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Kerry Says He Opposes Federal Persecution Of Medical Marijuana

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MANCHESTER, N.H. - At a campaign stop in Manchester on Thursday,
Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry told an audience of college
students he opposes federal prosecutions in medical marijuana cases in
states that have legalized the practice, pledging to reverse Bush
administration policy on the issue. More broadly, he said he wanted to
wait for the completion of a study to see what other alternatives
might be available to medical marijuana before deciding whether to
legalize it in all states.

Asked whether he would repeal federal law that denies federal student
loan assistance for individuals convicted of drug offenses, he said it
would depend on the offense.

``If the offense is use, yes,'' he said. But ``if the offense is
selling, no.''

While meeting with workers at Page Belting in Concord, Kerry talked
about the need to ensure a working wage for all people. He also called
for better disclosure of executive pension plans.

Kerry said most companies give little information about these plans,
and they rarely get voted on by shareholders. He called for the
disclosure of pension package values for companies' top five executives.

The Massachusetts senator also wants to crack down on companies that
cloak executive pensions as compensation and then take tax deductions
on them.

Kerry also said it is essential that retiring employees be given a
choice between traditional pension plans and increasingly popular
cash-balance plans, which are less expensive for companies but can
hurt older workers.


Pubdate: Thu, 08 Jan 2004
Source: Boston Herald (MA)
Copyright: 2004 The Boston Herald, Inc
Contact: letterstoeditor@bostonherald.com
Website: http://www.bostonherald.com/news.html