(CNSNews.com) – Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that she wants to move marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II drug so that more research can be done on its medicinal use.
“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,” Clinton said during CNN’s Democratic presidential town hall debate in New Hampshire.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Schedule I drugs are drugs “with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Besides marijuana, heroin, LSD, and ecstasy are some examples of Schedule I drugs.
Schedule II drugs are drugs “with a high potential for abuse” and can potentially lead to “severe psychological or physical dependence.” Examples of Schedule II drugs include: cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, Vicodin, Demerol, oxycodone, Adderall, and Ritalin, among others.
Clinton was asked what she would do to decriminalize marijuana for people who need pain relief.
“I will do a lot, Chris, because we have an opportunity to do much more with respect to research into marijuana, what it can do to help people with the kinds of conditions you've just briefly described,” said Clinton.
“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,” she said, “but I also want you to be able to use it while we're doing the research.
“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 kind of illnesses and conditions that it can be used for. Are they right? We don't know. That's why we have got to do the research,” Clinton said.
“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,” she said.
Clinton said she understands that drug addiction is a big problem in New Hampshire, and she met a woman in Manchester who told Clinton she lost a son to an overdose.
“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 than 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,” she said.
Clinton said she has been working on “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.”
Clinton called for collaboration with doctors “to understand better when they prescribe opioids, which is often the first step towards heroin.” She also called for every police department to have naloxone on hand, “which is the antidote to reverse overdose,” to save lives in New Hampshire.