How much does it matter if our President is for or against marijuana? Since federal law and state laws don’t always agree when it comes to the legalization of marijuana, how much influence does our President truly have and what are the candidates’ positions?
According to a report published by Brookings Institution, the President does NOT need Congress in order to take marijuana off the Schedule 1 substance list or to lower its schedule which would allow research on marijuana to continue. Imagine if the doors were wide open for medical studies on the benefits of marijuana…how many people could be given a better quality of life…the possibilities are endless.
Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, has indicated in interviews that he is in favor of medical marijuana but believes that we need to continue to study the effects that recreational marijuana has on states, citing Colorado as an example of a state that has endured some issues because of it.
Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, has stated that she will change the scheduling of marijuana to a Schedule 2 so that law enforcement can focus more on violent crimes and less on simple marijuana possession and allow further testing to be done on the benefits of marijuana. Like Trump, Clinton is in favor of medical marijuana where needed but also wants further research done on recreational marijuana to better understand how it interacts with other medications.
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, is pro marijuana and has been since 1999 when, as the Governor of New Mexico, he supported the decriminalization of marijuana.
Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, is also pro marijuana and has stated that substance abuse should be treated like a health problem and not a criminal one and that the fact that marijuana is illegal is the most dangerous aspect of the drug.
The good news is that it appears that all candidates are in favor of medical marijuana, to a varying degree, but as November comes closer we will see whether or not marijuana legalization gets much attention and what position, if any, each candidate is willing to take right before the election.