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Mitt Romney: Marijuana For Recreational Use Is Bad; I Also Oppose It For All Purposes

By Rob Cypher, Oct 2, 2012 | Updated: Oct 2, 2012 | | |
  1. Rob Cypher
    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney used an interesting phrase on Monday in response to a question about his stance on marijuana policy.

    In an interview with the Denver Post, Romney was asked to weigh in on the future of the state's highly active medical marijuana industry.

    "I oppose marijuana being used for recreational purposes and I believe the federal law should prohibit the recreational use of marijuana," he said.

    As the Washington Post points out, his decision to use the "recreational" distinction is strange, especially in the context of a question about a state that has legalized marijuana for non-recreational use. Be that as it may, the Romney campaign later reiterated its steadfast support for continued prohibition on the substance in a statement to the Post.

    "Governor Romney has a long record of opposing the use of marijuana for any reason," a spokesperson said. "He opposes legalizing drugs, including marijuana for medicinal purposes. He will fully enforce the nation’s drug laws, and he will oppose any attempts at legalization."

    The candidate has made his anti-pot stance clear in practice as well. Romney has personally confronted at least one person smoking marijuana on the beach near his vacation home in San Diego, according to the New York Times.

    Earlier this year, Romney vowed to fight marijuana legalization "tooth and nail." In explaining his position, he outlined his belief that marijuana was a gateway to harder drugs. While Romney's rhetoric on the issue may seem extreme, he appears to be largely in step with President Barack Obama when it comes to marijuana enforcement. The tone from candidate Obama gave hope to marijuana reformers, but according to all measurable figures, the administration has increased crackdowns on medical marijuana facilities in states that have legalized the substance. And while there have been rumors out of the White House that a second term President Obama might scale back the war on drugs, marijuana policy advocates have remained skeptical.

    Romney's running mate Paul Ryan appeared, for a moment, to be the one dissenting voice in the 2012 presidential election. In an interview last month, Ryan said he supported letting the states decide issues of marijuana legalization. The campaign quickly tried to walk this back, however, announcing that Ryan "agreed with Romney" that marijuana should be illegal in all forms.



  1. Rob Cypher
    Re: Mitt Romney: Marijuana For Recreational Use Is Bad; I Also Oppose It For All Purp


    I know D-Fers will complain that Obama hasn't done anything to help the legalization or MMJ cause; but c'mon...you think a Mormon bishop like Romney is going to give you a better deal there? None of the other candidates have a chance, and even if by some stroke of luck they won, they would be a lame duck president from day one because there would have no serious support in Congress...you third party folks have it backwards. You can only field a credible candidate if you have serious support from your party in both houses of Congress to help that candidate pass his legislation. (And sometimes that's even questionable; witness Obama and Clinton's first two years with their party holding serious power in one body and having a significant presence in the other.)

    TL;DR version - If you didn't like Obama, you're really going to dislike a guy who only recently could drink cold soda without feelings of guilt thanks to his religion's clarification of consuming "hot tea" not meaning all caffeinated products. And who has (in the past) called for the elimination of MMJ.

    As for Obama, there's a minor chance he'll act on it in 2015, after the House/Senate elections of November 2014, when he's technically a "lame duck" and passing such a thing allows for enough time to pass to not heavily affect the 2016 elections for his party (who knows, it might even help).

    Something tells me if he does anything, it won't be wholesale legalization. Might just leave it to the states to write their own laws regarding it (but still prosecute interstate marijuana trafficking and unauthorized vendors in MMJ states). At this point, your best bet is to vote for every pro-weed politician for House and Senate campaigns in 2012 and 2014, and then if that works there will be legitimate pressure for 2016 candidates to establish some sort of permanent reform in favor of the people.

    PS Romney is extremely blatant when he's pandering to both sides. One week he railed against "illegal immigrants" and not ever granting them amnesty in front of a very conservative (and mostly Caucasian) crowd, the next week he shows up on Univision with a really obvious spray-on tan, designed to make him look more like the Hispanic audience, and claimed he wouldn't mess with Obama's "temporary worker visas" for undocumented immigrants. The man is like Janus.
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