What Do the U.S. Presidential Candidates Think about Pot?


A lot of people believe that it is their duty to take part in the political process, but who should the cannabis enthusiast vote for? Well, we are not here to tell you who is the best candidate for your lifestyle, but we can help you figure out the presidential candidates’ stances on marijuana.

Hillary Clinton


Hillary Clinton is probably a familiar face if you have not been living under a rock for the past thirty years. The former First Lady and hopeful Democratic presidential candidate has an interesting perspective on marijuana. She has asserted that she does not have a strong stance when it comes to the plant, but she has suggested that it is lowered from its current Schedule I status to a Schedule II status. This would open the door for more research regarding medicinal marijuana.

“States are the laboratory of democracy,” the candidate says, in regards to recreational legalization in states such as Colorado, Alaska, and Washington.

Despite her stance for states’ rights to legalize the drug, she is not for federal legalization. She scores a B with Marijuana Policy Project.

Ted Cruz

My Approved Portraits

Ted Cruz is one of the Republican candidates this election year, if you have not heard of him yet. While Cruz is against the idea of adults having the choice to use marijuana or not, he is for states’ rights to legalize the plant. The presidential candidate asserted that he has no plans to strip Colorado, Alaska, or Washington of their decision to legally distribute recreational marijuana.

“I think on the question of marijuana legalization, we should leave it to the states. If it were me personally, voting on it in the state of Texas, I would vote against it. The people of Colorado have made a different decision. I respect that decision. And actually, it is an opportunity for the rest of the country to see what happens here in Colorado, what happens in Washington state, see the states implement the policies, and if it works well, other states may choose to follow. If it doesn’t work well other states may choose not to follow,” Cruz told The Denver Post on April 9th, 2016.

Because Cruz does not believe there is a medicinal use for marijuana, he is not necessarily open to changing its Schedule I status. He scores a C with Marijuana Policy Project.

John Kasich


John Kasich, though his odds of winning are low, has been running for the Republican nominee this year. The Ohio governor does not seem to know where he stands on the subject of marijuana. Though he once stated he would never legalize marijuana even for medical use, he recently claimed he would consider it for medical purposes. He is certain that he would not take away states’ rights to legalize its recreational use.

“On medical marijuana, doctors that I know tell me we don’t need that, there are other ways to [treat pain],” the governor stated.

Scoring a C- with Marijuana Policy Project, Kasich has the lowest rating among the 2016 presidential candidates.

Bernie Sanders


Bernie Sanders has had quite a bit of recognition ever since he started running for the Democratic nominee. When it comes to marijuana law, Bernie Sanders is the most lax of the presidential candidates. The Democratic candidate supports the use of marijuana among adults and medicinal patients, while most other candidates hardly entertain the idea. He has even stated he would vote “yes” if it were his decision to legalize the plant’s recreational use in the state of Nevada.

During a rally in Denver, he made note that the state of Colorado made a responsible decision, largely because American marijuana laws directly feed into the prison-industrialization complex the country faces today.

“Someone in the United States is arrested every minute on marijuana charges. Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use. That’s wrong. That has got to change,” Sanders’s campaign states on his website.

Sanders is the only candidate that scores an A with the Marijuana Policy Project.

Donald Trump

don trump

Donald Trump has become quite a recognizable figure this election year. The Republican candidate has been shaking things up among the party, finding enemies even among conservatives. Trump is a wild card among the main presidential candidates, but is he a wild card when it comes to marijuana laws? Unfortunately, he is not. The TV personality and business mogul has not said a whole lot about marijuana, but he recently has said he believes in states’ rights to legalize it medically or for recreational adult use. That does not mean that he would vote for it to be federally legalized. His point of view has changed since the 1990s, during which he claimed it was a good idea to legalize drugs to end the Drug War.

“In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state. … Marijuana is such a big thing. I think medical should happen — right? Don’t we agree? I think so. And then I really believe we should leave it up to the states,” the candidate recently stated.

Donald Trump scores a C+ with with Marijuana Policy Project, making him the middle-of-the-road candidate for marijuana policies.

It's Your Decision

Whoever you decide to vote for, if you decide to vote at all, is all up to you. If you are a cannabis enthusiast, it is worth considering all the presidential candidates’ stances on the plant, and now that we have given you the information you need to do that, you can decide who is best for your wants and needs for the country.

Happy Election Year!


Jheri is a successful freelance writer and cannabis enthusiast from Michigan. She is currently writing her novel and a number of short stories, as well as promoting cannabis for Smoke Weed and Medical Marijuana Cure. Her office is based in Denver, CO.

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