Name: Carol Moseley Braun

In short: Former Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun, who served as a U.S. senator from Illinois from 1992 to 1998, had voiced support for federal legislation allowing seriously ill people to have medical marijuana, with their doctors’ approval. Moseley Braun also pledged to end the Drug Enforcement Administration’s raids on medical marijuana patients.

What Moseley Braun has done: During her Senate term, Moseley Braun did not take any action to protect medical marijuana patients and neither voted on nor cosponsored legislation specifically addressing medical marijuana.

What Moseley Braun has said: On January 15, 2004, Moseley Braun withdrew her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. In an appearance in Fort Dodge, Iowa, Moseley Braun said, “Funding and organizational disadvantages of a non-traditional campaign could not, in the end, be overcome.”

GSMM asked Moseley Braun on December 9 if, as president, she would stop raiding medical marijuana patients. Moseley Braun replied simply, “Yes…yes.”

When asked at a campaign stop in Durham on November 3 if she would sign legislation allowing seriously ill people to use medical marijuana, with their doctors’ approval, Moseley Braun responded, “Yes … You don’t have to record me, I’m already on record on this.”

In an April 1998 letter to a constituent, she described the Clinton administration’s efforts to punish doctors for recommending medical marijuana under the provisions of state laws, without either praising or condemning the policy. She went on to state that “the limited medical research on the medicinal use of marijuana suggests that there may be some benefits for patients with AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.” She urged further research, but she took no legal position on protection for patients while such research proceeds. (A downloadable version of the full letter is coming soon.)

In a July 1994 letter to a constituent, Moseley Braun urged that marijuana be “decriminalized,” explaining, “Individuals in possession of small amounts of marijuana should not clog the courts and absorb judicial resources but, instead, be subjected to fines.” (A downloadable version of the full letter is coming soon.) In comments published in the Feb. 18, 1996, issue of Parade magazine, she suggested decriminalizing “all but wholesale drug distribution,” which apparently includes marijuana as well as other illegal drugs.

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