Hillary Clinton Endorses Marijuana’s Reclassification

  • by Danielle Keane, NORML Associate November 9, 2015

    During an appearance in South Carolina over the weekend, Hillary Clinton endorsed amending marijuana from it’s current Schedule I classification, reserved for the most dangerous of drugs, to Schedule II, a lesser classification intended for drugs that have recognized medical applications but also have a high potential for abuse and severe psychological or physical dependence.

    The presidential candidate said, “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’ve got two different experiences or even experiments going on right now. And the problem with medical marijuana is there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence about how well it works for certain conditions, but we haven’t done any research. Why? Because it’s considered what’s called a Schedule I drug, and you can’t even do research on it.”

    Let’s take a look at these statements a little more closely.

    First, Clinton’s claim that “we haven’t done any research” on cannabis’ safety and potential efficacy is false. NORML documents hundreds of relevant trials here. Clinton’s allegation is further rebutted by the findings of a 2012 review of FDA-approved clinical trials involving the use of herbal cannabis in various patient populations, “Based on evidence currently available the Schedule I classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.”

    Second, while Clinton’s comments mark an evolution in her position on marijuana policy, she is late to the game among the presidential candidates proposing policy solutions to marijuana’s prohibition. Fellow democrat presidential candidate, Martin O’Malley previously pledged to use his executive authority, if elected, to move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II. And Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul is a sponsor of the CARERS Act, legislation that, among other things, would also move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II.

    Third, while all of these statements by presidential candidates is a step in the right direction, NORML has and will continue to advocate for marijuana’s removal from the federal Controlled Substances Act. Rescheduling marijuana from I to II would not limit the federal government’s authority to prosecute marijuana offenders, including those who are in compliance with state law, nor would it likely stimulate clinical trial research trials beyond those studies funded by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse and reliant upon government-grown marijuana.

    Fortunately, Vermont Senator and Democrat Presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders has introduced legislation to remove marijuana from the US Federal Controlled Substances Act. The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2015 would deschedule cannabis from the CSA, similar to alcohol and tobacco. It would also allow states the power to establish their own marijuana policies and banking policies free from federal interference.

    Reform advocates can contact their member of the US Senate in support of The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2015 by clicking here.

    39 responses to “Hillary Clinton Endorses Marijuana’s Reclassification”

    1. David Evans says:

      Wow!(not!) Hillary you’re so awesome!(not!) You will literally do nothing about all the illegal marijuana arrests because schedule 2 is legally the same as schedule 1.

      This is Hillary, a POS made of endless half measures and half truths.

    2. Ivan says:

      @ Hillary Clinton
      We do not want Marijuana rescheduled Hillary! We want Marijuana removed completely from the US Federal Controlled Substances Act!!!!! Bernie Sanders is clearly on our side!!! And you simply are not…..

    3. Rod is on the Gas says:

      Come on sweetie, we know it’s election time. One week you say ‘no’ next week you say ‘yes’.

      Ask Bill about pot rescheduling, it’s a horrible idea.

      We’ll stay the course and remove it from scheduling confusion entirely. We got the votes and you’re not gonna play games with ’em.

    4. Ben says:

      Hillary… leading from behind.

      Notice she won’t call for legalization,
      as it would go against her corporate/wall_street handlers…

      she will do anything it takes to secure prestige and power.

      Bernie. (Burnie)
      He is on the ball.

    5. Globaholic says:

      In some ways a rescheduling to schedule II is actually a step in the wrong direction. Criteria for Drugs in schedule I is that they have no medicinal value and at least some potential for harm/abuse. The criteria for Schedule II is that there is at least some medicinal value, but also very high potential for harm/abuse.

      So it would simply mean replacing one ridiculous lie (no medicinal value) with another ridiculous lie (very high harm potential)

    6. Ben says:

      I don’t know about you,
      but I would prefer who leads by doing-
      and not one who watches where the herd goes
      and then runs out in front…

      (Like that annoying driver:
      that won’t let you pass,
      that won’t speed up,
      and that doesn’t actually want to go faster-
      they just want to be in front of YOU.)

    7. Fireweed says:

      Sorry Hillary, not good enough. No better than decrim is in terms of people having legal access to a safe and quality product from an accountable source. As long as arrest and subsequent destruction of one’s life are at risk for simple possession, schedule two and decrim are NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

    8. Fireweed says:

      and let’s not forget that as long as marijuana remains illegal and therefore only available from illegal sources, there is the risk of impurities added, by intent or not. While there are a few dealers that will refuse to knowingly sell to minors, lots don’t so remains an open door for minors, so take that you “what about the children?” groupies!

    9. Julian says:

      Always keen to the point Ms. Keane, thank you for that honest report.

      Sanders idea: make sure to stop at your local post office before Thanksgiving this year you set up the smoking or vaporizer tent outside the main event and get all your younger family members registered to vote for Sanders!

    10. Don M says:

      it seems like Hillary is trying to walk right down the middle without alienating anyone from either side. However this is not something I really respect. I Think it is just the politician coming out in her. She really needs to take a leadership role, like Bernie Sanders has, and come out against marijuana prohibition and all of the problems that it has caused.

      I am still hoping that I get the chance to cast my vote for Bernie Sanders to be the next president of these United States.