Hillary Clinton Lightens Stance on Marijuana Legalization
June 18th, 2014
Policy, Top News
Hillary Clinton supports medical marijuana “for people who are in extreme medical conditions” and wants to “wait and see” what happens with recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington, according to a recent interview with CNN international correspondent Christiane Amanpour. These statements represent a change from her 2007 statements coming out against decriminalization.
In 2012, Colorado and Washington voters passed ballot initiatives that legalized small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, while other states like Alaska could follow suit in the near future. Some 20 additional U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical use, despite federal law still classifying the drug as a Schedule I Controlled Substance with “no currently accepted medical use”.
Clinton believes that medical marijuana should be made available, presumably on a federal level, saying, “there should be availability [of marijuana] under appropriate circumstances”, but adding that she doesn’t think “we’ve done enough research yet”. Companies like GW Pharmaceuticals plc [stockquote symbol=GWPH] that are pursuing clinical trials could provide the additional research required.
Recreational marijuana remains more of a question mark, but no longer out of the question for the potential Democratic presidential candidate. “On recreational, you know, states are the laboratories of democracy,” said Clinton in the interview. “We have at least two states that are experimenting with that right now. I want to wait and see what the evidence is [before taking any actions].”
According to a CNN/ORC International poll in January, 55% of those surveyed nationally believed that marijuana should be made legal with 44% disagreeing. These figures have been on the rise over the past several years from a mere 16% of U.S. citizens backing legalization in 1987. Of course, widespread public support has made it easier for politicians to back the new measures around the country.
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