. We have federal drugs laws in this country that are involved. I’ll tell you what my heart says about this. I would think that surely, in the era that we live in, and things that are helping my 87-year-old momma, things that are helping so many of us, and the revolution that we have seen in terms of medicine in this country, that marijuana would not be the only thing that’s going to relieve the pain and suffering for these people. That there would be other things that we could turn to first. Now if somebody can convince me that’s the only thing that will keep someone from undergoing that kind of suffering, I’ll have to take a new look at it, but that’s the way I approach it until you educate me further.” The GSMM staffer then told Sen. Thompson, “74% of doctors disagree with you about that, sir.” To which Sen. Thompson replied, “Well you know, I’ve disagreed with a few doctors in my day too.”

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