Presidential Candidates in the U.S. weigh in on the topic of Legalized Marijuana:
As Republican and Democratic presidential candidates work to maneuver into optimal political position, they must debate and publicly discuss a myriad of topics. One topic that has been of interest this year is that of marijuana legalization across the nation. The federal government continues to classify marijuana as a Schedule 1 illegal substance, but states are individually re-evaluating their stance on cannabis. Currently in the U.S., 23 states have legalized medical marijuana and four states have passed legislation to permit recreational marijuana as well. Similar legislation that would legalize marijuana in some form is being considered in many other states and the topic is one of national discussion. As a result, the presidential candidates vying for position to run as the party favorite next year have been asked to discuss their stance on marijuana legalization more than most other candidates in recent history. Some current candidates are more open with their stance and opinion than others, and some are more political and deflective in their current stance. Right now, a recent Gallup Poll showed that a majority of Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana. The front running Democratic presidential candidates have varied opinions on the topic.
Two Democratic Presidential Contenders Weigh In on Legalized Marijuana:
Hillary Clinton is at the front of the Democratic party line and is a favorite to win the party nomination. Clinton is on record supporting legal access to medical marijuana and she is in favor of additional research into the benefits of marijuana. She has not formally taken a blanket stance for or against marijuana legalization for the nation, but she has stated that she is in favor of states adopting their own marijuana policies and that the federal government should not interfere. Most of the attention that Clinton has given the topic relates to medical marijuana and the potential medical benefits for patients. She has given much less attention to the idea of recreational marijuana. Just last year, Clinton remarked that the federal government needs to stay attuned to the way that marijuana is still used as a gateway drug pushed by drug cartels. So, overall, Clinton appears open to the idea of legalization, but is taking a wait and see approach. She is interested in reviewing the data from other states that have already legalized cannabis before making any conclusive statements.
Bernie Sanders is also a 2016 presidential candidate and has made headlines for his stance on legalized marijuana in the U.S. Sanders is a U.S. Senator out of Vermont, and he is on record supporting medical and recreational use of marijuana. He recently stated in a debate that he would vote “yes” to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use in Nevada. He believes that states should be allowed to regulate marijuana in a way that is similar to the regulation of alcohol. Sanders is in favor of removing marijuana from the federal drug schedules so that marijuana access would be available in all states.