3 Top Republican Presidential Candidates Wary of Medical Marijuana Legalization

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The medical pot industry has been pretty vocal in its criticism of Barack Obama lately, berating the administration for cracking down on dispensaries, flip-flopping on the issue and creating mass confusion. Some MMJ professionals have even vowed to vote for someone other than Obama in the upcoming election for these very reasons, saying a change at the top could help their cause.

They might want to be a bit careful with what they wish for, though.

If Obama is not in the White House next year, a Republican will surely be leading  the show. And most of the leading Republican candidates at this time have indicated that they are against the legalization of marijuana for any use, including medical reasons.

Three leading Republican candidates – Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich – have all come out against marijuana legalization in one way or another.

Mitt Romney is the worst offender for the medical pot industry, stating several times that he opposes it. In 2007, Romney said that medical marijuana legalization is “an effort by a very committed few to try to get marijuana out in the public and ultimately legalize marijuana. They have a long way to go. We need less drugs in this society, not more drugs. I would oppose the legalization of marijuana in the country or legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes because pain management is available from other sources.”

Santorum recently said that he isn’t familiar with medical cannabis laws but added that he thinks using marijuana in general is dangerous based on his personal experiences. And Newt Gingrich has indicated that medical marijuana isn’t a viable option, stating that many people view the MMJ scene in California as “a joke.”

Perhaps the best candidate for the industry is Ron Paul, who co-sponsored legislation that would remove marijuana from the list of substances regulated by the federal government. Paul said doesn’t think the federal government should get interfere with states on this issue, and he’d likely be a key supporter of the industry.

Two other candidates – Rick Perry and John Huntsman – have shown some sympathy toward the MMJ community as well, but both are struggling to gain traction with voters and trail other candidates badly.

So, aside from Ron Paul, medical pot advocates don’t have many valid alternatives to Obama unless Perry or Huntsman are able to rally. In the end, Obama might be the lesser of two evils for medical marijuana.