Falling short of supporting legalized cannabis, Clinton admits that she supports research into the possible benefits and effects of medical marijuana.
Although much ado has been made about Hillary’s incorrect claim at a recent town hall style campaign stop on “Good Morning America” about researchers being unable to study cannabis and cannabinoids, a much more important statement slipped through unnoticed.
“I am 100 percent in favor of medical uses for marijuana,” Clinton said during the April 21st broadcast.
Although Hillary has mentioned support for states’ rights to legalize medical and recreational use of marijuana in the past, it is good to see her backing much needed research into the medical implications of cannabis. If Hillary does reclassify cannabis, it will most likely be to Schedule II, placing it among drugs like codeine, oxycodone, and methamphetamine.
Clinton added, “I would like to move it from what is called Schedule I to Schedule II 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.”
Unfortunately, simple rescheduling wouldn’t remove the many restrictions that exist on cannabis research alone. The specific federal regulations hindering research would still apply to cannabis and would need to be changed as well. Among these regulations are the requirements that all research grade cannabis come from the NIDA’s only approved cannabis farm at the University of Mississippi and the long, invasive application process for cannabis based research.
Hillary doesn’t have to wait until she becomes President to reform cannabis research regulations. She could have signed on to one of any number of letters, petitions, and legislature that has been proposed on rescheduling marijuana in the last two years, but she didn’t.
It might be said that Bernie Sanders, who has been vocal about his desire to legalize marijuana beyond just medical uses, has forced Clinton’s hand, forcing her further left on the issue than she planned on going. Not only has he campaigned on the idea of legalizing cannabis, he has introduced legislation that would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act altogether.
If the DEA decides by mid-summer to drop cannabis into a lower classification, then Hillary’s position becomes a moot point. Cannabis reform would have continued on without her, much as it has survived without her so far.