Recreational marijuana was recently legalized in some states, but is still illegal according to federal law. The federal law enforcement agencies could still prosecute marijuana trade and possession in these states, but they don't because of an executive order from the President. ABC News quotes President Obama as follows:

"It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it's legal," he said, invoking the same approach taken toward users of medicinal marijuana in 18 states where it's legal.

However, a new president could easily change that.

What public statements has Hillary Clinton made which indicate her position regarding state-level legalization of recreational use of marijuana?

  • "However, a new president could easily change that." = again, no. It's doubtful that would be 'easy'.
    – user1530
    Sep 12, 2016 at 18:35

2 Answers 2


The Marijuana Policy Project says:

Clinton has expressed support for legal access to medical marijuana and more research into the medical benefits of marijuana.

In 2014, when asked about the legalization laws approved in Colorado and Washington, she said “states are the laboratories of democracy” and that she wants to see what happens in those states prior to taking a position in support or opposition to such laws.

During the October 13 Democratic presidential debate she was asked whether she has taken a position on state legalization laws now that a year has gone by, to which she replied, “No.” Instead, she expressed support for laws that allow legal access to medical marijuana, as well as concern about U.S. incarceration rates, noting that she does not believe people should be imprisoned for marijuana use. In an interview the following day, she expressed support for allowing states to adopt their own marijuana policies and said she would not want the federal government to interfere in them.

On November 7, 2015, Clinton said she supports reclassifying marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II to remove barriers to researching its medical benefits.

It later quotes her as saying (on Jimmy Kimmel Live, March 24, 2016):

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.

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. 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.


In paid speeches she expressed her opposition to ending cannabis prohibition “in all senses of the word”, using Wall Street terminology, during an on-stage Q & A session with Xerox’s chairman and CEO in March 2014.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton spoke out against legalizing marijuana in a paid speech, hacked emails from her campaign show.

URSULA BURNS: So long means thumbs up, short means thumbs down; or long means I support, short means I don’t. I’m going to start with — I’m going to give you about ten long-shorts.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Even if you could make money on a short, you can’t answer short.

URSULA BURNS: You can answer short, but you got to be careful about letting anybody else know that. They will bet against you. So legalization of pot?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Short in all senses of the word.



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