While Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders goes further down the road to marijuana law reform, frontrunner Hillary Clinton is taking baby steps, her need for progressive votes dragging her kicking and screaming.
Bernie Sanders is currently attempting to take marijuana completely off the Schedule of The Federal Controlled Substances Act, and what is Hillary’s response? To use a football metaphor, if Bernie threw a 40-yard bomb downfield then Hillary threw a screen pass out to the side for a 5-yard gain.
Hillary wants to move cannabis from Schedule I to… Wait for it… Schedule II. So instead of cannabis being completely illegal, it would be almost completely illegal, allowing some medical research.
This is the least amount Hillary can do, literally. Her plan is one step above doing nothing at all, but if she says she plans on doing nothing, then she risks losing votes from the Democratic base. It is pandering at its finest — and no one can pander better than Hillary Clinton.
"We haven’t done research, why? Because it’s considered a Schedule I drug," Clinton said during a town hall meeting in South Carolina on Saturday. "I'd like to move it from Schedule I to Schedule II."
Fair enough, but after Bernie’s announcement, it seems a bit weak. And maybe that is the point. Hillary wants to seem like the calm, steady alternative to a guy who looks like he’s late for the next college English class he’s teaching.
"Secretary Clinton would classify marijuana in the same category as cocaine and continue to make marijuana a federally regulated substance," Sanders said in response to Clinton.
Indeed. At the very least we can take solace in the fact that cannabis is now a regular topic among presidential candidates. This brings it more into the mainstream, where it belongs.