Gore Changes His Stance On Medical Marijuana Again, and Again

Last week, Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore flip-flopped from earlier campaign statements about medicinal marijuana, stating he now sees “no reliable evidence” of its utility in relieving pain.
Gore, speaking to high school students in California, stated, “Right now, the science does not show me or the experts whose judgement I trust that it is the proper medication for pain and that there are not better alternatives available in every situation.”
This statement is a reversal from the position Gore took while campaigning in New Hampshire last December. Gore then stated that his late sister was prescribed marijuana in 1984 as treatment for her cancer chemotherapy, but that it did not work for her. He added, “If it had worked for her, I think she should have had the ability to get her pain relieved that way.” Gore also stated that doctors “ought to have the option” to prescribe marijuana to seriously ill patients.
Today, though, Gore engaged in what Washington Post columnist Judy Mann has described as “pandering for the presidency,” as he “clarified” his position yet a third time. He told HIV/AIDS medical journal and internet guide Numedx (www.numedx.com) that “I believe that if the research validates it, under very limited, highly regulated circumstances, when a doctor has decided that this is the only available therapy, we may have to consider the possibility that marijuana be prescribed for pain management with strict supervision.”
“It appears the vice president doesn’t know what his position is towards the medical use of marijuana,” said Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director. “First he supports it, then he doesn’t. It suggests he is willing to say whatever he thinks his audience wants to hear, to get himself elected.”
Republican candidate Gov. George W. Bush addressed the medical marijuana issue last October when he said he did not personally support the medical use of marijuana, but felt the decision of whether to legalize medical marijuana should be left to the states.
For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director at (202) 483-5500.