Insight on the Issues: Marijuana
This is the first post in a series called “Insight on the Issues” in which I will examine one specific issue in American politics and give each candidate’s stance. I will periodically do these posts but with no particular schedule so keep your eye out if this is of interest to you!
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration pamphlet on the substance, “Marijuana is a
Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.” The recreational and medicinal use of marijuana is legal in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington as well as several cities across the country. Three states as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands have decriminalized the possession of the drug, ten states as well as Guam and Puerto Rico have legalized medical marijuana, and twelve states have both medical marijuana and decriminalization laws. The legalization of marijuana is a huge issue that has come up in multiple debates thus far, with Jeb Bush admitting to the use after Rand Paul blamed him for doing so.
Here is where each candidate stands on the issue of the legalization of marijuana (information provided by individual candidate websites and OnTheIssues.org):
Hillary Clinton – In favor of medical marijuana for those with “extreme conditions” but wants to “wait and see” the evidence from states that have already legalized until she will officially take a further position.
Bernie Sanders – In favor of the legalization of medical marijuana and decriminalization of recreational marijuana. He also “supports the right of states to opt for full legalization”
Martin O’Malley – In favor of medical marijuana and the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana, as well as reclassifying marijuana as a Schedule II drug. He has yet to decide if recreational marijuana should be legal in individual states.
Jeb Bush – Against the legalization of medical marijuana, decriminalization of recreational marijuana, and the legalization of recreational marijuana despite his past use of the drug.
Ben Carson – Against the decriminalization and use of recreational marijuana but sees the value in medical marijuana “in compassionate cases”.
Chris Christie – Against the legalization of medical marijuana, decriminalization of recreational marijuana, and use of the drug in all cases. He has stated that if elected president, he would “enforce the federal laws”.
Ted Cruz – In favor of the rights of states to legalize marijuana for both recreational and medicinal purposes, though not necessarily in favor of the drug itself.
Mike Huckabee – Against the legalization of marijuana in all cases.
Rick Santorum – Against the decriminalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational uses.
Rand Paul – In favor of the legalization of medical marijuana and believes in states’ rights in all other cases.
Rick Perry – Against the decriminalization of marijuana and of its recreational use but in favor of states rights as a whole and has stated that he “defends the right of Colorado to be wrong on that issue”. Unable to find information about his stance on medical marijuana.
Bobby Jindal – In favor of medical marijuana, against the decriminalization of marijuana and of its recreational use.
Marco Rubio – Against the decriminalization of marijuana and of its recreational use, stating that there is “no responsible way to recreationally use” the substance. He is in favor of medical marijuana but only the “non-euphoric type approved by the Florida Legislature”.
Donald Trump – In favor of the legalization of medical marijuana but against the decriminalization of marijuana for recreational use
Carly Fiorina – Against the legalization of marijuana in all cases.
Whose stance do you agree with the most and why?
With 363 days until the election,