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Clinton: State Marijuana Legalization Should Be ‘Supported’

By Tom Angell on March 25, 2016

With Sen. Marco Rubio’s withdrawal from the presidential race this month, every remaining candidate has pledged to let states legalize marijuana without federal interference.

In an interview on Thursday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a contender for the Democratic nomination, reiterated her support for respecting local marijuana laws and even joked around a little bit about the issue.

“I think what the states are doing right now needs to be supported, and I absolutely support all the states that are moving toward medical marijuana, moving toward — absolutely — legalizing it for recreational use,” Clinton said in an appearance on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Kimmel read an excerpt from one of Clinton’s publicly released emails in which she asked an aide to supply her office with apples “for personal use.”

The comedian quipped, “Now this is about pot, right? This is how you order marijuana in code.”

Clinton replied, “This is really top secret stuff.”

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As Clinton tried to make a more serious point about the need to reclassify cannabis from its current status as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, Kimmel noted that her hand motions looked suspiciously like someone holding a joint.

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“What I’ve said is let’s take it off the what’s called Schedule I and put it on a lower schedule so that we can actually do research about it,” she said. “There’s some great evidence about what marijuana can do for people who are in cancer treatment, who have other kind of chronic diseases, who are suffering from intense pain. There’s great, great anecdotal evidence but I want us to start doing the research.”

Clinton’s rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders, also wants to let states set their own marijuana laws without federal harassment, but in addition he personally supports legalization and has pledged to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act altogether.

The three remaining Republican presidential candidates — Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich — do not currently support legalization but have all pledged to respect state decisions on marijuana laws.

Watch the full video of Clinton and Kimmel’s discussion on marijuana below:

To see what else Clinton and other presidential candidates have said about cannabis, check out’s comprehensive guide.

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