The public has learned about Hillary Clinton’s views on marijuana, as campaign Chairman John Podesta’s emails have been released by WikiLeaks.
Even as nine states get ready to vote on major marijuana reform measures on November 8, there has been little discussion on the issue during this campaign season.
There is a chance that could change, as WikiLeaks has released new emails from the Clinton campaign. These particular emails highlight her readiness to speak about marijuana reform on the campaign trail.
Forbes is reporting that Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon apparently wanted to help Clinton with handling the politics of marijuana. “He wants to support me on policy and fundraising specifically by helping on how to talk about marijuana and the need for fair taxes and banking on animal welfare concerns, which he say are sleeper issues that will turn out young people and motivate voters,” She said in an email. “He has a lot of ideas about what I could do which would be the first time these interests are organized for a presidential campaign, and several states, NV, OH and FL will have marijuana initiatives in 2016.”
Podesta helped to craft answers to possible marijuana questions for Clinton. In an email he posed an internal question. “If pressed: what about marijuana banking restrictions – should we let marijuana businesses access banking services?”
One of the suggested answers was “I do think these businesses – if they are operating in according with state law, and with federal guidelines – should be able to access banking services. I know that the Obama Administration has taken steps in this direction, and I think those steps are smart.” Another answer was, “Not having access to banking services can force legal and licensed businesses to deal in cash, making their stores a target for theft. Cash-only operations also are more difficult to audit. I will continue to evaluate the steps the Administration had taken, to determine if we should go further.”
The issue of marijuana reform was showcased fairly regularly during the Democratic primaries. Bernie Sanders often spoke of legalizing marijuana for recreational use and removing it entirely from the DEA’s list of banned substances. Clinton signaled her support for shifting marijuana to a Schedule II substance and pushing for additional scientific research. Both candidates seemed to support criminal justice reform as it related to non-violent drug offenses.
However, since winning the nomination, Clinton has not brought the issue of marijuana reform to the forefront.