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  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    Washington - When Hillary Clinton graduated from Wellesley College in 1969 -- She says she did not try marijuana there -- only 12% of Americans wanted to legalize the drug. In 45 years, however, the tide has changed for legalization: 58% of Americans now want to make consumption legal, two states (Colorado and Washington) already have and two more states (Oregon and Alaska) could join them by the end of the year.

    Despite their growth in approval, many activists see 2014 as a smaller, but important, step to their end goal. It is 2016, when voters will also decide who they want in the White House, that marijuana activists feel could be the real tipping point for their movement.

    "There will certainly be even more on the ballot in 2016," said Tamar Todd, director of marijuana law and policy and the Drug Policy Alliance. "More voters coming to the polls means more support for marijuana reform and in presidential election years, more voters turn out."

    Demographics and money are also an important consideration. Big donors who are ready to fund pro-legalization efforts are more loose with their money in presidential years, according to activists, while Democrats and young people are more likely to turn out. This means legalization activists will be better funded to reach the nearly 70% of 18- to 29-year-old Americans who support legalization.

    On paper, activists feel their plan will work. But it is one yet to be decided factor -- who will be the Democrats' nominee for president in 2016 -- that could throw a wrench into their push. Hillary Clinton is the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic nomination, but to many in the marijuana legalization community, she is not the best messenger for their cause.

    "She is so politically pragmatic," said Alan St. Pierre, the director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. "If she has to find herself running against a conservative Republican in 2016, I am fearful, from my own view here, that she is going to tack more to the middle. And the middle in this issue tends to tack more to the conservative side."

    Making a concerted push during a presidential election year means activists' goals will be directly contrasted with the Democrats' presidential standard bearer. This happened in 2004, when more conservative voters helped tip the presidential election for President George W. Bush; at the same time, 11 states had anti-gay marriage questions on the ballot.

    Clinton has moved toward pro-legalization, though.

    Earlier this year, during a town hall with CNN, she told Christiane Amanpour that she wants to "wait and see" how legalization goes in the states before making it a national decision. At the same event, she cast some doubt on medical marijuana by questioning the amount of research done into the issue. Later in the year, Clinton labeled marijuana a "gateway drug" where there "can't be a total absence of law enforcement."

    "I'm a big believer in acquiring evidence, and I think we should see what kind of results we get, both from medical marijuana and from recreational marijuana, before we make any far-reaching conclusions," Clinton told KPCC in July. "We need more studies. We need more evidence. And then we can proceed."

    This is more open, however, than in 2008 when Clinton was outright against decriminalization, a step that is less aggressive than legalization. Despite warming on the issue, Clinton's position causes concern among activists like St. Pierre because he feels they are far from solid.

    "If reforms keep picking up... the winds in our sails are clear," he said. "But if we lose one of more or all of those elections this year, [cautious] people around her could make the argument that this thing has peaked and you now have to get on the other side of it."

    St. Pierre said he also watched -- laughing -- as Clinton tried to personally distance herself from marijuana at the CNN town hall.

    "Absolutely not," Clinton said when asked if she would try the drug. "I didn't do it when I was young, I'm not going to start now."

    "I will eat both of my shoes," he said, 'if she and Bill didn't trip their nuts off at Wellesley and Oxford."

    What's more, some activists spoke highly of Democrats with executive experience, such as Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who spent eight years as mayor of Baltimore. O'Malley, who is also entertaining thoughts of running for president in 2016, supports medical marijuana; he approved a Maryland law that decriminalized possession of small amounts of the drug in 2014.

    "As a young prosecutor, I once thought that decriminalizing the possession of marijuana might undermine the Public Will necessary to combat drug violence and improve public safety," O'Malley said in a statement at the time. "I now think that decriminalizing possession of marijuana is an acknowledgement of the low priority that our courts, our prosecutors, our police, and the vast majority of citizens already attach to this transgression of public order and public health."

    As for where the governor is on legalization, Lis Smith, his top political adviser, said as long "as long as it is consistent with the goal of driving down crime," O'Malley is "open to sensible drug policy."

    With an eye on 2016, some activists are starting to contrast that view with Clinton's.

    "I think in 2016 there is going to be a number of states with legalization initiatives on the ballot and there will be broad support," said the Drug Policy Alliance's Todd. "I don't see standing behind and defending the status quo of this destructive policy as helping a candidate in the 2016 election."

    Clinton has come face to face with some aspects of marijuana policy on her trips to stump for Democrats across the country. While raising money in Colorado for Sen. Mark Udall earlier this week, Hillary Clinton saw marijuana in her coffee. Pointing to the foam design atop Udall's latte, Clinton said, "Look at you, you got like a plant. Is that a marijuana plant?"

    To laughs from the baristas at PigTrain Coffee, some who may have seen that the design looked more like a rose than marijuana, one answered jokingly, "That's exactly what it is."

    By Dan Merica - CNN/Oct. 16, 2014
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. C.D.rose
    [noparse]This article is weird. It reads like it was actually written quite a while ago.

    It says that Alaska and Oregon "could" join Washington and Colorado, but both states have accepted ballot measures to legalize cannabis, and as far as I know in both states the new law has entered into effect. Furthermore, former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley is not "entertaining thoughts" of running, he's officially in the race.

    For those who want to know more about the Democratic stance on the legal status of cannabis at the federal level, you can check out the last segment of the recent Democratic debate (October 13) that had a question on the topic. I can't post a Youtube link, but it should be within the last half hour of the debate.

    Hillary's stance was that the wanted to see how things will work out in the states that have legalized cannabis, and she said at this point it's too early to evaluate the situation and draw policy conclusions from it. Which seems fair enough, the question is what she'll do once medium-term results are in. I would indeed not be surprised if she will adopt a stance based on political expediency as the article describes. I don't know, for example, what Latino voters -- who are generally socially conservative -- think about this issue, and if she has to decide between abandoning Latinos and abandoning weed smokers, she'll certainly do the latter.[/noparse]
  2. Beenthere2Hippie
    Anyone reading this, please know that thought the politics of Hilary Clinton still stand per this article, the actual news story is one year old to date. Seems it was put up on my daily news feed by mistake. Sorry for any inconvenience.

    You know what, C.D. Rose. You'e right, and I'm sorry. This story is actually ONE year old to date. It came up on the "new" release area of my news service feed (so much for journalistic accuracy there) and I "went with it." Truthfully, never thought to glance over at the year, once I saw the date otherwise was correct. When I'm on a roll, posting numerous stories, shit can happen. I should know better, but suppose am only human...and sometimes too lazy.

    Thank you, C.D. Rose. You've helped greatly in reminding me to look even harder whilst copying and pasting and copyediting DF news than I usually do. Always proofread trice, our writing profs told us. Twice is often just not good enough. :/
  3. Bango Skank
    Hippie, it's still a valid article, and brings to light her uncertainty and refusal to publicly commit to one stance or another.

    Even on the subject or medical marijuana, she will mumble about more research being needed for her to decide, and she's just evasive about the subject. It's no secret that she seems to have a very conservative stance on marijuana legalization.

    More recently, another democratic nominee, Bernie Sanders, stated that he would likely support legalization for medical and recreational marijuana. After criticism from her refusal to plainly state her views and intentions, and seeing the support Bernie gained after his statement, she is now claiming to support individual states that want to legalize it.

    Yes, I understand that some candidates will evolve and change their views on certain topics, but it's so obvious that she's bullshitting and just telling the people what she thinks they want to hear. Her mind is made up on the matter, and she will make her stance known very clearly if she wins the office.
  4. Beenthere2Hippie
    Bernie's long been my man, unless the Democratic Party refuses to give him the nod since he's actually a socialist, and lots of average Americans are scared shitless of anything that seems to them like old-fashioned, Russian-style communism. Factis many in American nowadays haven't studied about Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels other than a paragraph mention in a high school history book, let alone having read any of their many writings on social justice that gave way to Marxism, which is socialism's purist form (although I'm sure people like Mr. Putin wouldn't agree). Then, I guess I'll find myself voting for Clinton (who I don't particularly like) rather than throw my vote away, allowing a better chance for a conservative to get in.
  5. prescriptionperil
    There'd be an uprising if state laws regarding legalization of marijuana were overturned. They'd be prying my medical marijuana out of my rigor mortised hand.
  6. ReynoldWrappin
    Hillary Clinton is a joke. She is merely a dumb bitch who says whatever she has to in order to make herself look good. As with all politicians,but especially her. I hate politics...I hate the lies and the deception the citizens are fed through government propaganda and this drug war of ours. Clinton will jump on the pro legalization of weed bandwagon when it benefits the polls, otherwise she is right back to her anti drug, marijuana isnt medicinal bullshit....whatever im sick of all of them. I vote Conservative, for one reason and one reason only...I LOVE GUNS and any person trying to take them away from me WILL NOT get my vote.....
  7. bluntwraps
    Now, now....guns aren't going anywhere, just like drugs. If it hasn't happened yet its not going to.

    Guns + drugs = America®
  8. tatittle
    Yeah she has countless priorities ahead of this even if she could be pursueded, most notably a lifetime of relationships with folks paid in some form by the drug war.
  9. C.D.rose
    Oh, don't worry, when I said that the article is weird that was not at all meant as criticism of you. I could have worded it better I guess. My criticism was only directed at the author and/or CNN.

    And as you said, in essence Hillary's positions still stands as it's laid out in the article. I just thought I'd add what she said at the debate two weeks ago to confirm that she's hasn't yet moved in one direction or the other.

    So yeah, no problem at all with you posting the article, in fact you're posting a lot of great and relevant news articles, which is certainly much appreciated by me and others!
  10. TheCrystallineCook
    Post awaiting deletion. Meh. Shouldn't have been posting high. My bad, guys and gals. Normally avoid politics like the plague; but lo and behold!
  11. Bango Skank
    I sincerely wish I could agree with you.
    I live in NY state, and governor Cuomo pretty much wiped his ass with the 2nd amendment, especially if the gun is " black and scary looking" . Read up on NY SAFE act if you're unfamiliar with it.

    Wouldn't surprise me one bit if our senator Clinton tried to follow suit on a federal level.
  12. tatittle
    Many places the regulations make buying a legal gun so difficult, time consuming, and expensive that folks give up. New York City e.g. you have to prove you have a specific need for "self-defense" to recieve a pistol permit (not sure if concealed etc.). As one would expect very few handgun permits make it thru the hoops to finally be born. The reporter Stossel, who is on FOX now as a libertarian voice, documented how difficult the process was and he was eventually denied after all the time and money applying. Ironically Stossel used to be an outspoken "consumer advocate" who went around pressuring for more regulation and gov't coercion re: everything from hot dogs to nail salons. I am certain that some people just buy an illegal gun instead of spending a months pay and days off work to try and apply legally. Probably isnt a large number, but this kind of paradox is common when current techniques of gov't purposely increasing costs to reduce consumption on some products (and subsidizing others) are enacted. The clearest example of this is when a local or state govt increases tax rates expecting more revenue, and the law ends up driving away people and business resulting in LESS revenue. A certain office holder recently said the counter-productive laws should be continued in the interest of "fairness"! So its more important to sock the small business owner in the eye than give kids a decent education. Just scary.

    I am not a gun enthusiast and I will probably never own one (but I dont have a family yet). But I trust the average citizen, even in todays crazy culture, enough to allow him to choose whats best for himself and family.
  13. Beenthere2Hippie
    Interesting chatter on guns, you guys, but with keeping to the subject of this thread, seems we're all in agreement that if old Hillary gets elected President all we pot smokers (medical and otherwise) may well be in for a bit of unexpected trouble--especially if she finds herself in a skin-tight, run-off race to office against a conservative.

    If that happens Hillary, being the female equivelant of sneaky old Dick Nixon, may choose to flush all us progressive/liberals down the toilet by jumping on the Enforce Federal Law Against Marijuana Bandwagon, which is made up of both Democrats and Republicans, in an attempt to pull in the remnant-conservative vote of those remaining Republicans voters who are not particularly happy with their party's candidate.

    Don't ever think it's a card she may not play, if it comes down to meaning the difference of her becoming the first female president of the U.S or not; that lady wants this bad. Hillary Clinton is and always has been a conservative Democrat, so there is no guarantee the woman will ever be fully drug-fair or friendly.
  14. TheCrystallineCook
    Post awaiting deletion. Meh. Shouldn't have been posting high. My bad, guys and gals. Normally avoid politics like the plague; but lo and behold!
  15. bluntwraps
    Bango, I looked over the SAFE Act a little and yes some of the regulations are excessive but this bill came about from the fallout from the Sandy Hook shooting, all bound up in emotion and politics.

    I'm looking over the provisions and I'm seeing opportunities for the black market to fill a role. As we all know, banning something and making it illegal does not result in discontinuation of use, it creates a black market.
    As long as those banned high capacity ammunitions are being made I'm sure people who want them will use them, regardless of laws. There will be supply to meet the demand.

    Also, those provisions depend a lot on gun owner participation to self register all assault rifles, to keep locked away from mentally unstable family members, stored away from family members with histories of domestic violence or abuse and that all gun sales must be done through formal sales.

    How in the world would the state know when to be satisfied that the public has done this? That is, how would officials determine how much ammunition somebody has stashed or the assault weapons that were not registered? It seems like they can't. It seems like this is just another political tactic for government to assuage the public reaction to the mass murders that happen occasionally. This bill does nothing to prevent mass carnage like Sandy Hook.

    Guns and drugs form the backbone of the black market, an economy that is inextricably linked to the formal economy in such ways as using money from dug sales to fund political operations in foreign countries and government backed drug deals.

    As for Hilary and weed: who cares?

    The pot is one thing but I will be really interested in hearing a candidate explain how 90% of the worlds opium comes from U.S. occupied Afghanistan and is being somehow produced and smuggled all over the world? Or how is the majority of street drugs still coming in through Mexico? Enough to be a major supplier to the highest drug using nation in the world?

    These aren't just questions of border control not working. Maybe the war on drugs isn't working because it was never supposed to. Think of all the institutions and corporation with interests in keeping drugs illegal and therefor with interests in keeping the underground economies going.

    The drug trade keeps people paid.
  16. bluntwraps
    I'm beginning to think that maybe there is not much more our current two party state can do for us as a current society. The fact that political system is framed in terms of either conservative, moderate, or liberal and that one must pick from a narrow field of candidates either Republican, Independent, or Democrat is not much choice to impose real change. Of the candidates in those three groups, each one will spout the party line that has not really changed for decades now.

    We keep switching between the two parties but American society has pretty much remained the same, in terms of basic functioning, regardless of who is President. The current state of the world guarantees continued military presence in foriegn countries, continued use of black market by government to fund operations, contnued surveillance on the citizens of this country, continued use of false flag attacks as pretext to war, regardless of who is President.

    I'm not convinced it truly matters who is the talking head of the country when underlying issues concerning the nation are not dealt with.
  17. C.D.rose
    I'll abstain from commenting on general politics, except for one brief remark:

    It's interesting how quickly "I" becomes "we" in your mind. Who gave you the authority to speak on behalf of anyone other than yourself? If you think that you somehow own your country's politics, or that you have a unique claim on political truth, you have a very troubled conception of democracy.

    There would be more to say on many of the previous posts, but this is not the place for it.

    Mhhmhhmh, I'd say it's possible, but unlikely. I think the worst one could expect from a Democratic candidate in 2016 would be equivocation that would come down to letting the states do what they want but refusing to touch a rescheduling of marijuana on the federal level.

    For Hillary especially, trying to court moderate Republicans would be almost destined to fail. The GOP knows, at least since 2008, that she'd make a strong candidate and they have massively invested in spreading a vile "anti-Hillaryism" among conservatives -- the results of which can be seen in this very thread. The few conservatives who could fathom voting for her would almost necessarily be even more put off by candidates like Donald Trump or Ben Carson (currently leading the polls by far), so they'd probably end up not voting at all anyway.

    And, while she'd have little to gain by going that far towards conservatives, she'd have much to lose. Colorado, for example, is a swing state, and I don't think that their voters would be happy with a Democratic candidate that threatens to upend their "experiment". So, as I said, she may end up not pushing the cause of legalization any further, but absent some kind of political earthquake she won't try to reverse the progress that has already taken place. Not because she genuinely cares about the issue, but because it would be bad politics.
  18. TheCrystallineCook
    Post awaiting deletion. Meh. Shouldn't have been posting high. My bad, guys and gals. Normally avoid politics like the plague; but lo and behold! Left this one up because it is somewhat relevant...I think...

    I spoke on behalf of myself and used the collective plural for rhetorical emphasis. There is no fault in my wording. Leave politics behind. Receive it as one man's evocation. Nothing else.

    This is the place for it. Anything you can imagine can be made applicable to my commentary. It was left up to interpretation; the proof: you made an interpretation of your own. Absorb it. Don't destroy it. Separate the inorganic layer of opinion out of my words and then take the organic layer of empowerment and let it recrystallize into whatever you fancy.

    The tone was meant to embrace the singular might of one vote and not spark political debate.

    I value marijuana and its ability to heal and bring people together. I actually have a condition known as cannabinoid hyperemesis which is a rare nausea and vomiting disorder brought upon by habitual marijuana smoking so I can only smoke sparingly.

    Nevertheless, I think the entire war on drugs is a farce and that the legalization of marijuana cannot be considered anything but correct. It has so many potential medical applications and its propensity for good far outweighs that of the bad. By allowing a black market to exist with the sale of marijuana then we are only catalyzing gang violence and criminal enterprise.

    People should have the right to create for and apply whatever they want unto themselves. Much like I have the freedom to speak, to eat and to drink so should I have the freedom smoke, insufflate and inject whatever I desire into my body for any reason I wish.

    To deny this freedom is a capital crime against the purity and sanctity of human nature and of human reason.
  19. TheCrystallineCook
    Post awaiting deletion. Meh. Shouldn't have been posting high. My bad, guys and gals. Normally avoid politics like the plague; but lo and behold!

    I apologize if this is seemingly off topic, but I tend to have an abstract way of applying my opinion. :)
  20. tatittle
    Hillary Clinton is and always has been a conservative Democrat, so there is no guarantee the woman will ever be fully drug-fair or friendly.[/QUOTE]

    Maybe her husband was. Conservative Democrats like JFK reduced taxes to stimulate the economy. Or dont want to subsidize abortion. Or have something more than a lack of being Progressive on some issue. Just bc there are a bunch of folks to the left of her doesnt make her a conservative Democrat. But I imagine you are judging this relatively instead of objectively, in which case you will find more agreement.

    BTW, it was Progressives who got Prohibition passed back in the 1930's. Part of the improving individuals through gov't coersion principle Progressives use. Eugenics and forced sterilization were other programs advocated for by early American (and internarional) Progressives. What these have in common with modern day Progressives is the principles used to justify them re: the jurisdiction/appropriate role of govt versus individual liberty.

    Im guessing the red star giver publically advocates for free speech and open debate. lol
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