What Are the 2016 Presidential Candidates Views on Drug Policy? Pt. 2

As discussed previously in the blog post “What Are the 2016 Presidential Candidates Views on Drug Policy? Pt. 1,” the 2016 Presidential Race has several hot button issues. Drug control is high on that list this year. The War on Drugs has failed. Treatment is being seen as a much more viable option than incarceration. More and more states are legalizing, or decriminalizing, marijuana, and candidates are taking stances on the idea of legalizing the drug on the federal level. The idea that the War on Drugs has failed seems to be pervasive.

The heroin epidemic results in many deaths every year, and from 2001 to 2014 there was a six-fold increase in the amount of deaths due to heroin overdose. The candidates for the office of president are taking stances on the issue of drug control so that the American people can see what their plan would be to help fix this problem of drug abuse in the United States.

2016 Presidential Candidates

Donald Trump

Donald Trump had a brother who, unfortunately, died due to alcoholism. Last year, Trump stated that states should be allowed to legalize marijuana if they chose to, saying it should be a “state-by-state” issue. The controversial candidate said last year that he thinks that medical marijuana is good but thinks that full legalization of the drug is bad and feels “strongly about it.” Trump does acknowledge that the War on Drugs has failed, so his stance may emphasize treatment over incarceration.

Martin O’Malley

In a recent visit to Colorado, Gov. O’Malley stated that he has been analyzing Colorado’s handling of the issue on whether or not marijuana should be legalized on the federal level. For now, however, he sees that as going too far. He is, however, in favor of classifying marijuana as a Schedule II drug, which would enable doctors to prescribe it and allow for medical research. Marijuana is currently listed as a Schedule I drug alongside cocaine and heroin.

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz disagrees with the states that have decided to legalize marijuana, but has acknowledged and conceded that it is the right of the states to have their own laws regarding the issue. Cruz is supportive of lowering the minimums and mandatory sentencing for drug-related convictions.

Ben Carson

Dr. Carson is known for his expertise in the medical field because of his history as a doctor. He’s acknowledged that marijuana has proved useful medically, but also that it is a gateway drug, and as such Carson opposes its legalization. When asked by Glenn Beck if he would continue the War on Drugs, Carson stated that he would “intensify it.”