WASHINGTON -- GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney repeatedly dodged questions about medical marijuana, refusing to engage activists who took to the campaign trail in New Hampshire to press him on the issue.
Asked by a member of Students for Sensible Drug Policy about his views on the drug war, Romney demurred, referring his questioner to his website.
"It's a long ... it's a long question," Romney said at a rally in Bedrock on Jan 9. "It deserves a full answer, and not just in a photo line like this."
But neither the drug war nor drug policy is addressed on his website, mittromney.com.
At a town hall Laconia on Jan. 6, Romney was similarly evasive when asked whether he supports arresting medical marijuana patients.
"I'm in favor of having the law not allow illegal marijuana," he said.
Romney has stated his opposition to medical cannabis in the past. During the 2008 presidential campaign, he said, "I don't want marijuana to be used in our country. I'm not going to legalize marijuana." He's offered no in-depth discussions of the issue recently.
Marijuana policy doesn't appear to be an issue Romney follows closely. Asked at a recent town hall in Petersborough for his view on industrializing hemp, the former Massachusetts governor answered, "I have no idea what industrialized hemp is."
Advocates said they hope there's a teaching moment to be had.
"So we’ve concluded that Mitt Romney is unaware of what industrialized hemp is," the medical marijuana advocate who questioned Romney about hemp narrated on his video. "It's an education, an uphill battle from here, but we have a starting point."
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