▼ Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) on Medical Marijuana

In Short

In 2007, Sen. Edwards stated publicly that he would end the DEA’s raids on medical marijuana patients in states that have approved medical marijuana use for the seriously ill. This is a switch from his position four years ago, when he stated that it would be “irresponsible” to end the raids.

What Sen. Edwards Has Done:

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

What Sen. Edwards Has Said:

On May 21, 2007, at a community meeting in Lebanon, New Hampshire, Sen. Edwards said, “The last thing in the world I’m interested in doing is going around and harassing people who are trying to alleviate their pain. I understand your concern. It’s very fair. I want to do something about it, I’m just trying to figure out the best way to do it.”

During a June 8, 2007, town hall meeting in Derry, New Hampshire, Sen. Edwards was asked if he agreed with the 81% of New Hampshire’s Democratic voters who support legislation to end federal interference into state medical marijuana programs. Edwards responded: “What I will do as president is, we will not be going in and raiding the use of marijuana for medical purposes in states that have legalized it. I think where democracy has worked, where voters have decided this should be legalized, I will not as president go in and run contrary to the will of the people in those states where it has been legalized.”

Later that day at a town hall meeting at Victory Park in Manchester, Linda Macia — a New Hampshire resident who has used medical marijuana to relieve her chronic nerve pain — thanked Sen. Edwards for his promise to end the federal raids. Sen. Edwards responded, “Oh, you’re welcome. Thank you very much for that. You and I have been talking about this issue for years. Thank you very much for that.” After the town hall meeting, he then took the time to sign Macia’s “Stop Arresting Patients for Medical Marijuana” pin.

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