There are a lot of things that make this election cycle stand out from the rest. One of the topics up for debate is marijuana legalization. Which leads us to ask, what are the presidential candidates stance on marijuana? The truth is that neither candidate is as pro-cannabis as cannabis activities would like. But which presidential candidate supports legalization more than the other? Will we likely see another hands-off approach to marijuana reform that the current president has taken? Let’s dig a little deeper.
Clinton’s stance on marijuana has to do more with criminal reform than marijuana legalization itself. She does support the use of medical marijuana and may push for medical regulation from the federal government, but it is not a top priority. She is planning on continuing Obama’s approach in letting states decide for themselves whether or not to legalize recreational marijuana. She also mentioned that she wants to reschedule cannabis from a Schedule I to a Schedule II substance under the federal government. If the plant were to be rescheduled, pharmaceutical and research laboratories will have more access to research and allow doctors to prescribe marijuana instead of just recommending it. Learn more about how rescheduling marijuana will affect our future.
As mentioned above, Clinton is much more interested in criminal reform than marijuana regulation. She has come out against private prisons and wants to reform mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent drug offenders, such as those caught with marijuana.
Trump’s stance on marijuana is a little more muddled, but it is clear that he supports medical marijuana use. He has not mentioned any plans for rescheduling the substance or doing anything other than continuing to let the state’s decide for themselves whether or not marijuana should be legalized for medical and recreational use.
Trump’s stance on criminal reform is much more conservative. He supports the privatization of prisons and has not mentioned loosening sentences for nonviolent drug offenders. As far as the War on Drugs is concerned, back in the 90s, Trump spoke on drugs and suggested the only way to win this war is with legalization. Today, Trump’s stance on the Drug War is not nearly this simple.
Perhaps not surprisingly, both presidential candidate’s views are in favor of medical marijuana and state’s rights to regulate recreational marijuana. Why are we not surprised? Marijuana legalization has garnered more support today than at any other time in American history. A recent Gallup poll showed that 58% of American support marijuana use, with older generations more supportive than in past polls. For a frame of reference, when Gallup first polled Americans whether they thought marijuana should be legal back in 1969, only 12% supported the measure. Of course, the days of Reefer Madness are pretty much over. Perhaps our next presidential candidate will take a firmer stance on marijuana reform as support continues to climb in this country.