A little over a year ago, I attended an event where Hillary Clinton was campaigning to be the democratic presidential candidate. While I only got a couple seconds with her before posing for the photo above, I did get to tell her that I was a cannabis-industry professional and a mother, and that I thought she should really consider de-scheduling cannabis from it’s Schedule 1 status in the Controlled Substance Act.
She nodded and explained that she would certainly give it some thought as she had just been discussing this exact topic with Congressmen Earl Blumenauer. Rep. Earl Blumenauer and his wife, along with about a dozen other colleagues of mine from the Oregon cannabis industry, were in line in front of me, so I imagine that I was not the first person to say the word cannabis to her at this event!
She also made a point to talk about pot during her speech later on, and there were definitely some cheers from the crowd. Most of the reason I attended the event, and also part of the reason I voted for Hillary today, was because of how early on Rep. Earl Blumenauer endorsed her and advocated for her.
After that event was over and while sitting on the shuttle bus back to my car, I listened in on a conversation between Earl and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (both of whom I voted for today) about what they could do to help Hillary as her campaign went on.
Earl’s commitment to cannabis law reform is unprecedented, and I will likely continue to follow his political advice in situations such as this. (I keep my fingers crossed that one day HE will be our president!)
Anyway, back to the lady of the hour…I am hopeful that Hillary will not only become our first female president, but that she will also become the first president to fully embrace the cannabis industry as a legitimate and legalized industry.
It is essential that our country’s leaders not only understand the importance of legalization and regulation, but also the importance of supporting the industry that will follow.
Not only do we need to deschedule this substance, but we need access to banks and tax reform under 280e. These issues are absolutely essential to the expanding cannabis industry.
It’s also integral to the success of legalized cannabis that Clinton focuses her reform attention on efforts that ensure the industry has low barriers of entry for those who have been most negatively effected by cannabis prohibition, namely minorities and people of color.
The Obama administration did a wonderful job laying some groundwork, but there is still much more that needs to be done. There are 5 states with recreational legalization on the ballot today and a handful more with medical legalization on the ballot.
If elected, Hillary is not only already going down in history as the first female presidential candidate, but also as a presidential candidate who is on the ballot with more cannabis measures than ever before.
It is clear that the wheel is only turning forward for this plant in our country. For years, more and more Americans polled think that cannabis should be legal, and I believe the same thing will happen with our politicians. It is just a matter of time before the tipping point hits, and we are right on the cusp.
Two years ago, I got to vote on legalization in the state of Oregon, and today I (hopefully) voted for the person who will be the first female president AND the person who will change things on the Hill for the emerging and expanding industry I get to be a part of.