BY C.M. WATTS
With the election just a week away, it’s not surprising that the candidates are widening their stances on many issues in order to appeal to larger and more diverse groups of voters. For Hillary Clinton, one of these ever-changing stances focuses on the legalization of marijuana.
She consistently hides behind the veil of lack-of-information on the topic. During an interview with KNPR.org earlier this year she stated, “I support states making this decision so that we can have some good on-the-ground experience as to what works and quite frankly, what doesn’t work.”
However, the most recent DNC Email leak possibly released information contradictory to this stance.
Clinton’s statements are found in several paid Wall Street speeches during which she addressed issues like the banking crisis in America and her views on various industries.
According to marijuana.com who combed the emails for information, Clinton used Wall Street-style code to voice her adversion to the legalization of marijuana.
URSULA BURNS: So long means thumbs up, short means thumbs down; or long means I support, short means I don’t. I’m going to start with — I’m going to give you about ten long-shorts.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Even if you could make money on a short, you can’t answer short.
URSULA BURNS: You can answer short, but you got to be careful about letting anybody else know that. They will bet against you. So legalization of pot?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Short in all senses of the word.
This conversation was part of series of 2016 internal memos addressing possible problems with different policy stances. The memos demonstrate that Clinton’s political campaign realizes ending marijuana prohibition is now a mainstream issue.
Throughout her political career, and especially while campaigning for the 2016 election, Clinton’s views have fluctuated within the realm of a moderate on this topic, refusing to commit to either side of the legalization argument.
Her responses range from her 2007 answer “I don’t think we should decriminalize it” to believing “we should use alternatives to incarceration for low-level, nonviolent marijuana users” and proposing to “reschedule marijuana from a Schedule 1 to a Schedule 11 substance,” according to her campaign website in 2016.
Let’s be honest here. Hillary Clinton is a politician. Her statements on many of her political policies fluctuate across the history of her career, as most politicians’ do. Even in her 2008 election run she altered her long-standing opinion on gay marriage.
Sure, it’s possible that she changed her mind on marijuana legalization since her Wall Street speeches. But unless the effects of the election on Congress leave both the Senate and the House with constituents looking to end marijuana prohibition, it’s unlikely she’ll put an end to federal laws.
She may actually be right about leaving marijuana legalization and its effects on policy and its new budding industry in the hands of the states for now. On November 8, nine states present marijuana policy changes including new medical cannabis opportunities and statewide recreational use.
There’s no reason to wait for the next president to end marijuana prohibition. Already, 25 states have legalized marijuana for either medical or recreational use.
According to a Gallup poll, 60% of Americans favor marijuana legalization. So any 2016 initiatives that pass, only push the country further towards ending marijuana prohibition.
So, will Hillary Clinton legalize marijuana? Only time will tell. But it doesn’t seem to matter, since the American people have already decided to move in that direction.
For a detailed list of Hillary Clinton’s political positions on marijuana legalization, check out marijuana.com.