At a recent campaign stop in Colorado, a CBS news reporterquestioned Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney on a number of issues relevant to Centennial State voters. Among them was marijuana. Romney, appearing visibly agitated, did not take kindly to the inquiry.
“Aren’t there issues of significance that you’d like to talk about?” Romney barked, before veering off into prototypical Reefer Madness territory: “I think marijuana should not be legal in this country. I believe it is a gateway drug to other drug violations. The use of illegal drugs in this country is leading to terrible consequences in places like Mexico — and actually in our country.
Aside from the irony of a lifelong social conservative balking at the opportunity to pontificate on camera regarding what is no doubt one of the leading social issues of the day, little else in Romney’s reply is surprising. After all, this is the same man who at a campaign gathering in New Hampshire in 2007 abruptly walked away from an 80-pound, wheelchair-bound muscular dystrophy patient who credited his use of marijuana for keeping him alive. (Watch the video here.) “I’m not in favor of medical marijuana,” Romney stated curtly at that time. In the five year’s since, it’s apparent that Romney has neither revisited his position nor, by his own admission, taken steps to further educate himself as to the issue of marijuana in general. (“I have no idea what industrialized hemp is,” Romneyacknowledged at another recent campaign stop.)