Former Secretary of State and current democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is following suit with Bernie Sanders and calling for the government to loosen the restrictions on marijuana. While Sanders submitted a bill to the Senate and called for an end to the federal prohibition of marijuana, Clinton more so simply stated her desire for marijuana to be reclassified from a Schedule 1 drug to a Schedule 2.
In front of a largely African-American crowd in South Carolina, Clinton proposed the reclassification on the basis of using marijuana in the form of research.
“What I do want is for us to support research into medical marijuana because a lot more states have passed medical marijuana than have legalized marijuana, so we have two different experiences or even experiments going on right now,” Clinton said. “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…because it is considered…a Schedule 1 drug and you can’t even do research on it.”
Clinton has somewhat changed her stance on marijuana recently. Originally, she supported the concept of studying how medical and recreational marijuana impact the states where they are legal in and go from there. Now, she’s all for rescheduling it, which is a big step in the direction towards favoring it.
While her stance may seem like she is edging towards being pro-marijuana, Tom Angell of the Marijuana Majority wants her to do more than just proposed reclassifying it.
“The rescheduling of marijuana is a step in the right direction, but only going down to a Schedule 2 is mostly a symbolic move,” Angell said. “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.”
“Changing the federal statutes can effectively do that,” he added.
Whether or not Clinton is doing this as a way of keeping up with one of her democratic hopefuls in Sanders, it is a highly influential person coming out (somewhat) in favor of reducing marijuana laws in the country. Between Clinton and Sanders, we might start seeing some real progress made when it comes to how marijuana is viewed in the United States.