GOP Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina Has A Complicated Relationship With Marijuana

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has a complicated relationship with marijuana. On Monday, she called for the decriminalization of drug use.

In a conference call with reporters, she stated that Republican governors have made successful modifications to the criminal justice system through drug decriminalization, but declined to provide a model of what decriminalization might look like on the national level, the Washington Post reports.

Drug use and addiction is deeply personal for Fiorina, given that one of her two stepdaughters died at 34 from years of alcoholism and drug addiction.

Earlier in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Fiorina said she staunchly opposes the legalization of marijuana and remains skeptical of its medicinal value.

“I remember when I had cancer and my doctor said, ‘Do you have any interest in medicinal marijuana?’ I did not,” she said. “And they said, good, because marijuana today is such a complex compound, we don’t really know what’s in it, we don’t really know how it interacts with other substances or other medicines.” Yet, Fiorina still believes that marijuana needs to be regulated and treated like medicine, rather than hyping up the drug and “sending the signal to young people that marijuana is just like beer.”

She tied her stance on decriminalization to the recent riots in Baltimore, which were sparked by reports that 25-year-old heroin dealer Freddie Gray died in police custody.

“You have a lot of young people who are getting access to drugs and then they are getting arrested frequently — it’s just a bad, bad cycle,” Fiorina said. “We need to create a circumstance in which people have a stake in their community — and they have a stake in their community because they believe their community offers them possibilities for a future.”

Fiorina is also noted for her opposition to Proposition 19 back in 2010, a measure in California that would have allowed recreational marijuana for those 21 and older.

Part of the problem of Prop 19, according to Fiorina, was that “sending billions of dollars in new tax revenues in Sacramento is exactly the problem.” California has a spending problem, and so does Washington, D.C. Funneling new tax revenue to state and federal governments won’t help strike at the root of the problem, she argued, which is excessive spending.

However, at the time, Fiorina did not address a section of the question which asked whether Prop 19 would exponentially increase public health and safety costs.

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