Carly Fiorina Just Repeated Another Marijuana Myth

September 25th 2015

Alex Mierjeski

Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett Packard CEO and 2016 Republican presidential primary candidate is under fire again after touting outdated and misleading information about marijuana at a voter forum in Iowa Friday morning, ThinkProgress reports.

Shelly Van Winkle, a Gulf War veteran and American Cannabis Nurses Association registered nurse, asked Fiorina what steps she would take to ease medical marijuana access for patients suffering from a range of maladies. "I was trying to be brave," Van Winkle told ThinkProgress after a "tense exchange" with Fiorina.

After Van Winkle asked the candidate about access to medical cannabis for patients, including veterans with PTSD and children suffering from cancer, Fiorina echoed the same statements and false equivalencies she highlighted at the last Republican debates. As ThinkProgress' Emily Atkin writes:

“You’re not going to like my answer,” Fiorina responded before hearkening back to her breast cancer diagnosis in 2009. At the time, she recounted, her doctor asked “if I was interested in medicinal marijuana.”

“I said ‘No,’ and his response was ‘Good,’ because its a chemically complex compound that we do not understand — we do not understand how it reacts with chemotherapy and all of the other statements,” she said. “It is true today... [that before you get chemotherapy] you cannot have any marijuana in your system for at least 30 days…”

Van Winkle interrupted. “That’s no longer true, ” she said.

Fiorina paused. “So I will also tell you something else. We lost a daughter to addiction,” Fiorina said, before recounting the death of her daughter due to drug and alcohol abuse.

As ThinkProgress notes, while few major clinical trials examining medical marijuana exist, information about its interactions with other drugs exists, and studies have shown that marijuana can actually work in tandem with cancer drugs. As ATTN: previously reported, Fiorina's penchant to bring up marijuana as a factor in the tragic death of her stepdaughter—who suffered from alcoholism and prescription drug abuse—is also slightly misplaced. During the last Republican primary debate, Fiorina warned against trivializing marijuana use. "We are misleading young people when we tell them that marijuana is just like having a beer—it's not," she said. In fact, one study published in the Scientific Reports found alcohol to be about 114 times more deadly than marijuana.

RELATED: Marijuana Might Actually be an Anti-Gateway Drug

"Her answer fell back to 20 years ago, when you could go to Venice Beach to smoke a joint," Van Winkle told ThinkProgress. "If she wants to be a viable candidate, she has to get with current research. ...She fell back to rhetoric, but when it comes to medicine, it shouldn't be about politics. It should be about science."

"The rest of the world has moved on," Van Winkle said, referring to other countries with more lax medical marijuana laws. "In the U.S., we let people die."

Here Are 5 Countries With the Best Drug Laws

Here are 5 countries with the smartest drug laws and some pretty encouraging results.

Posted by ATTN: on Sunday, May 17, 2015