Over the weekend, Hilary Clinton expanded on her position regarding marijuana policy reform. Specifically, she stated that she would like to see marijuana rescheduled.
Huffington Post reports:
Hillary Clinton wants to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous substance in order to allow more research into the drug's medicinal properties, the Democratic presidential candidate said Saturday in South Carolina.
Marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I drug, the most dangerous of five substance categories listed in the Controlled Substances Act. According to the federal classification, Schedule I drugs have "no currently accepted medical use." Other Schedule I substances include heroin, ecstasy and LSD.
Under Clinton's proposal, marijuana would become a Schedule II substance, which are considered to have "less abuse potential." Cocaine, OxyContin, Adderall and meth are Schedule II drugs. The move, Clinton said Saturday, would allow federal researchers to explore how to best use marijuana as medicine.
"What I do want is for us to support research into medical marijuana because a lot more states have passed medical marijuana than have legalized marijuana, so we've got two different experiences or even experiments going on right now," Clinton said after being asked about marijuana prohibition during a town hall. "And the problem with medical marijuana is there's a lot of anecdotal evidence about how well it works for certain conditions, but we haven't done any research. Why? Because it's considered what's called a Schedule I drug and you can't even do research in it."
"If we're going to have a lot of states setting up marijuana dispensaries so that people who have some kind of medical need are getting marijuana, we need know what's the quality of it, how much should you take, what should you avoid if you're taking other medications," she continued.
Clinton has said previously that she does not support legalizing marijuana, but believes in the medical use of cannabis and reforming the criminal justice system to keep low-level drug offenders out of jail.
A new medical marijuana bill has been proposed in the Pennsylvania Senate by a longtime medical marijuana advocate, Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), and a socially conservative senator, Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon). Sen. Folmer’s conservative history makes him an unlikely supporter of the bill, however, after a battle with cancer and meeting potential medical marijuana patients, he has a new perspective.
We're not talking about banning Oxycontin, we're not talking about banning Percocet, we're not talking about banning Vicodin. If you're gonna say that we're afraid of the misuse of medical marijuana, you've gotta use that same philosophy and ban all the others also.
Do we want abuse of it? No, I don't want abuse of alcohol, but that's legal. This isn't about somebody sitting around lighting up a doobie, this is about helping people who are sick.
Despite bi-partisan support in the Senate, some politicians are hoping the bill will fail. The opposition comes from other conservative senators as well as Governor Corbett. Despite increases in public support, new scientific studies, and the success of medical marijuana in other states, some politicians seem unwilling to consider the issue.
Erik Arneson, the spokesman for Chester Republican Dominic Pileggi, the Senate majority leader, says it won’t change anything.
“I don’t sense any significant change in the views of the members of the Senate on the issue,” Arneson says. “And the governor remains clear in his stated intention to veto it if it ever were to pass. So we have no intentions of taking the bill up any time this session.”
Even though Senator Pileggi and Governor Corbett aren’t on board with this bill yet, there is strong support for bringing medical marijuana to Pennsylvania. A February poll shows that 82% of Pennsylvanian voters support medical marijuana.