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POLITICS: PennAve

What Hillary Clinton thinks about marijuana

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Hillary Clinton,2016 Elections,PennAve,Rebecca Berg,Marijuana,Medical Marijuana,Drug Legalization

Hillary Clinton spoke out for the first time Tuesday on the legalization of medical marijuana, acknowledging "benefits" for people in "extreme medical conditions" -- but stopping short of support for recreational use.

Asked for her stance on the topic during a one-hour town hall hosted by CNN, Clinton did not stake out a bold position on the emerging political flashpoint, but instead offered her support for legalization "under appropriate circumstances."

"We need to be very clear about the benefits of marijuana use for medicinal purposes," Clinton said. "I don't think we've done enough research yet -- although, I think for people who are in extreme medical conditions and have anecdotal evidence that it works, there should be availability under appropriate circumstances."

"But I do think we need more research, because we don't know how it interacts with other drugs — there's a lot that we don't know," Clinton added.

But on the issue of recreational marijuana use, which has been legalized in Washington and Colorado, Clinton took a more federalist approach, indicating that the federal government should allow states to suss out laws independently.

"States are the laboratories of democracy," Clinton said. "We have at least two states that are experimenting with that right now. I want to wait and see what the evidence is."

Clinton, however, does not plan to do any experimentation of her own. Asked whether she would try marijuana, Clinton laughed off the question.

"Absolutely not," Clinton said. "I didn't do it when I was young, I'm not going to start now."

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