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  Richardson To Legalize Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on March 15, 2007 at 16:47:06 PT
By Deborah Baker, Associated Press Writer 
Source: Associated Press 

medical Santa Fe, N.M. -- Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson, poised to sign a bill making New Mexico the 12th state to legalize medical marijuana, said Thursday he realizes his action could become an issue in the presidential race.

"So what if it's risky? It's the right thing to do," said Richardson, one of the candidates in the crowded 2008 field. "What we're talking about is 160 people in deep pain. It only affects them."

The legislation would create a program under which some patients -- with a doctor's recommendation -- could use marijuana provided by the state health department. Lawmakers approved the bill Wednesday. The governor is expected to sign it in the next few weeks.

Richardson has supported the proposal since he first ran in 2002. But he pushed especially hard for it this year, leaning on some Democrats to change their votes after the bill initially failed.

"Give him credit. It's not something you do because you're going to garner great political support for it. It is a bit controversial," said Thomas Mann, a political analyst at the Brookings Institution in Washington. By the same token, Mann says, it is not likely to hurt him in the Democratic contests.

"If he were to surprise us all and actually win the Democratic nomination, he's got an interesting mix of positions" that would not be undercut by his support of medical marijuana, Mann said.

"It's an interesting risk," added Lonna Atkeson, professor of political science at the University of New Mexico. "I'm somewhat surprised, because I think he's sort of cautious, usually."

A majority of the states that have legalized medical marijuana are in the West, and Atkeson suggested his position could play well in the region. But it could also give Richardson's rivals a potential issue to focus on.

Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico said Richardson will be the first presidential candidate ever to advocate medical marijuana "by vocally supporting and signing legislation."

In signing the measure, Richardson "will be sending a strong message that states can and should exercise their right to do what is in the best interest of their citizens free from intrusion from the Federal government," said Reena Szczepanski of the advocacy group.

Richardson said he has been asked about the issue by only a few voters while campaigning in Iowa. He said the White House had urged him not to sign the bill.

"I don't see it as being a big issue," he said. "This is for medicinal purpose, for ... people that are suffering. My God, let's be reasonable," he said.

The federal government declares marijuana an illegal controlled substance with no medical value.

A federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled on Wednesday that a woman whose doctor says marijuana is the only medicine keeping her alive can face federal prosecution on drug charges.

The Supreme Court ruled against the woman two years ago, saying medical marijuana users and their suppliers could be prosecuted for breaching federal drug laws even if they lived in a state such as California where medical pot is legal.

Source: Associated Press (Wire)
Author: Deborah Baker, Associated Press Writer
Published: March 15, 2007
Copyright: 2007 Associated Press

Related Articles & Web Site:

Drug Policy Alliance

Lawmakers Change Minds on Marijuana

House Approves Use of Medical Marijuana

Second Time Around, House OKs Marijuana

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Comment #32 posted by FoM on March 16, 2007 at 11:00:36 PT
It's very interesting what you are saying. I can imagine a good cabinet no matter who gets the nomination. I like the Democrats. God Bless them for trying like they are.

Without saying too much something could happen tomorrow with Senator Obama. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #31 posted by whig on March 16, 2007 at 10:36:08 PT
And if I'm making dumb suggestions, I'm not wedded to them.

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Comment #30 posted by whig on March 16, 2007 at 10:34:41 PT
not so good
I shouldn't say he's a weak fool. I'm not being very diplomatic am I?

Well, I don't have confidence in him. I don't have confidence in a lot of (most) politicians. Of any party.

But there will be a government and it will have to be managed, and this is what I think.

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Comment #29 posted by whig on March 16, 2007 at 10:31:46 PT
another suggestion
Hillary Clinton for secretary of health and human services. Can't we all get along?

This is all incumbent on my hypothetical ticket, by the way. I wouldn't and won't advocate a cabinet like this with a weak fool like Joe Biden.

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Comment #28 posted by whig on March 16, 2007 at 10:29:25 PT
No faceless gray bureaucrats, people who have support from the community in all positions, with independent judgment that won't be subservient yes-men and women. People who can communicate with us, and tell us what they are doing for us. We are in charge, this is democracy.

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Comment #27 posted by whig on March 16, 2007 at 10:26:10 PT
fleshing out a cabinet
Thinking about a supercabinet, with Al Gore, John Edwards, all the other candidates of good intention who cannot be president, serving roles in the administration....

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #26 posted by whig on March 16, 2007 at 10:24:20 PT
musing aloud
Does Richardson/Obama sound like a good ticket?

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Comment #25 posted by nuevo mexican on March 16, 2007 at 09:49:58 PT
Link to Valerie Plame hearings.....
If you can't watch this now, make sure you watch it later C-Newsers!

If you want to watch the fall of the empire, just click on this link, Henry Waxman is leading the charge, the MSM is doing it's best to ignore the story, just flip the dial and NO COVERAGE, where's Monica, Micheal Jackson, O.J., Brittney and Anna Nicole when you need them? Nowhere to be found, and the News REFUSES to treat this story with the appropriate outrage formerly spewed on Bill Clinton, but NOOOOO, the MSM just can't do it's job!

If it weren't for C-Span, you wouldn't hear a peep from CNN, and MSNBC, who are just as bad as FOX when it comes to avoiding Real News of Consequence.

Henry Waxman will jettison into the MSM, while the kick and scream, 'we don't wanna do our jobs, we're afraid of cheneys' goon and bushes minions' whaa, whaa, whaa...... Seriously disgusting folks..... Elijah Cummings is pointing out the obvious, looking forward to monitoring the effects of the truth on this weekends massive turnouts to Create PEACE, and turn guns into butter!

Thanks to all here who helped create the atmosphere for Bill Richardson to speak Truth to Power, as bush and cheney, gonzo and rove.

Someone from Code Pink just held up a sign that says 'got impeachment?'

And THEN said 'impeach cheney first'!


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Comment #24 posted by Had Enough on March 16, 2007 at 08:49:29 PT
Headlines are Changing!!!
Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson, poised to sign a bill making New Mexico the 12th state to legalize medical marijuana, said Thursday he realizes his action could become an issue in the presidential race.

You bet it can become an issue in the presidential race, as it should be. I just hope it comes sooner than later.

Just think; pretty soon we might be hearing more candidates for public office supporting repeal of cannabis laws. When this happens, they need tremendous support from “We The People” And at that point it might be political suicide to speak out against this God given plant.

I’ve been waiting a long time to see stuff like this.

and… a tip of the “helmet” to Gov. Richardson.

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Comment #23 posted by charmed quark on March 16, 2007 at 08:21:05 PT
Only 160 people in all of N. Mexico?
I looked at the bill and it's the pretty standard in terms of who's allowed to use it. So where is the 160 coming from? I'm guessing it's more like 10,000 could benefit from cannabis under N. Mexico's law. Unless that desert air makes N. Mexicans a LOT healthier than the rest of us.

I love N. Mexico. Have relatives out there. It's pretty much a "We don't care what you do as long as it doesn't bother the cattle or scare the horses" state. Plus I dream about the basic diner food there- red or green, blue or yellow are your choices, or you can get a Christmas Tree ( red and green). That's red or green sauce, blue or yellow tortillas. Yum.

I do love Richardson's statement (to paraphrase): "Let's be resonable, we're talking about medicine, what's the big deal?" approach. I could easily see him deflecting an attacker in a Presidential debate this way. He'd make the other party look like a mean-spirited fool, which is what such attackers are. The states-right angle is also very good and could actively help him.

Totally ignoring his stance on medical cannabis, Richardson is the first Democrat candidate I feel I can really get behind. If he makes it through the primaries I can definitely see him winning.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #22 posted by MikeEEEEE on March 16, 2007 at 08:13:05 PT
Please delete the extra postings. Thanks. Oops! Sometimes connection problems cause this.

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Comment #20 posted by doc james on March 16, 2007 at 08:07:15 PT
3 tokes for Gov Bill
Thank the Lawd! I agree with all your responses. I really liked the way he told them,"My God, Let's be reasonable." I really believe a lot more politicians feel that way but are afraid of their peers verbage. Right On Bill, If I ever get my civil rights back you are going to be the first I am voting for. Yes, I've been in the solitary you mention, a steel bunk on the wall, no mattress toilet and sink r one and the same. 2 small bowls of squished green english peas and carrots a day. I hate peas, so I didnt eat for 27days. This is amerikkka. overgrow the government.

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Comment #19 posted by MikeEEEEE on March 16, 2007 at 08:02:49 PT
Illegal president and war criminal
I wonder if the democrats have the guts to impeach this monster.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #18 posted by nuevo mexican on March 16, 2007 at 07:55:59 PT
I love the 'Impeach bush' Code Pinker!
Watching the hearings on Valerie Plame, and when the camera is on her, the Impeach bush Glares at you!

Awesome times we're in!

Bye-bye bushie, bye, bye!

Can you smell impeachment in the air!

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Comment #17 posted by Toker00 on March 16, 2007 at 07:34:54 PT
Bill Richards.
Nice personality. Experienced. Out of the PNAC loop. Good spokesman, utilizes the English language much better than the W. Definitely worth checking out. Looks like we'll have an early primary everywhere next year. We must screen them ALL. Then we must solidify our voting block. Our VERY LARGE Voting Block.


P.S. Watching Valerie Plume TESTIFY. Historically significant. I hope she kicks their ASSES.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #16 posted by Toker00 on March 16, 2007 at 07:28:01 PT
Seems we have supporters all over.
I'm not claiming allegiance to anyone right now, just posting the options. How 'bought them Greens overthere?


[ Post Comment ]

Comment #15 posted by potpal on March 16, 2007 at 06:49:31 PT
I like Bill R.
He's got my vote. The other dems are icons and caught up in all the hoopla. Bill is a man who can govern.

Prisons, I was thinking, how I wouldn't want one in my neighborhood. It brings to mind those who lived in the neighborhoods of Dachau or Auschwitz and feigned they didn't know what was going on there. Prisons today are houses of pain and despair, a lot of what goes on in them is immoral, brutal and sadistic. An industry designed to cage and ultimately drive people insane isn't much better than killing them outright.

I still can't get out of my head, I think it was Frontline, showed a guy who got 6 months solitary confinement for a hit or two of herb (while in prison) showing you basicially that he was done for, mentally. Prisoners of war.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by Toker00 on March 16, 2007 at 06:29:13 PT
Another "THE MAN"!
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: "Impeachment May Well Be the Only Remedy"

Here are Rep. Kucinich's remarks on the floor of the U.S. House, March 15, 2007:

"This House cannot avoid its Constitutionally authorized responsibility to restrain the abuse of Executive power.

"The Administration has been preparing for an aggressive war against Iran. There is no solid, direct evidence that Iran has the intention of attacking the United States or its allies.

"The US is a signatory to the UN Charter, a constituent treaty among the nations of the world. Article II, Section 4 of the UN Charter states, "all members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. . ." Even the threat of a war of aggression is illegal.

"Article VI of the US Constitution makes such treaties the Supreme Law of the Land. This Administration, has openly threatened aggression against Iran in violation of the US Constitution and the UN Charter.

"This week the House Appropriations committee removed language from the Iraq war funding bill requiring the Administration, under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution, to seek permission before it launched an attack against Iran.

"Since war with Iran is an option of this Administration and since such war is patently illegal, then impeachment may well be the only remedy which remains to stop a war of aggression against Iran."

THANK DENNIS NOW! 202-225-5871


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Comment #13 posted by Toker00 on March 16, 2007 at 06:09:07 PT
The Rense article is fabulous. The World is going to soon call the hand of the Illuminati. They will either Fold, or Cheat, because we can sense their losing hand. Which will it be? They know WE know. I just hope a large enough percentage of our Military, and POLICEMEN, have been awakened to this NWO Hogwash. I know a lot of American People have been. 74% Doubt KSM "Confession"?!? That is SIGNIFICANT! Gonzales, Rove, then who? The BIG STINKING FISH, Cheney? Then THE VILLAGE IDIOT, Bush? Why stop there? Let's just arrest the entire Congress and Senate, Declare a Revolution, Re-establish our Constitutional Republic in the name of the People, and be done with it. Let's show the world that the American People DO NOT WANT WAR! Until we do this, the world will continue to hate us. I promise.



[ Post Comment ]

Comment #12 posted by goneposthole on March 16, 2007 at 03:14:38 PT
Arrest the Governor
He supports medical cannabis, which is against the law, therefore, he is a lawless criminal himself. The federal government prohibits the use of cannabis as medicine. He is in violation of federal law. Round up the SWAT team and break down the door of the governor's mansion.

He's an outlaw. He's an honest man trying to be a politician, but it isn't going to work. There's a chink in his armor somewhere. We need corrupt, immoral politicians and civil servants like Bill Bennett, not honest ones with some scruples like Bill Richardson. This is an outrage!

Maybe send in Darryl Gates to make an example of Gov. Richardson.

However, Rush Limbaugh can pop pills until the cows come home and not even hear them moo.

Law breakers like Governor Richardson have no place in murkan society.

Culprits like him need to be executed immediately.


[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by nuevo mexican on March 16, 2007 at 01:49:24 PT
Maybe this is why he took this brave stand.....
If we can get Bill Richardson to support this flawed, door-opening effort to legalize medical Cannabis, we can get the Dems in New Mexico, AND Bill Richardson to support the next impeachment effort, (that SOMEONE in the Democratic Party of New Mexico allowed to be defeated)!

Make those calls to Bill if you want impeachment, with the scandal breaking on Gonzo and now Rove, more tomorrow I'm sure, and even Fox is talking about permanent damage to bush, and what is to come next!

It is falling, the Dems are growing balls and getting a spine though, Can you say 'subpeana'!

This article on Impeachment and Bill Richardson made Buzzflash thankfully, and now it is here:

Dave Lindorff: 'Democrats Kill Democracy and Protect a Criminal Presidency in New Mexico'

Brown says he does not have evidence of any pressure on senate Democrats, but speculation is focused on Gov. Bill Richardson, an announced candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, and on Sen. Jeff Bingaman.

The Democratic National Committee has targeted New Mexico as a key battleground state for 2008, and given the national party leadership's clear desire to avoid an impeachment battle in the House, it seems increasingly evident from the strange behavior of turncoat senate Democrats in the state, that pressure was brought to prevent the passage of a joint resolution that would have put the issue front and center in the U.S. House of Representatives. This seems particularly likely given the overt pressure that has been brought to bear on state senators in Washington state by two members of that state's congressional delegation. A similar joint resolution is facing a do-or-die vote in the Washington state senate today or tomorrow.

And of course, there is always Dennis Kucinich, who will be speaking at a pro-peace rally in Santa Fe Saturday, and then a march down to the plaza, (these are the best rallies, if you are in the area!

I'll tell him hello from all here at C-News!

Dennis IS talking impeachment, to stop a war in Iran, a great reason, and Bill R. will HAVE to start talking impeachment too, along with Rove, Cheney and Gonzo, or look like Hillary.

It is happening, Gonzo looks gone by Friday, Rove next week, hmmmmmm, how long for President Cheney and chimpy?

No one is buying the BS on the waterboarded psuedo-terrorist either, so it's over for the fear card, duhhhh.......

Headlines I like to see!

'Bill Richardson to legalize Medical Marijuana'


Kucinich: 'Impeachment may well be the only remedy which remains to stop a war of aggression against Iran' "This House cannot avoid its constitutionally authorized responsibility to restrain the abuse of Executive power," Kucinich said on the floor today. "The Administration has been preparing for an aggressive war against Iran. There is no solid, direct evidence that Iran has the intention of attacking the United States or its allies."

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by John Tyler on March 15, 2007 at 21:48:44 PT
over 61 million people
I did a little checking. The combined population of the now 12 states that allow medical cannabis is over 61 million. This is a lot of voters and a lot of electoral votes.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #9 posted by Dankhank on March 15, 2007 at 21:41:22 PT
Gov. Bill ...
will get my vote if he succeeds in gaining the nomination, and I will be a strong supporter for him.

thanks ... Bill ....

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by FoM on March 15, 2007 at 21:01:34 PT
Related Article from The Huffington Post
Governor Richardson Poised to be First Presidential Candidate to Enact Medical Marijuana Legislation


By Ethan Nadelmann

March 15, 2007

New Mexico is on the verge of becoming the twelfth state to approve doctor-recommended medical marijuana for the sick and dying, and only the fourth state legislature to enact such a measure. Following intense debate, the New Mexico House passed the measure after including an amendment to prevent distribution of medical cannabis within 300 feet of any church, school or day-care center.

Gov. Richardson summed up the battle's high stakes, "I am pleased that the Legislature did the right thing, reconsidered this important bill and supported a humane option for New Mexicans who endure some of the most painful diseases imaginable."

Once Gov. Richardson signs the bill--expected in days, he will become the first presidential candidate to have supported medical marijuana by signing it into law. Richardson's strong support was critical throughout this process. The hallmark of New Mexico's medical marijuana bill is its strict controls and safeguards to prevent abuse. It will be one of the most tightly regulated programs in the country. The State Department of Health will develop the program's rules and regulations and also regulate licensed producers, ensuring that security and safety issues are addressed.

After a recommendation from their doctor, patients who suffer from debilitating and life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy or glaucoma, can apply to a state-appointed medical review board for admission into the program. New Mexico is sending a strong message that states can and should exercise their right to do what is in the best interest of their citizens free from intrusion from the Federal government.

But the fight continues. Wednesday's New York Times headline lamented, "Dying Woman Loses Appeal on Marijuana as Medication." Angel Raich lost her appeal in federal appellate court where she argued the federal ban on medical marijuana robs her of her constitutional right to life. In its decision, The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals sympathized with Ms. Raich's plight after seeing "uncontroverted evidence" that she needs marijuana to survive, and recognizing that "the use of marijuana for medical purposes is gaining traction."

Separately, a federal trial judge yesterday took the government to task for vindictive prosecution in a medical marijuana case. A Federal District Court judge dismissed trumped up money laundering and tax evasion charges against marijuana advocate, Ed Rosenthal. It would appear that the lies and the increasingly extremist bullying tactics of our White House and discredited obstinance of our Justice Department on this issue--as with so many other issues--are coming home to roost.

Copyright: 2007, Inc.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by FoM on March 15, 2007 at 19:13:03 PT
About Governor Richardson
If Governor Richardson gets the Democratic Party Nomination I will vote for him.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #6 posted by John Tyler on March 15, 2007 at 19:08:43 PT
Yea 12th state
This is such an extraordinarily pleasant surprise. He resurrected a dead bill and got it passed. This guy is a rare breed of politician. He will certainly get my vote.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #5 posted by mayan on March 15, 2007 at 18:27:44 PT
KSM "Confession"
Off topic, but this could be timed to precede another staged terror attack...

Matt Lauer: Can Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's 'tortured' testimony be trusted?

Can KSM's Confession Be Believed?,8599,1599423,00.html

The 'Confessions' Of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed:

Al Qaeda confession leaves many questions unanswered:

CNN Online Poll: 74% Doubt KSM "Confession":



[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by MikeEEEEE on March 15, 2007 at 17:59:59 PT
"It's the right thing to do"

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on March 15, 2007 at 17:26:49 PT
sounding good
"My God, let's be reasonable"

I'd like to hear those words a lot more from politicians. Maybe they could actually get something done!

What a great example for other Democrats. How can this possibly hurt any of them? In the 20% of the population that thinks medical cannabis should remain illegal, how many are going to vote for ANY Democrat? Zero. They'll either vote for the Republican, or if he's too soft on religious issues, they won't vote. Or they'll write in Pat Robertson.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by FoM on March 15, 2007 at 17:04:46 PT
Just My Thoughts
What an amazing time we are living in.

Thank you so much Governor Richardson.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by RevRayGreen on March 15, 2007 at 16:50:36 PT
Next time he's in Iowa
I'll be there to shake his hand.

[ Post Comment ]

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