Hillary Clinton Just Made a Big Statement on Marijuana

November 7th 2015

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she wants to loosen federal laws on marijuana, rescheduling it under the Controlled Substance Act in order to promote more research of medical marijuana.

RELATED: Bernie Sanders Just Introduced a Historic Marijuana Bill

At a campaign event on Saturday, Clinton said that we have two legalization experiments occurring at the state level: the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana. While she supports state legalization efforts generally, the Democratic front-runner thinks that we should focus national efforts on medical marijuana.

"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," Clinton said. "Why? Because it is considered what is called a Schedule 1 drug and you can't even do research in it."


As it happens, a significant amount of peer-reviewed research has already been done on the medical benefits of marijuana. But those studies are rarely undertaken in the U.S. due to federal restrictions. As a Schedule 1 drug, American universities and research institutions are effectively barred from obtained federal grants for marijuana research.

Clinton added:

"I would like to move it from what is called Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 so that researchers at universities, National Institutes of Health can start researching what is the best way to use it, how much of a dose does somebody need, how does it interact with other medications."

The candidate's comments come just days after DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg called medical marijuana "a joke," reaffirming the federal agency's opposition to legalization. ATTN: debunked Rosenberg's statement, citing numerous studies that have established the medical value of smoked cannabis.

RELATED: Why the Head of the DEA Is Wrong About Medical Marijuana

In contrast with Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders' thoughts on marijuana, Clinton's stance has been described as conservative. Earlier this week, Sanders introduced a bill that would federally legalize marijuana, and he has advocated for the removal of marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act entirely.

"It's a state and a federal issue," Sanders told CNN. "The federal issue is that we should remove marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act. That's a federal decision. The state decision is that we live in a federal system of government where issues like tobacco and alcohol are significantly regulated by the states. And I think that is a province of the states."

However, both Clinton and Sanders are more liberal on marijuana than many GOP candidates (with the exception of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Several candidates have inaccurately described marijuana as a gateway drug or worse than alcohol, or they have perpetuated myths about medical marijuana.

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