Hillary Clinton Wants To Remove Marijuana's Schedule I Classification

By McCarton Ackerman 11/10/15

The Democratic hopeful has steadily softened her stance on weed. But is she ready for legalization?

Hillary Clinton
Wiki Commons

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton is continuing to soften her stance on marijuana, declaring in a recent campaign stop that she wants to remove the drug’s current Schedule I classification.

Speaking last weekend in Orangeburg, S.C., Clinton said she would scale marijuana down to a Schedule II substance so that federally funded research into the effects of the drug could begin. The current Schedule I status of marijuana makes this research exceedingly difficult because it’s labeled as having a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical benefits.

“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,” said Clinton. “We have got two different experiences or even experiments going on right now.”

Although Clinton does support medical marijuana, she has not endorsed legalizing either medical or recreational pot at the federal level. While she’s open to legalization on a state-by-state basis and referred to states as the “laboratories of democracy,” she has insisted on waiting to see what happens with recreational legalization in Colorado and Washington before crafting a national policy.

“I’m a big believer in acquiring evidence, and I think we should see what kind of results we get, both from medical marijuana and from recreational marijuana before we make any far-reaching conclusions,” said Clinton last year. “We need more studies. We need more evidence. And then we can proceed.”

Her views on marijuana are more conservative than those of her Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders. Sanders has called for removing marijuana completely from the federal list of controlled substances and wants to allow states to regulate it in a manner similar to tobacco and alcohol.

Earlier this month, he filed a senate bill that would allow states to decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana while also decriminalizing it at the federal level.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.