Group Opposed to Recreational Marijuana Legalization Ranks Presidential Candidates

    Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), an advocacy group that opposes legalization of recreational marijuana, this week released a scorecard of presidential candidates.

    Candidates who received an A rating were Republicans Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Dr. Ben Carson.

    Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas all received a B- from the group. Donald Trump received a C+.

    Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Bernie Sanders of Vermont received grades of D-, MassLive.com reports.

    The ratings are in stark contrast to those given by the pro-legalization group the Marijuana Policy Project, which gave Senator Paul an A-minus. He has called for decriminalizing recreational use of marijuana, and wants states to be able to decide their own marijuana laws.

    SAM said it gave Rubio its top grade because he has “shown limited support for ‘medical’ marijuana that does not contain psychoactive compounds, but opposes legalizations for recreational use. He would also revisit sentencing and penal law ‘with great care.’”

    Clinton does not support marijuana legalization, but would support states that experiment with legalization, according to SAM. “She has expressed reservations about ‘medical’ marijuana, but does support overhaul of the criminal justice system to avoid incarcerating low-level drug users, and supports treatment-based approach to addiction issues,” the group noted.

    “We’re heartened by Secretary Clinton’s plan to tackle substance abuse, but marijuana is the elephant in the room that candidates can no longer ignore,” said SAM President Dr. Kevin Sabet.

    SAM said of Sanders, “While his interest in alternatives to incarceration of drug users is positive, his stance on legalization ironically would undermine his desire to reduce the power of Wall Street.” On Wednesday, Sanders called for removing the federal prohibition on marijuana.

    By Partnership Staff
    October 2015

    Published

    October 2015

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