Elizabeth Warren Offers Support For Medical Marijuana, Citing Father's Battle With Cancer


WASHINGTON -- Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren offered some support for legalizing medical marijuana in an interview Monday with Boston's WTKK-FM. She said her father's battle with cancer taught her the importance of using appropriate drugs to alleviate pain:

You know, I held my father's hand while he died of cancer, and it's really painful when you do something like that up close and personal. My mother was already gone, and I was very, very close to my father. And it puts me in a position of saying, if there's something a physician can prescribe that can help someone who's suffering, I'm in favor of that. Now, I want to make sure they've got the right restrictions. It should be like any other prescription drug -- that there's careful control over it. But I think it's really hard to watch somebody suffer that you love.

Warren was responding to a question about a Massachusetts ballot initiative seeking to permit the humanitarian use of medical marijuana. In a state poll released last week by Suffolk University, 59 percent of voters voiced support for the initiative.

In Colorado, meanwhile, former GOP Rep. Tom Tancredo outlined his support for his state's ballot measure to legalize the sale of marijuana in a letter to Republican lawmakers. "I have decided that it presents a responsible, effective and much-needed solution to a misguided policy,” Tancredo wrote last week. "Eighty years ago, Colorado voters concerned about the health and safety of their families and communities approved a ballot initiative to repeal alcohol prohibition prior to it being done by the federal government. This November, we have the opportunity to end the equally problematic and ineffective policy of marijuana prohibition."

Medical marijuana is already legal in 17 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to Massachusetts, Arkansas and Montana have medically focused measures on their ballots this fall. Like that in Colorado, initiatives in Oregon and Washington state would go a step further, decriminalizing pot for recreational and medicinal uses.

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