Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hmmm -- I missed this last week:

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....

The article (from AP) says this is likely to play well in the West, and isn't likely to hurt Richardson among Democratic primary voters -- though it would be a risk if Richardson won the president nomination.

But why? Medical marijuana polls very, very well in America. Only in the conventional wisdom is support for it an edgy, radical position.

Oh, and, of course, most politicians in America are either Republicans who want to seem tough and macho or Democrats who fear attacks from macho Republican posturers. That's really the only reason medical marijuana is still controversial.

By the way, Bill, I hope you realize this means you'll never be Hillary Clinton's running mate. Her instincts will be to run to the right on this issue -- even though the country doesn't demand that at all.

(Via Annie's Annals.)

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