Bill Clinton voices his support of medical marijuana
July 03, 2014 | Kris Hermes
Megan Hamilton, Digital Journal
Former president Bill Clinton has come out in favor of allowing individual states to decide whether or not to legalize marijuana, noting that there's increasing evidence that shows that medical marijuana can be beneficial for patients who are ill.
Clinton, who caused a mini-commotion when he claimed he didn't "inhale," told NBC's David Gregory during an interview in Denver last week, that he thinks there's plenty of evidence to argue in favor of medical marijuana. "I think there are a lot of unresolved questions, but I think we should leave it to the states," he said. "This is really a time when there should be laboratories of democracy, because nobody really knows where this is going."
"What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana. I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana--and the reason is, because it's against federal law," he said. "I can't nullify congressional law. I can't ask the Justice Department to say, 'ignore completely a federal law that's on the books.' What I can say is, 'Use your prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize your resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage.' As a consequence, there haven't been prosecutions of users of marijuana for medical purposes."However, in states where the sale of medical marijuana is legal, more than 335 defendants have been charged with federal medical marijuana crimes and 158 have gone to jail. At the time of the study, Obama had not issued any pardons or clemency for a medical marijuana defendant, New Republic reports.