Wednesday, January 20th, 2021

Know Your Candidates: Pot & the New Prez

Published on November 13, 2015 by   ·   No Comments


How will America’s 45th President handle marijuana law reform? Check out the views of the current crop of candidates.


Hillary Clinton, former US senator (NY) and secretary of state
Subscribes to the “gateway” theory that pot use leads to harder-drug addiction. Clinton insists on more research before she’ll fully back medical marijuana—but she also believes that the states serve as “laboratories of democracy,” which means she’ll observe the situation in legal-pot states before crafting her drug policy.

Martin O’Malley, former governor (MD)
Signed bills in 2014 to decriminalize weed and legalize medical marijuana in his state—after initially opposing medical pot, calling its use “drug addiction.” It was a significant turnaround by a politician who has long supported the War on Drugs—and who declared, earlier that same year, that he was “not much in favor” of marijuana law reform.

Bernie Sanders, US senator (VT)
On Reddit in May, Sanders endorsed decrim and medical pot, though he remains frustratingly hesitant to go all-in for legalization. While Sanders was mayor of Burlington, his police force minimized pot arrests.


Jeb Bush, former governor (FL)
Opposes both medical and recreational use, but told his CPAC audience that states should have the right to legalize. Even so, in 2014, Bush advised Florida voters to defeat the state’s proposed medical marijuana measure.

Ben Carson, author/columnist
A groundbreaking Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon (now retired), Carson supports medical cannabis, though in limited application. Even so, he completely opposes recreational use, regarding it as a “hedonistic activity” and a “gateway drug.”

Chris Christie, governor (NJ)
Has actually pledged to undo all of the Obama administration’s (fairly mild) cannabis-law reforms. As New Jersey governor, Christie deliberately obstructed the implementation of a voter-approved medical marijuana program in the state.

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