Politics, Clinton, and Marijuana Reform News Review 2015:
Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, said little on the topic of marijuana reform early on her campaign trail. In a recent debate during which Bernie Sanders voiced his support for marijuana legislation in the state of Nevada, Clinton did not show the same support. She found that public opinion favored the response given by Bernie Sanders. Since that time, Hillary Clinton has been gradually altering her stance on marijuana reform in the United States. She is now giving credence to the idea that marijuana classification should be modified by the federal government.
Clinton reiterates that Marijuana should be Reclassified by the Federal Government:
Currently, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug. This classification is significant in that it categorizes marijuana with other drugs like heroin, LSD, peyote, and ecstasy. Drugs that are listed as Schedule 1 by the federal government are considered to be the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with the potential for severe psychological and physical dependence. Given this label by the federal government, marijuana is illegal which makes access for additional research with marijuana next to impossible. The federal government does not currently believe that marijuana has any acceptable medical use and has a high potential for abuse. Hillary Clinton has publicly stated recently that more research on marijuana needs to be conducted and that marijuana needs to be re-scheduled so that marijuana can be accessible for the research. She specifically stated in a speech last weekend that she would like to reschedule marijuana in order to spur research. Despite Clinton’s new spin on the topic, she has not yet expressed interest in legalizing marijuana. During the October debate, she specifically said no when asked if marijuana should be legal in the United States. She continues to take a wait and see approach.
Clinton’s Approach to Marijuana Reform still Wait and See:
Clinton has implied that she looks at the states that have legalized recreational marijuana as experiments. Observing and employing a wait and see approach appears to be her general stance regarding these states. Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington are the four states that have passed legislation that permits the use of recreational marijuana. Clinton plans to observe the reform process in these states to support the development of her position on marijuana reform in the U.S. Clinton stated during a recent town hall meeting in South Carolina that the states that have passed medical marijuana and recreational marijuana are like two different experiments. She relayed during this town hall meeting that she does not yet support legalized marijuana, but the federal government should closely monitor the states where marijuana has been legalized. Although Clinton’s current stance is not radically different from where she started on the topic, it does serve to bring additional and necessary attention to the topic of marijuana reform in the United States right now.