Carly Fiorina and Dr. Ben Carson have announced they’ll see join the already-crowded field of Republicans seeking the nomination for President in 2016.
Named Fortune magazine’s “Most Powerful Woman in Business” in 1998, Carly Fiorina is best known as the businesswoman who took the helm of tech corporation Hewlitt-Packard but failed to produce promised profits and was forced to resign. Many may also remember that, with a huge influx of her own cash, Fiorina won the Republican primary for Senate in California in 2010, challenging Senator Barbara Boxer who recently co-sponsored the federal CARERS Act to legalize medical marijuana.
During her Senate race, Fiorina said she opposed Prop. 19 and now, as a presidential hopeful, she is still against cannabis. In fact, she recently told Slate magazine she doesn’t support any form of legalized marijuana – even medical.
“I remember when I had cancer and my doctor said, ‘Do you have any interest in medicinal marijuana?’ I did not,” she said. “And they said, good, because marijuana today is such a complex compound, we don’t really know what’s in it, we don’t really know how it interacts with other substances or other medicines.”
Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, who has never run for office before, has acknowledged, “Medical use of marijuana in compassionate cases has been proven to be useful,” but added, “marijuana is what is known as a gateway drug– a starter for people who move on to heavier duty drugs. I don’t think this is something we really want for our society.”
In addition to all the other Republican candidates, Arkansas Senator Mike Huckabee is expected to announce his intention to run for president. Huckabee has consistently voted for ratcheting up the drug war, drug courts and treatment.
Meanwhile, Democrats have a strong marijuana reform candidate in the race with the announcement by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders that he will seek the nomination. Sanders is clear in his support of cannabis, having co-sponsored the States’ Rights to Medical Marijuana Act and voted against mandatory drug testing. His entry into the race prompted President Obama to joke that we could have another “pot-smoking socialist” in the White House. Sanders could possibly push Hillary Clinton towards a more progressive stance on marijuana, as she is being pressured on other issues.
Her speech on racial disparities in our criminal justice, where she said, “It’s time to end the era of mass incarceration. We need a true national debate about how to reduce our prison population while keeping our communities safe,” was a welcome surprise to many.
With California almost certainly having a legalization measure on the ballot in 2016, the President of Puerto Rico legalizing medical marijuana by executive action and polls consistently showing a majority of Americans in favor of legalization, cannabis will definitely to be a talked-about issue in the coming Presidential campaign.
What are your views on the candidates and their stance on cannabis? Share your thoughts in the comments.