Bernie Pushes Hillary Further Left on Legalization


Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ promise to end federal cannabis prohibition last week has pushed frontrunner Hillary Clinton into changing her position on pot.

“While the Republicans (except for Rand Paul) are sticking with the Reagan-era drug position, the Dems are competing to be the cool parent,” writes Debra Borchardt with Forbes.

Clinton updated her position on pot on Saturday at a townhall in South Carolina, saying she’d do more than allow states to chart their own course. She said that as president, she would move marijuana from the top of the federal list of dangerous drugs to second place, “so that researchers at universities, national institutes of health can start researching the best way to use it.”

That's a big promise from potentially the next POTUS.

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That statement drew a response from Sanders, who not only called for totally de-scheduling cannabis, but filed a bill to do so in the Senate: “I’m glad to see Secretary Clinton is beginning to address an issue that my legislation addressed. But her approach ignored the major issue. Secretary Clinton would classify marijuana in the same category as cocaine and continue to make marijuana a federally regulated substance.”

About 700,000 Americans are arrested for pot, each year. Blacks are up to thirty times more likely to be busted for weed, despite having similar usage rates to whites. About 58 percent of Americans support ending cannabis prohibition.

NORML’s Allen St Pierre told MarketWatch:  “[Clinton] has put her finger up to the wind and has detected this change in support,” he says. “These things were hardly discussed ten to twenty years ago.”

Clinton's updated position comes amid continental shifts. Canada's new president Justin Trudeau is pro-legalization, and the Mexico Supreme Court ruled in favor of decriminalizing personal possession and cultivation of cannabis. The war on cannabis in the Americas started in Mexico in the 1800s.