Clinton wants to move marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II. She wants more research done on the effects of marijuana and more treatment and recovery programs rather than jail for first time, low level drug users.
CHRIS (AUDIENCE MEMBER): What will you do to decriminalize marijuana so I and people like me can get the pain and spasm relief that we need?
HILLARY CLINTON: I will do a lot, Chris. Because we have an opportunity to do much more with respect to research and to marijuana, what it can do to help people with the kinds of conditions you’ve just briefly described. I want to move it from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II so that we can begin to do more research. The NIH and a lot of universities can begin to try to find out because I want you to know what we know from science. But I also want you to be able to use it while we’re doing the research and so many states as you know have moved to provide legal protection for the use of medical marijuana. I support that. I think that the states are the laboratories of our democracy. We should be learning about what works, what doesn’t work.
Different states have actually listed the kinds of illnesses and conditions that it can be used for. Are they right? We don’t know. That’s why we’ve got to do the research. I also want you to know what dosage is right, what interacts with the other medication you’re taking. I want to accelerate this because I have no doubt that there are very real benefits for people. We know in chemotherapy, we know from other conditions in using the right amount of the right kind of marijuana. I just want to make sure it’s the right amount and the right kind. That’s why I want to get that research up and going as quickly as possible.
But you said something else which I think is really important. We can’t be here in New Hampshire and not talk about the addiction problem in New Hampshire, not talk about the fact that there have been more deaths by overdoses then car crashes in this state, not talk about the lives that are being destroyed. The people that I meet, the grandmothers raising their grandchildren because they’ve lost their children. I just left a rally in Manchester and a woman grabbed my hand and she said “I just lost my son to an overdose.” So I have been working with elected officials like Senator Sheehan, like Governor Hassan, like Governor Shumlin of Vermont who supports me to try to figure out how do we put together a new approach, a new law enforcement approach so that first time, low level, drug users are not sent to jail. But instead we have more treatment and recovery programs.
There are 23 million people who need help in our country with both alcohol and drugs. There are 10 percent of the kinds of spaces that they need to take care of those people. So we’ve got to work on law enforcement, we have to work on doctors to understand better when they prescribe opioids, which is often the first step toward heroin. We have to have every police department equipped with naloxone, which is the antidote to reverse overdose and save lives here in New Hampshire. We’ve got to put more money into this. So, all of this to me fits together. You deserve answers about marijuana and we deserve more treatment for people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol for other kinds of challenges so that’s what I would like to do.