Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you know that the U.S. is engaged in picking a new President. Although issues such as immigration, income inequality, foreign policy and religious freedom have dominated the headlines, all the candidates are on record regarding marijuana: its medical uses, whether it should be rescheduled, how the federal-state legal discrepancies should be handled. See below a round-up of the candidates statements (note: candidates are listed in alphabetical order):
Hillary Clinton (from her website, https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/criminal-justice-reform/)
- Focus federal enforcement resources on violent crime, not simple marijuana possession. Marijuana arrests, including for simple possession, account for a huge number of drug arrests. Further, significant racial disparities exist in marijuana enforcement, with black men significantly more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than their white counterparts, even though usage rates are similar. Hillary believes we need an approach to marijuana that includes:
- Allowing states that have enacted marijuana laws to act as laboratories of democracy, as long as they adhere to certain federal priorities such as not selling to minors, preventing intoxicated driving, and keeping organized crime out of the industry.
- Rescheduling marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule II substance. Hillary supports medical marijuana and would reschedule marijuana to advance research into its health benefits.
Bernie Sanders (from his website, https://berniesanders.com/issues/racial-justice/)
- We need to turn back from the failed “War on Drugs” and eliminate mandatory minimums which result in sentencing disparities between black and white people.
- We need to take marijuana off the federal government’s list of outlawed drugs.
- We need to allow people in states which legalize marijuana to be able to fully participate in the banking system and not be subject to federal prosecution for using pot.
Donald Trump (Marijuana is not discussed on his campaign website, but he has made public statements on the topic.)
- from an interview with Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTEkfTIqc_Q)
- from a Washington Post article, Trump softens position on marijuana legalization
- from an address to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Donald Trump on Marijuana
It will be interesting to see how the issue might play into the election going forward. If it gets any discussion time at the nominating conventions or in the debates, we’ll let you know!