If voters were unsure of where Hillary Clinton stood in regards to marijuana reform, the latest round of the Democratic presidential nominee’s emails released by WikiLeaks’ on Friday revealed what Clinton was planning to say about legalizing cannabis before her first debate.
From the sound of the preparatory document included in campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked emails, Clinton intends to follow in President Barack Obama’s footsteps and take a “hands off” approach to marijuana.
While Clinton’s advisors noted the negative aspects of marijuana in the country like the 700,000 marijuana-related arrests made in 2014, the talking points suggested for the former secretary of state to refrain from highlighting the “signification portion of the U.S. correctional population, or a significant portion of those behind bars for drug offenses.”
Instead, the briefing said for Clinton to point out “that there are hundreds of thousands of arrests for marijuana crimes, and that there are thousands of people serving (some) time for marijuana crimes – many of whom would likely be better off in their communities.”
Clinton has been vocal about her support for medical marijuana and a lot more cautious about sharing her thoughts on legal recreational use of the plant, saying she’d wait to see how recreational marijuana turns out in Colorado before she could support nationwide legalization.
Notes on marijuana policy in the 154-page document call for an Obama-like stance.
“Like the Obama Administration's current approach to the criminal enforcement of federal marijuana laws, YOU would not intervene in states that are reforming their own marijuana laws, as long as those states adhere to certain federal priorities. These priorities include not selling to minors, preventing inter-state transport of marijuana, and keeping organized crime out of the industry,” the briefing reads.
Republican nominee Donald Trump has also supported medical use of marijuana. During an interview with Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly in February, the billionaire businessman said that he was “a hundred percent” in favor of medical marijuana and admitted to personally knowing people that have “serious problems” that benefit from marijuana. As for recreational use, Trump suggested legalization should be a “state-by-state” issue.