Hillary Clinton Comes Out In Favor Of Medical Marijuana

Photo: MediaPunch/REX Shutterstock
During a town hall meeting in South Carolina on Saturday, Hillary Clinton proposed reclassifying marijuana as a less dangerous drug in order to make it easier to conduct research on the effects of medical marijuana, reports CNN.

"A lot more states have passed medical marijuana than have legalized marijuana, so we've got two different experiences or even experiments going on right now," Clinton told the crowd. "The problem with medical marijuana is there is a lot of anecdotal evidence about how well it works for certain conditions. But we haven't done any research. Why? Because it is considered that is called a schedule one drug and you can't even do research in it."

The presidential hopeful then called for a lessening of federal regulation on marijuana, saying that she "would like to move it from what is called Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 so that researchers at universities, national institutes of health can start researching what is the best way to use it, how much of a dose does somebody need, how does it interact with other medications."

Categorized by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule 1 drug (the highest — no pun intended — categorization for drugs with "with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse"), marijuana is currently classified alongside such substances as heroin — something fellow Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has already called out as "absurd."

In fact, Sanders is behind the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act. He declared his intention to reform marijuana classification last month in Vermont and introduced it to the Senate floor this past Wednesday. "In my view, the time is long overdue for us to remove the federal prohibition on marijuana," he said at a town hall last week, taking the position that "...states should have the right to regulate marijuana the same way that state and local laws now govern sales of alcohol and tobacco."

Clinton's suggestion of reclassifying marijuana as a Schedule 2 drug would open the door for more legal research into the substance, but by no means legalizes the drug. (Schedule 2 drugs are defined as "drugs with a high potential for abuse, less abuse potential than Schedule 1 drugs, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence," and include cocaine, hydrocodone, Adderall, and Ritalin, among others.)

While Clinton did not endorse legalizing marijuana on Saturday, saying instead that she wanted to "see how it works" in states like Colorado and Washington, which have legalized the drug, "before we do a national plan from the federal government," her call for decriminalization is still a noteworthy step outside the political mainstream. Though pot use has more than doubled in the United States in the past 12 years, Clinton's reclassification proposal comes at a time when many still denounce the use of medicinal marijuana at all. Chuck Rosenberg, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, even recently said in a briefing that "what really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal — because it's not" — despite studies from the American Medical Association directly stating otherwise.

Which may be why some, like Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, told CNN that he was hopeful it was "only a matter of time before [Clinton] officially adds her voice in support of legislation that would" change federal criminal statutes. And because hey, Mexico's doing it.
Advertisement

More from US News

Throughout history, Americans have used activism as a tool to seek positive change in communities and in government. That's no different today. With ...
Election Day lasts just one day — a 24-hour culmination of the seemingly never-ending campaign season. But we’ll spend the next two, four, six years ...
1. Here At Home: A teenager killed his father before opening fire at a school in South Carolina where he wounded two students and a teacher. ...
If the chaotic party politics of the 2016 election have left you feeling completely birdbrained, this video is for you. The Founding Fathers (presented ...
California passed a law Wednesday removing the state's 10-year statute of limitations for filing of child molestation and rape charges. Governor Jerry ...
Monday night was the personification of media bias and rigged politics
If you had to describe the current political climate in America, what word would you choose: volatile, toxic, or divisive? Perhaps all of the above. ...
Hillary Clinton has been a role model for our generation for years, and now she’s laying out a master class in taking on workplace sexism
1. Major News: A bill to prevent the government from shutting down and to fund the fight against Zika was stalled in the Senate. With a 45-55 vote, the...
But take heart. There won’t be a President Trump. Not if I and millions of other women in this country have anything to say about it
A young girl delivered a powerful message of peace speaking at the first Charlotte City Council meeting since violence threatened to rip the city apart ...
Hillary Clinton long ago learned to let the insults roll off her back. And in doing so, she’s uncovered Trump's Achilles' heel
Donald Trump believes that climate change is a hoax. Sorry, Donald Trump does not believe that climate change is a hoax. Are you confused yet? I don't ...
Less than 12 hours after being criticized for calling out a former Miss Universe about her weight, Donald Trump is doubling down on his body-shaming ...