The two leading Democratic primary candidates disagreed over changes to marijuana laws on Saturday, as they campaigned in South Carolina.
Hillary Clinton staked out a new position, saying the drug should be reclassified by the government from a Schedule 1 substance to a Schedule 2, a designation that would allow for federally sponsored research into its effects.
She has not endorsed federal legalization for either medical or recreational use, saying she wants to see the outcome of statewide efforts in Colorado and Washington before crafting a national policy.
“What I do want is for us to support research into medical marijuana because a lot more states have passed medical marijuana than have legalized marijuana,” she said in Orangeburg, “so we have got two different experiences or even experiments going on right now.”
The Vermont senator Bernie Sanders said Clinton’s proposal ignored the major issue and that he would give states the ability to legalize the drug by removing it from the Food and Drug Administration’s list of controlled substances.
Both candidates were trying to appeal to liberals ahead of a debate next week. They were in the midst of a weekend swing targeted at African American voters in South Carolina.
Aside from the pot issue, Sanders focused on tailoring his message of economic and social inclusion to women and minorities. Polls in South Carolina suggest Clinton has wide advantage among both groups, which will be crucial players in the south’s first primary given that white men across the deep south have largely abandoned Democrats.
Read more: theguardian.com