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Presidential Candidate Buchanan May Support Medical Access to Marijuana


December 1995

On two occasions, Republican Presidential Candidate Pat Buchanan expressed limited support for the medical use of marijuana.

In a July interview with the editors of the Charlotte Observer, Buchanan said he favors measures that would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for relief from certain conditions. "If a doctor indicated to his patient that this was the only way to alleviate certain painful symptoms, I would defer to the doctor's judgement," he said (Charlotte Observer, July 29, 1995, p. 12C).

More recently, speaking to supporters at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, he was asked by George McMahon if he supports medical use of marijuana. Buchanan said that marijuana is more dangerous and harmful than alcohol, and doctors should not be allowed to prescribe it to their patients. McMahon is one of eight participants in the NIDA FDA Compassionate Use program for medicinal marijuana.

McMahon told Buchanan he is terminally ill, and that marijuana is the only drug that helps him. "Now you are telling me something I don't know," Buchanan said. "If everything you say is true, and I choose to believe you, I would support you in a second" (Dana Larsen, "Buchanan Changes Mind on Medicine Marijuana," Storm Lake Pilot Tribune, October 4, 1995, p. 1).

[For more information from the Buchanan campaign, contact Buchanan for President, 6862 Elm Street, Suite 210, McLean, VA 22101, 1-800-GO-PAT-GO or 703-848-1996, or]