MANCHESTER, NH - January 19 - Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana (GSMM) has announced that it will air a dramatic political spot highlighting four Democratic presidential contenders' refusal to stop federal arrests of cancer and AIDS patients who use medical marijuana. The ad will begin airing on New Hampshire stations tomorrow.
The commercial features stark, grainy images of U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), U.S. Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-MO), U.S. Sen. John Edwards (D-NC), and former Gov. Howard Dean (D-VT), while a narrator states, "There was a time when the federal government was arresting very sick people. And some Democrats running for president refused to say they would stop it. Cancer patients. AIDS patients. Following state medical marijuana laws, just trying to relieve their pain -- were being arrested."
The commercial, produced and paid for by the Marijuana Policy Project Political Fund, will air on the Adelphia Cable system and can be viewed on-line at http://www.mpp.org/NHcommercial . The state's other major provider, Comcast Cable, prohibited GSMM in December from purchasing airtime on the company's system in New Hampshire.
Throughout GSMM's campaign, patients and activists have followed the candidates, asking each for a promise to end the Bush administration's policy of raiding and arresting medical marijuana patients and providers. The four candidates featured in the spot -- Dean, Edwards, Gephardt, and Lieberman -- are the only Democratic presidential contenders who have consistently refused to pledge to end the raids.
"This commercial is part of an all-out effort that will continue through primary day," said GSMM Campaign Coordinator Aaron Houston. "Every New Hampshire voter should walk into the polling place informed about which candidates would continue raiding sick and dying medical marijuana patients and their caregivers."
An August 2003 poll by Zogby International found that 84% of likely New Hampshire Democratic primary voters support legal access to medical marijuana for seriously ill patients. The poll also showed that presidential candidates who support medical marijuana are likely to gain support among likely primary voters.