WikiLeaks’ latest exposure of political emails shows the staff behind Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign made it a point to brief her on the issue of marijuana prior to a debate. It also shows that a Clinton administration is not likely to make any significant changes to marijuana policy at the federal level.
A preparatory document found in the hacked emails of Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, details exactly what Hillary was advised to say if asked whether she would legalize marijuana as the next leader of the free world.
“While YOU should avoid saying marijuana accounts for a signification portion of the U.S. correctional population, or a significant portion of those behind bars for drug offenses, it IS correct that there are hundreds of thousands of arrests for marijuana crimes, and that there are thousands of people serving (some) time for marijuana crimes—many of whom would likely be better off in their communities,” the briefing reads.
The document then goes on to explain that, with respect to nationwide marijuana reform, Clinton would most likely continue to follow President Obama’s “hands off approach.”
“Like the Obama Administration’s current approach to the criminal enforcement of federal marijuana laws, YOU would not intervene in states that are reforming their own marijuana laws, as long as those states adhere to certain federal priorities,” the brief continues. “These priorities include not selling to minors, preventing inter-state transport of marijuana, and keeping organized crime out of the industry.”
Interestingly, however, the same collection of hacked emails shows that Hillary Clinton supports policies geared toward the decriminalization of marijuana. But the Democratic presidential candidate admits to being somewhat perplexed over how to implement this concept at the national level.
“From my perspective, we do need to look hard at decriminalizing behavior that is not harmful, that is not leading to violence, and try to figure out how best to do that,” she said last year during a meeting with Black Lives Matters.
“I’m not sure exactly how you would implement it and how —you know, because remember, most of the laws you’re talking about are state and local laws,” Clinton continued. “I mean, the federal government can encourage, can make suggestions, can provide incentives, but most criminal law, most policing, all of the problems that we’ve been discussing are really controlled at the local and the state level. So you have to have a buy-in by others, not just by the federal government.”
There are only 21 days left until the November election.
Special Thanks to Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority, for the breakdown of the latest Wikileaks emails.
Read all of HIGH TIMES’ election coverage here.
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