Chelsea Clinton Implying Pot Can Kill Won't Ever Help Hillary Win Young Voters
At a campaign event in Ohio last Saturday, Chelsea Clinton suggested marijuana can kill you, in spite of the fact that even the National Institutes of Health acknowledges it's essentially impossible to overdose on pot.
The DEA has also stated no one has ever overdosed on weed — not once.
Clinton has since walked back on this, and sent the following statement to Think Progress,
Regardless of whether or not Clinton misspoke, her remarks are emblematic of why her mother, Hillary Clinton, is struggling to win over young voters.
Simply put, the Clinton campaign isn't going far enough on marijuana legalization, which an overwhelming majority (68 percent) of young voters support.
This issue is yet another example of where Hillary is too attached to the status quo in the eyes of many young people, which is a large part of the reason why Senator Bernie Sanders gained so much support among Millennials during the primary season.
Meanwhile, Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson both support marijuana legalization.
Recent polls show a significant percentage of Millennials plan to vote for a third-party candidate this election.
This could really hurt Hillary's chances of winning.
Marijuana legalization is definitely not the most important issue we face as a country. But there's really no overwhelming reasons to oppose it.
It's not just Millennials who want to see the recreational use of pot legalized — a majority of Americans (54 percent) support it.
Hillary Clinton could potentially win over a number of young voters, among others, if she supported legalization.
Currently, the former secretary of state will only go as far as condoning the rescheduling of marijuana from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2, while also supporting further research into marijuana.
Marijuana is still listed as a Schedule 1 Drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which puts it in the same category as heroin.
In 2014, heroin and opioid painkillers contributed to 47,000 drug overdose deaths — the most ever recorded.
How many marijuana overdose deaths were there in 2014?
Research also shows when states grant access to medical marijuana it contributes to a reduction in painkiller abuse and overdoses.
Not to mention, there are clear economic benefits to legalization.
Legalization would also take away a valuable source of profit from drug cartels.
There's also the fact we are locking up many people for non-violent, marijuana-related offenses.
In 2014 alone, 700,993 people were arrested for marijuana, and nearly 90 percent of these arrests were solely for possession.
It would be wrong to say pot is completely harmless. But it's a fact that it's far less harmful than alcohol, which President Obama once acknowledged.
Hillary wouldn't necessarily instantly win over every single young voter by pushing for legalization, but it certainly wouldn't hurt.
There are 69 million eligible Millennial voters. They comprise the largest share of the electorate next to Baby Boomers.
How they vote in November could make or break the election.
Hillary has little to lose and much to gain from coming out and saying one simple word: legalize.
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