It wasn’t that long ago that Hillary Clinton participated in the Democrat debates on CNN during which she was asked if she supported marijuana legalization. She said that she did not. Bernie Sanders on the other hand was asked specifically about the Nevada marijuana legalization initiative that voters in that state will be voting on in 2016, and he said that he would vote for it. After the debate, Bernie Sanders was praised for his answer, and Hillary Clinton was not.
Since that time Hillary Clinton has changed her position on marijuana, which is nothing new. The day after the debate she stated that while she doesn’t support federal reform, she does support allowing states to pursue marijuana legalization if they wanted to. Today she ‘evolved’ on the issue even more by stating that marijuana should be re-classified from Schedule I to Schedule II. Per the Washington Post:
Clinton said that she supports removing marijuana from a list of schedule 1 drugs, a classification that prevents federally-sponsored research into its effects. As a schedule 1 drug, marijuana is classified among the most dangerous drugs that the federal Drug Enforcement Agency regulates.
“We haven’t done research, why? Because it’s considered a schedule 1 drug,” Clinton said during a town hall meeting at Claflin University in South Carolina on Saturday. “I’d like to move it from schedule 1 to schedule 2.”
To some voters that aren’t familiar with marijuana reform, that might sound like a significant thing. However, it’s not as significant as many people think. Marijuana prohibition would still exist at the federal level, and federal agencies like the DEA would still go about business as usual. The only true way to get on the right side of history is to un-schedule marijuana altogether and thereby end federal marijuana prohibition, a position that Bernie Sanders came out in support of recently, and backed up by introducing a bill that would achieve that objective if passed.
Hillary Clinton wants to as the question, ‘we haven’t done research, why?’ I’ll tell you why. Because of politicians like Hillary Clinton, who will say whatever it takes to get votes, but will rarely (if ever) back it up with action. If Hillary Clinton really wanted more research conducted, like she has claimed so many times, why has she never, ever taken any steps to help make it happen? Why does she only support re-classification now, after polling shows that it’s what a majority of voters want?
Below is another excerpt from the Washington Post article. It’s a quote from Tom Angell from the Marijuana Majority, who is absolutely everywhere these days it seems (and rightfully so!):
“The rescheduling of marijuana is a step in the right direction, but only going down to Schedule II is mostly a symbolic move,” said Tom Angell, chairman of the pro-marijuana group Marijuana Majority. “It may make research slightly easier, but on its own wouldn’t do anything to protect seriously ill people who are using marijuana in accordance with state laws from being harassed by the DEA.”
“Only changing the federal criminal statutes can effectively do that,” he added.