Weed Watch: Democrats on drugs, part II
Conversely, the current Dem front-runner, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, failed the MPP's exam, earning a D- for his wishy-washy stance on medical pot. During a town hall meeting, Dean told the MPP that he doesn't believe in putting sick people in prison for using medical marijuana -- "I don't believe in what Ashcroft's doing about medical -- putting people in prison who are, who have AIDS," he said. But Dean, a physician, still doesn't support medical pot, for reasons that aren't exactly clear: "I stopped a medical marijuana bill in my Legislature," when he was governor, he said. "Because I'm a doctor, I think substances taken into your body have to be treated the same if they are meant to be medicines, no matter what they are." And, the MPP reports, Dean has called for a mere one-year moratorium on federal raids on medical marijuana users -- why, and to what end, are completely unclear.
Still, for all his sponginess, Dean fared better than either President Bush or the other three Democratic candidates -- North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt, and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman. Each earned big fat F grades from the MPP for failing to call for an end to the federal raids. For more on the report cards and candidates' positions on pot, check out www.granitestaters.com and www.mpp.org.