Hillary has finally declared that she is running for President, which is no surprise. What is somewhat of a surprise is her attitude towards medical marijuana. During a CNN town hall meeting last June, Clinton said, “I don’t think we’ve done enough research yet. Although I think for people who are in extreme medical conditions and have anecdotal evidence that it works, there should be availability under appropriate circumstances. But I do think we need more research, because we don’t know how it interacts with other drugs. There’s a lot we don’t know.”
Yes Hillary, we all have questions about that statement. Such as how can research be done in the United States when marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug? What exactly does “extreme medical conditions” mean? Since people with insomnia, glaucoma, anorexia, nausea from chemotherapy, seizures, headaches, pain, arthritis, epilepsy and other conditions have been using medical marijuana for years, are these all “extreme” medical conditions?
Surprisingly for someone noted to use polls to calibrate speeches and positions, Clinton is out of touch with public opinion with both legalization as well as medical marijuana. A Quinnipiac University survey conducted in March found a majority of voters support full legalization in Florida (55 percent), Ohio (52 percent), and Pennsylvania (51 percent) — all key states that a Clinton campaign may need to win the general election.
Medical marijuana, meanwhile, has even greater backing from people of all ages and political parties. A 2010 Pew Research Center survey found 73 percent of American voters back medical marijuana, including 80 percent of Democrats. Support has presumably grown since 2010 — but even if it hadn’t, Clinton’s cautious medical marijuana stance would stand in sharp contrast with four in five Democrats.
Of course all this can change by next November. We can only hope someone has the courage to make the legal changes that are needed to make medical marijuana more accessible. We at helloMD are doing what we can in California and Nevada.