Rick Santorum’s Marijuana Policy Report Card
If there’s one thing that I can take away from the videos that I have seen about Rick Santorum talking about marijuana, and the things I have read about Rick Santorum talking about marijuana, it’s that he is struggling with this issue. Rick Santorum admits to smoking marijuana in college, yet admits at other times that he doesn’t know anything about marijuana. Rick Santorum says that states have ultimately have all the rights, yet the feds should be in charge of each states’ drug laws. Here is a quote from Rick Santorum from one of the videos I posted below:
“I would make the argument that states have the rights, but they don’t have the right to do anything they want to do…states under the Constitution probably have the right to do it, just like they have the right to do medical marijuana laws, but legally, but I don’t think they morally have the right to do things that are harmful to the people in their community and therefore I think the federal government should step in.” I listened to the audio twenty times to make sure I captured every word that rambled out of Rick Santorum’s uncomfortable mouth.
So let’s break down this quote. Rick Santorum makes the argument that states have the rights, but not to do anything they want to do. I think it’s pretty straight forward – either states have the rights or they don’t. If states can’t do what they want to do, I think it’s logical to conclude that they do not have rights according to Rick Santorum. States can only do what the federal government says they can do according to Rick Santorum’s stance on marijuana. Rick Santorum goes on to make the legal claim that according to the Constitution, states have the legal right to ‘do medical marijuana laws.’ However, Rick Santorum goes on to argue that medical marijuana is a moral issue, that it is ‘harmful to the people in their community,’ and that therefore the federal government should step in.
Wow Mr. Santorum, after admitting that you don’t know much about medical marijuana laws, you sure do have strong opinions about the subject. I agree with Rick Santorum on one thing – medical marijuana is a moral issue. Good morals involves being compassionate toward a suffering human. Good morals involves reserving judgement and not applying stereotypes to something you admittedly know little to nothing about. Good morals involves allowing someone who is suffering to pursue a healthier remedy than the poison that is pushed by the pharmaceutical companies that support Rick Santorum’s campaign. You talk a good game about morals Rick Santorum, but you don’t practice what you preach. Below is some other information that I found on the net. My official grade for Rick Santorum’s marijuana policy is a F-. If Rick Santorum is so willing to bash marijuana policy and bow to the feds before he’s even out of the Republican primaries, imagine what Rick Santorum would do when he gets into office after beating Mitt Romney…the thought of it makes me feel the same way I do when I read the description for Santorum on a Google search!
Despite being a user during his time in college, Santorum is not in favor of legalizing marijuana. Santorum explains,
“There is a difference between legitimate issues of character – someone’s behavior – and the issue of whethersomeone who has done something wrong in their life, now because of those mistakes, can’t talk about what is the rightthing to do. Politicians who have stumbled personally, are capable of making values-based arguments. I don’t think that’s hypocritical. That’s a dangerous line that many folks tend to cross over – that because you made a mistake, you can’t talk about this or that issue. We all make mistakes.
For example, I smoked pot when I was in college. Does that mean that I can’t talk about drug use? Does that mean that I can’t talk about how that’s a bad thing? Of course not. You learn from those experiences.”
Even during that time, I knew that what I was doing was wrong. But just because I failed, that does not mean that I shouldn’t be able to talk about it. That’s a different issue. It’s not hypocrisy, as long as you don’t say, ‘I thought it was right, and now think it was wrong.’ If you knew what was going on, and most people do, you have moments of weakness. It happens to all of us. But that should not deter people from talking about what they believe is right.”
March 11, 2011, National Review, Santorum: Let Newt Make His So-Con Case
Santorum repeated his comments half a year later, this time to Piers Morgan on CNN.
“Well, yeah, I admitted you know, back when I was running for the Senate, that when I was in college that I smoked pot and that was something that I did when I was in college. It was something that I’m not proud of, but I did. And said it was something that I wish I hadn’t done. But I did and I admitted it. I would encourage people not to do so. It was not all it’s made up to be.”
Rick Santorum admits he doesn’t know anything about medical marijuana, and gives one of the worst explanations for his position after a anti-gay tirade:
By Phillip Smith
With the contest for the Republican presidential nomination now in full swing, the candidates are looking for any issue on which to attack their competitors. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum thinks that in medical marijuana he has found an issue with which to lay into arguable front-runner Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Santorum is attacking Perry for the latter’s states’ rights approach to medical marijuana, a stance the Texas governor articulated in his book Fed Up! and which his spokesman reaffirmed this week to the Washington Post. In Fed Up!, Perry wrote that while he opposed marijuana legalization, he supported the right of states like California to legalize it themselves.
“When the federal government oversteps its authority, states should tell Washington they will not be complicit in enforcing laws with which they do not agree,” he wrote. “Again, the best example is an issue I don’t even agree with–the partial legalization of marijuana. Californians clearly want some level of legalized marijuana, be it for medicinal use or otherwise. The federal government is telling them they cannot. But states are not bound to enforce federal law, and the federal government cannot commandeer state resources and require them to enforce it.”
That wasn’t the only reference to marijuana and state rights in the book. “If you don’t support the death penalty and citizens packing a pistol, don’t come to Texas,” Perry wrote. “If you don’t like medicinal marijuana and gay marriage, don’t move to California.”
Queried this week by the Post about the passages, Perry spokesman Mark Miner reaffirmed Perry’s position. “While the governor is personally opposed to legalizing the use of medical marijuana, if states want to allow doctor prescribed medical marijuana, it seems to him that under the 10th Amendment, they have the right to do so.”
That was something Santorum, who is struggling to break into the front ranks, thought he could sink his teeth into. “Gov. Perry was quite clear too in his recently published book, that the definition of marriage should be left up to 50 different state interpretations,” a Santorum spokesman told the Post. “It’s certainly Gov. Perry right to believe marriage can be redefined at the state level, that marijuana can be legalized and that tax dollars should be used to give illegal aliens special college tuition rates, but that’s completely out of touch with what most Americans believe.”
But on medical marijuana, at least, it is Santorum who is out of touch. National polls on medical marijuana in the past decade show support levels of above 60% in every poll, and up into the 80% zone in some polls.
Two other Republican contenders, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico, also support medical marijuana. But Perry’s is the most prominent voice in the pack to adopt a favorable position on the issue.
(This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org’s lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)