The drip-drip-drip of hacked emails released by Wikileaks has yet to produce a smoking gun powerful enough to upend Hillary Clinton’s march to the White House, but the digital barrage revealed the Democratic candidate’s fluid position on marijuana legalization.
As first reported by Tom Angell of Marijuana.com, “during an on-stage Q & A session with Xerox’s chairman and CEO in March 2014, Clinton used Wall Street terminology to express her opposition to ending cannabis prohibition “in all senses of the word”:
URSULA BURNS: So long means thumbs up, short means thumbs down; or long means I support, short means I don’t. I’m going to start with — I’m going to give you about ten long-shorts.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Even if you could make money on a short, you can’t answer short.
URSULA BURNS: You can answer short, but you got to be careful about letting anybody else know that. They will bet against you. So legalization of pot?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Short in all senses of the word.
Clinton’s 2014 words to a group of business executives is at sharp contrast to the official 2016 Democratic campaign platform:
“Because of conflicting laws concerning marijuana, both on the federal and state levels, we encourage the federal government to remove marijuana from its list as a Class 1 Federal Controlled Substance, providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization.”
Clinton also addresses her current position on the official campaign website:
- 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.
This is the second time this month that the Clinton campaign has been stuck trying to find a coherent marijuana message: In late September, daughter Chelsea incorrectly blurted out this comment at a town hall at Youngstown State University:
“But we also have anecdotal evidence now from Colorado, where some of the people who were taking marijuana for those purposes, the coroner believes, after they died, there was drug interactions with other things they were taking.”
The younger Clinton walked away from that position after it was pointed out it was factually incorrect.
Posted By: Al Olson