Should Hillary Clinton Endorse Legalized Pot?

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Today’s chatter is almost exclusively about Donald Trump’s implosion over Alicia Machado, the Miss Universe of 1996, which has dragged his entire team of thrice-married surrogates into embarrassing spasms of hypocrisy and is making Trump into even more of a laughingstock than before—which is quite a feat. I can’t really bring myself to write any more about this at the moment, so instead let’s turn our attention to legal pot. Christopher Ingraham argues that this is Hillary Clinton’s best hope for attracting millennial support:

There is one thing that younger voters like a lot, and that’s legal marijuana….In April, a CBS News survey posed a question that sheds more light on this issue….Most respondents — 58 percent — said that a candidate’s support for legal marijuana “wouldn’t matter” at all. Eighteen percent said they’d be more likely to vote for a pro-weed candidate, while 21 percent said they’d be less likely.

But there were some interesting differences by respondents’ age. Among adults ages 18 to 34, 28 percent said support for legal marijuana would make them more likely to vote for a candidate….These numbers suggest that legal marijuana could give Clinton a boost among younger voters in November.

Well…maybe. My guess, however, is that millennials would instantly see this as empty pandering. It might actually make her less popular among young voters, who seem to distrust her more for being calculated than they do for her actual policy positions.

Besides, Clinton has already come out in favor of reclassifying marijuana from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 and allowing states to continue serving as “laboratories of democracy.” That means she’s basically endorsed medical marijuana, and it sets her up to endorse recreational marijuana after a suitable period of evolving. Maybe in 2020?

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Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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