One day after she declined to endorse legalizing marijuana in the first Democratic presidential debate, Hillary Clinton gave her strongest indication yet that, if elected to the White House, she would nonetheless allow states to move forward with implementing their own cannabis laws without federal harassment.
“I really believe it’s important that states like Colorado lead the way, so that we can learn what works and what doesn’t work,” the former secretary of state said in an interview on Wednesday with KUSA-TV, the NBC affiliate in Denver.
“And I would certainly not want the federal government to interfere with the legal decision made by the people of Colorado, and enforced by your elected officials, as to how you should be conducting this business that you have approved. So, no, I want to give you the space and I want other states to learn from you, what works and what doesn’t work.”
During Tuesday’s debate, Clinton said she wasn’t ready to take a position on whether legalization is a good policy, but made sure to note that “I do support the use of medical marijuana” and “I agree completely with the idea that we have got to stop imprisoning people who use marijuana.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s chief rival for the Democratic nomination, on the other hand, made history at the debate by becoming the first major presidential candidate to indicate he’d personally vote for legalization if given the chance.
Last month, Clinton said during an appearance in Iowa that she “would support states and localities that are experimenting with this,” but the new remarks are her clearest yet on the federal-state relationship on marijuana laws.
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