The first of the presidential nominating contests is complete. The Iowa Caucus was held last night and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton eked out a 0.3 percent win over her challenger, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Clinton picked up 28 delegates to Sanders’ 21 delegates, with three of those delegates coming by way of Hillary winning three coin flips in three precincts that had come up tied.
The real winner last night, though, was marijuana consumers who would be far better off under a President Sanders, who now has the political momentum, than under a President Clinton.
Hillary Clinton maintains a perspective on marijuana better suited for 2000 than 2016. She still believes the jury is out on medical marijuana, saying, “I don’t think we’ve done enough research yet.”
Apparently over 29,000 studies on the government’s PubMed database just aren’t “enough research yet.”
Though she’s warmed up a bit to medical marijuana, her idea of reform is to move cannabis from Schedule I (a deadly dangerous drug with no medical use and high potential for abuse, like LSD and heroin) down to Schedule II (a deadly dangerous drug with medical use and high potential for abuse, like cocaine and meth).
Senator Sanders, meanwhile, has a perspective on marijuana suited for 2016 and beyond. “The time is long overdue for us to remove the federal prohibition on marijuana,” Sanders told students at George Mason University last year.
More than three-in-five (77 percent) of Millennial Democrats (born ’81-’96) agree with Senator Sanders, as do almost two-thirds (63 percent) of Millennial Republicans. Three-in-five Gen-X Democrats (’64-’80) and two-thirds (66 percent) of Boomer Democrats (’46-’64) also agree that marijuana ought to be made legal.
Hillary Clinton is also the Democrat in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry, as noted by Marijuana Politics blogger Romain Bonilla:
Despite naming the pharmaceutical industry as one of her greatest “enemies,” Hillary Clinton has received more money from drug companies than any other candidate this cycle. Pharmaceutical manufacturers donated more than $340,000 for her 2008 presidential bid – and in just the first six months of her 2016 campaign, Clinton has received over $160,000 from drug companies. To top it off, Big Pharma giants Pfizer and Proctor & Gamble each have donated between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation. And that’s likely just the tip of the iceberg, as Clinton enjoys the support of numerous Super PACs whose finances are notoriously obscure.
Big Pharma doesn’t want to see the spread of legalized marijuana competing with some of its best-selling prescription drugs. Of the top 10 most advertised drugs on television, medical marijuana competes with #2 Lyrica (neuropathic pain), #5 Humira (anti-inflammatory), #6 Latuda (depression), #7 Xeljanz (anti-inflammatory), #8 Celebrex (pain reliever), and #9 Abilify (depression).
With a President Hillary Clinton on their side, Big Pharma needn’t worry about adjusting the nearly $1 billion in ad buys for those six drugs. As a Schedule II drug, you’d still need to “ask your doctor if prescription cannabis is right for you” and Big Pharma will certainly have pills, sprays, and inhalers of cannabinoid medicines at the ready.
With a President Bernie Sanders, Big Pharma shareholders recoil at the thought of you planting your own medicine in your back yard without any approval needed from a doctor, a pharmacist, or a government.