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Marijuana As Presidential Debate Topic? Not Just Yet ...

Obama v. McCain, 2008.
Obama v. McCain, 2008.
debates.org

How would you like to see the presidential candidates debate the legality of medical marijuana?

I know, right? Not going to happen. At least not tonight.

Still, a Don Quixote from the Inland Empire is at least trying to put the issue on the radar of the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is organizing the three face-offs between President Obama and Mitt Romney that start with round one tonight (6 p.m.) in Denver.

Lenny Swerdlow of Palm Springs has started a petition on SignOn.org to put the issue of medical marijuana's potential legality nationwide to the contestants.

He says he's sending the results, already nearing his goal of 3,000 signatures, to debates commission co-chair Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr.

Fahrenkopf will promptly ignore them.

But still, it is a hot topic, especially here and in Colorado, where medical pot is legal but where federal authorities reserve the right to crack down because cannabis is not recognized as medicine on a national level.

Swerdlow said in a statement sent to the Weekly:

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia representing over a third of the U.S. population have legalized the use of marijuana when recommended by a physician. Six states have marijuana initiatives on their November ballots (three legalization and three medical marijuana). $20 billion is spent each year ensnaring over 850,000 Americans in the criminal justice system. Thousands of deaths occur on the Mexican border each year deciding who can smuggle marijuana into the United States.

What other issue impacts so many Americans at such a staggering cost in dollars and lives and is so completely sidelined. Yet the only thing President Obama and challenger Romney seem to agree on is to NOT talk about marijuana.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]


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