updated 12/18/2003 6:16:38 PM ET 2003-12-18T23:16:38

Democratic presidential hopeful Wesley Clark said Thursday he supports amending federal law to allow individuals and groups to buy prescription drugs from Canada.

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Clark discussed health care with eight of the 23 registered voters of Dixville, which traditionally casts the nation’s first votes in national elections by opening its polls in the first minutes of Election Day.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to keep people from buying drugs,” Clark said.

Prescription drugs generally are cheaper in Canada than in the United States, prompting many residents of New Hampshire and other border states to travel to Canada to buy them. The FDA says buying drugs from Canada is risky because their safety cannot be guaranteed.

Earlier Thursday in the town of Berlin, Clark criticized the Bush administration for lacking a program to create jobs. Even though the economy appears to be getting back on track, he said, jobs aren’t coming with it and President Bush doesn’t appear to know how to fix the problem.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that new claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week and reached their lowest level since Nov. 1.

'People are very concerned'
“I keep hearing about recovery,” Clark said during an interview with radio station WMOU. “You don’t see the signs of recovery. People are very concerned with holding onto their jobs and keeping their lives together.”

While visiting a Main Street restaurant in Berlin, Clark told patrons the country has lost manufacturing jobs for 40 consecutive months. Berlin relies for jobs almost exclusively from two paper and pulp mills that have been in and out of bankruptcy recently.

“The only way to increase profits is to fire people,” Clark said of the business mentality. “That’s what’s happening. Some of the jobs will never come back.” He said he would “re-employ America” by pumping $100 billion into the economy.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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