Whether they vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump, citizens of the United States will be voting for someone who claims to be a pot virgin, reports Rob Hotakainen at the McClatchy Washington Bureau.
Trump boasted he hadn’t tried marijuana nor tobacco, and even claims he’s never had a drop of alcohol. Clinton, meanwhile, was adamant on CNN that she never had, and never would, smoke pot: “Absolutely not,” Hillary snapped.
But both candidates have pledged to allow the states to legalize and regulate marijuana, as has been Obama’s policy.
Unfortunately, though, both candidates have extensive records of flip-flopping on major issues, and neither of them is trusted by most Americans.
Trump, for example, who once claimed to support abortion rights, now wants to ban abortions. After first opposing an increase in the minimum wage Trump now wants it raised.The Donald in 1990 called for legalizing all drugs, a position he no longer takes. His statements on marijuana have been all over the map, much like his statements on pretty much everything else.
Trump recently told a Denver TV reporter that he wouldn’t use federal laws, under which marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance, to block legal cannabis sales in Colorado. “I’m a states person,” Trump claimed. “I think it should be up to the states, absolutely.”
But last year, Trump told a group of conservatives that Colorado had “big problems” due to legalizing weed. “I think it’s bad, and I feel strongly about that,” Trump said, in one of his more stupid statements (and believe me, there’s a fuckload from which to choose).Even Ethan Nadelmann, whose job it is to know candidates’ positions on cannabis, says it’s hard to know exactly what the hell Trump would do about pot. Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said the Donald had been “all over the map” on weed.
“He’s entirely unpredictable on this issue, as on so many others,” Nadelmann said.
Clinton, on the other hand, once opposed same-sex marriage but now supports it. As Secretary of State, she supported Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal; now she opposes it.
Like Trump, Hillary says she supports medical marijuana, but she adds that it “needs more study.” She has, at least, repeatedly said that states such as Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska should be allowed to be “laboratories of democracy,” experimenting with recreational cannabis.Hillary distanced herself from her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who famously said in 1992 that he had smoked marijuana but “didn’t inhale.”
“No, I didn’t do it when I was young,” Hillary said. “I’m not going to start now.”
Clinton ges a B-plus from the Marijuana Policy Project, while Trump gets a C-plus. Both the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate, Gary Johnson, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein get A-plus grades from the MPP.
“This is the most marijuana-friendly field of presidential candidates in history,” Robert Capecchi, MPP’s director of federal policies, said when the report card was released in May.
“In 2008, our movement had to physically chase down candidates during the New Hampshire primary just to elicit promises not to arrest cancer patients who were abiding by state medical marijuana laws,” said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority. “That shows how far we’ve come in only a couple election cycles.”President Richard Nixon was perhaps the most anti-weed chief executive in history, signing the byzantine Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which classified marijuana in the most dangerous class of drugs, equal to heroin at Schedule I and officially considered more dangerous than meth and cocaine, which are both on Schedule II.
In a declassified recorded conversation with an aide, Nixon said he wanted a national commission to make “a goddamn strong statement about marijuana,” one that “just tears the ass out of them.”A former Nixon aide admitted in 1994 that Nixon’s “War On Drugs” was largely a way for the federal government to target African Americans and hippies, reports Dan Baum at Harpers. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people,” said former White House staffer John Ehrlichman. “You understand what I’m saying?” President Jimmy Carter was the first chief executive to openly advocate pot decriminalization, saying that the laws against marijuana were more harmful than marijuana itself. Carter called for an end to federal penalties for possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana, “leaving the states free to adopt whatever laws they wish,” but that totally freaked out a spineless Congress, and they ignored him. Jingoistic Republican President Ronald Reagan unfortunately went back to Nixon’s get-tough approach, taking the nation back literally decades in marijuana policy. Reagan called marijuana “probably the most dangerous drug in America today,” and claimed pot use could cause “permanent ill effects.”
Reagan’s successor, President George H.W. Bush, in 1988 stepped up the War On Drugs as a response to the crack cocaine epidemic, saying “legalization is just another word for surrender, and surrender is not in our vocabulary.” All the money he spent on the Drug War, of course, was as surely wasted as if he’d thrown it up a wild hog’s ass and hollered soo-eeee.Bush’s son, President George W. Bush, was outed by his friend Doug Wead as a pot smoker. Wead had secretly taped some of his conversations with Bush before he ran for President.
“I might have smoked some,” Bush told TV host Jay Leno after he left the White House. Bush said he “didn’t behave that well” when he was younger, saying he wouldn’t answer reporters’ questions about pot “because I don’t want some little kid doing what I tried.”
Clinton is currently leading in the polls, and the Democratic platform, for the first time ever, calls for a “pathway” to legalization.