Is Donald Trump More Sensible Than Hillary Clinton on Marijuana?

As his poll numbers continue to rise in the Republican primary, Donald Trump remains a focus of media attention. Building on his popularity among Republicans, the business magnate multiplies media appearances, giving journalists the opportunity to question him on his political positions on a variety of issues. Most of the discussion around Trump’s platform relates to his views on subjects like the economy and immigration reform, but many of us have been eager to find out where he stands on marijuana policy.

In more ways than one, Donald Trump appears unlikely to support major marijuana reform in the United States. Trump portrays himself as adamantly pro-police and “presented himself Saturday as the ‘law and order’ candidate in the 2016 presidential race, pledging to ‘get rid’ of gangs and give more power to police officers.” Like some early drug warriors, Trump is also known to hold views that some consider racist against immigrants from Mexico, whom he described as “rapists” in his announcement speech. And while he knew in 1990 that legalization is “the only answer” to the failing War on Drugs, he has opted to support prohibition anyway during his presidential bid.

How Will Presidential Politics Affect 2016 Push For Pot Legalization?

Advocates expect another major push for marijuana legalization in 2016, a strategy that is likely to force presidential candidates to take a position on the drug. Some wonder if their efforts will be tripped up if Hillary Clinton turns out to be the Democratic nominee.

CNN’s Dan Merica takes a look at presidential politics and the campaign to legalize marijuana. In her public comments on the pot, Clinton has taken a “wait and see” approach to recreational pot.

“She is so politically pragmatic,” said Allen St. Pierre, the executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, told Merica. “If she has to find herself running against a conservative Republican in 2016, I am fearful, from my own view here, that she is going to tack more to the middle. And the middle in this issue tends to tack more to the conservative side.”

Expert: Marijuana Is ‘Gateway Drug To The White House’

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The dangers of marijuana use are overstated, and the last three presidential elections prove it, an expert told a congressional panel on Friday.

“When we talk about marijuana as a gateway drug, we have to remember that the last three occupants of the White House have smoked marijuana,” said Carl Hart, an associate professor of psychology at Columbia University.

“We can very well say marijuana is a gateway drug to the White House,” he added.

President Obama has admitted to using marijuana as a teenager, and has expressed support for efforts in states such as Colorado and Washington to legalize the drug for recreational use. The Treasury Department, meanwhile, has outlined how banks can provide services for businesses selling marijuana without breaking federal law, which bans the drug. 

That has drawn pushback from some members of Congress who say the administration is encouraging illegal conduct.