It’s rare to hear Republican politicians espouse medical marijuana. If they support it at all, they stick to the “states rights” rhetoric their voters know so well. See, for example, Ron Paul.
But Newt Gingrich thinks marijuana, medical or otherwise, is so dastardly that federalism should be tossed out the window and Mary Jane should be banished from coast to coast.
Yes, then-Congressman Gingrich in 1991 introduced pro-medical marijuana legislation, but now he’s thinking of the children, he tells Yahoo! News’ Chris Moody.
“What has changed was the number of parents I met with who said they did not want their children to get the signal from the government that it was acceptable behavior,” said Gingrich, before saying that Americans who need medical marijuana will simply have to cope with the inconvenience of debilitating pain and nausea.
“[My supporters] were prepared to say as a matter of value that it was better to send a clear signal on no drug use at the risk of inconveniencing some people, than it was to be compassionate toward a small group at the risk of telling a much larger group that it was okay to use the drug,” Gingrich explained. “Within a year of my original support of that bill I withdrew it.”
As for the drug war as a whole, Gingrich believes the government should thrust itself into people’s private lives and start requiring testing for anyone who gets federal benefits like food stamps.
I think that we need to consider taking more explicit steps to make it expensive to be a drug user. It could be through testing before you get any kind of federal aid. Unemployment compensation, food stamps, you name it.
Hmmm, will these tests apply to people receiving social security? Oh, wait, that’s unsustainable, so it won’t be around for much longer. Drug problem solved!
– Article originally from Death and Taxes.