Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hillary Open to State Experiments with Marijuana Legalization - But Not To Her Own Past?

The presumed Democratic front-runner for the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, claimed she would be  "committing radical candor" when asked by CNN's Christiane Amanpour about marijuana legalization tonight.

But Clinton gave stale old answers to the question. On medical marijuana, she went for the fall-back "we need more research" position (despite thousands of existing studies). To her credit, she did call the states "laboratories of democracy" on full legalization, but again said she wanted to study the results rather than embrace them.

Amanpour wins the Tokin Woman prize for being the first to ask Hillary if she'd smoked herself, as I've been calling for. Clinton claimed she hadn't smoked it in her youth and wouldn't be smoking it now.

But was that a candid answer?

At least three biographies of Clinton say she enjoyed pot during her college days, when she dressed like a hippie (heck, she named her daughter for a Joni Mitchell song). Her former boyfriend David Rupert told Gail Sheehy (in Hillary's Choice) that the couple joined a protest march on Washington where, "'Some of us were inhaling,' he says with a you-know-what-I-mean smirk. The obvious question is, did Hillary inhale too? 'I don't have to go there,' says Rupert, 'but you can read between the lines.'"

According to Edward Klein (in The Truth About Hillary), she met Bill at a commune called Cozy Beach where Ken Kesey's Magic Bus riders were said to be regular visitors. "During their remaining time at Yale, Bill and Hillary often grooved the night away at Cozy Beach, spinning the latest Jefferson Airplane platters and eating hashish brownies." (Source: Horn, Rebels in White Gloves.) Maybe this is why Bill could correctly state he didn't inhale -- unless inhaling brownies counts. 

On a 2011 Real Time with Bill Maher episode Merle Haggard said Clinton came onto Willie Nelson's tour bus, adding, "And I think she inhaled."

Clinton may have more questions to answer leading up to 2016, when California and other states are expecting to have a legalization measure on the ballot, following what looks like a successful "laboratory experiment" in Colorado. She should know how damaging a marijuana bust can be to a young person: like me, she worked for George McGovern's 1972 presidental campaign; his daughter Teresa's life was derailed by a pot bust in 1968. Evidence enough?

Read more about Hillary and marijuana, including her ties to pharmaceutical companies.

Also see: Hillary's Uninspiring Drug Reform Plan from her 2008 campaign.

UPDATE July 2014: Biography Calls Hillary an Enthusiastic Pothead

UPDATE April 2015: Clinton announces Presidential candidacy, with "tepid for a Democrat" stance on legalization.

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