Well, well, well… Look who was PRO-medical marijuana—actually went out on a limb for it—way back before he wanted to behead people and cut off their hands for possessing it…
Here’s what Newt Gingrich wrote to the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1982:
Legal Status of Marijuana
To the Editor:
The American Medical Association’s Council on Scientific Affairs should be commended for its report, “Marijuana: Its Health Hazards and Therapeutic Potential” (1981;246:1823). Not only does the report outline evidence of marijuana’s potential harms, but it distinguishes this concern from the legitimate issue of marijuana’s important medical benefits. All too often the hysteria that attends public debate over marijuana’s social abuse compromises a clear appreciation for this critical distinction.
Since 1978, 32 states have abandoned the federal prohibition to recognize legislatively marijuana’s important medical properties. Federal law, however, continues to define marijuana as a drug “with no accepted medical use,” and federal agencies continue to prohibit physician-patient access to marijuana. This outdated federal prohibition is corrupting the intent of the state laws and depriving thousands of glaucoma and cancer patients of the medical care promised them by their state legislatures.
On Sept 16, 1981, Representative Stewart McKinney and I introduced legislation designed to end bureaucratic interference in the use of marijuana as a medicant. We believe licensed physicians are competent to employ marijuana, and patients have a right to obtain marijuana legally, under medical supervision, from a regulated source. The medical prohibition does not prevent seriously ill patients from employing marijuana; it simply deprives them of medical supervision and access to a regulated medical substance. Physicians are often forced to choose between their ethical responsibilities to the patient and their legal liabilities to federal bureaucrats.
Representative McKinney and I hope the Council will take a close and careful look at this issue. Federal policies do not reflect a factual or balanced assessment of marijuana’s use as a medicant. The Council, by thoroughly investigating the available materials, might well discover that its own assessment of marijuana’s therapeutic value has, in the past, been more than slightly shaded by federal policies that are less than neutral
House of Representatives
Fourteen years later, as House Speaker, this same hypocritical piece-of-shit would introduce the Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996, which called for executing any person caught importing just an ounce or two of high-grade marijuana (“100 usual doses” is how it was written in the legislation, which obviously didn’t pass).
What’s more, when challenged about his own admitted use of marijuana in the past, Gingrich had this to say to Wall Street Journal reporter Hilary Stout:
“That was a sign we were alive and in graduate school in that era. See, when I smoked pot it was illegal, but not immoral. Now, it is illegal AND immoral. The law didn’t change, only the morality… That’s why you get to go to jail and I don’t.”
“Okay for thee, but not for me,” sez rich, well-fed white guy. Thanks for the succinct explanation, mean old man!
Now, if you’re looking to make sense of this stuff don’t even try. He’s a Republican, ‘nuff said.
Here’s what Gingrich said at a fundraiser for fellow Georgia GOP pol Rep. Charlie Norwood in 1995:
“If you import a commercial quantity of illegal drugs, it is because you have made the personal decision that you are prepared to get rich by destroying our children. I have made the decision that I love our children enough that we will kill you if you do this.”
“I have decided”???
Imagine this asshole being allowed to decide anything of importance!
Gingrich, unable to help himself, continued:
“The first time we execute 27 or 30 or 35 people at one time, and they go around Colombia and France and Thailand and Mexico, and they say, ‘Hi, would you like to carry some drugs into the U.S.?’ the price of carrying drugs will have gone up dramatically.”
Ethan Nadlemann, the executive director of Drug Policy Action, a bipartisan advocacy group for ending the drug war called Gingrich “basically a nightmare” when it comes to drug policy issues. “For a guy who’s supposed to be an intellectual and intelligent, the quality of the argumentation on his part is embarrassing.”
As one wag quipped on the topic of Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996 at The People’s Forum:
Fortunately didn’t pass. His other proposed acts, the Serial Adultery Death Penalty Act and the Congressional Influence Peddling Death Penalty Act, unfortunately failed as well. And he reportedly killed the Fat Loudmouth Pandering Pseudo-Intellectual Death Penalty Act before it could be introduced.
Republicans whine and Republicans bitch/Our rich are too poor and our poor are too rich.
Below, Newt Gingrich shooting his big mouth off about the drug war and how the US should emulate Singapore(!) on The O’Reilly Factor as “Papa Bear” nods with approval.
Thank you Mr. Michael Backes of Sacramento, CA!