|Green Party Presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein: "The most important thing we can do to get rid of the health problems associated with marijuana is to legalize it"|
"As a medical doctor, previously in clinical practice for about 25 years, I can say with a clear understanding of the health impacts, that marijuana is a substance that is dangerous because it is illegal," Stein said. "It is not illegal because it is dangerous -- because it is not dangerous at all!"
"It is well understood that the health impacts of marijuana are mainly the public health and safety impacts from the illegal drug trade associated with marijuana prohibition," she said. "So the most important thing we can do to get rid of the health problems associated with marijuana is to legalize it."
Dr. Stein, 62, argued that marijuana's classification as a Schedule I drug with no accepted medical uses and a high potential of abuse just doesn't match the science.
"On Day One, a President, if she wanted to, could instruct the DEA to do a really radical, radical thing," Stein said, "and that would be to use science in determining what substances will and will not be scheduled -- because the minute science is used, marijuana is off the schedule!" Stein declared to hearty audience applause.
"The same goes for hemp, which is also a substance from which there are no bad drug effects; there are no bad health and safety effects," Stein said. "Yet there are very important economic benefits. Both of those substances should be legalized.
"Marijuana should be regulated," Dr. Stein said, "but in a way that does not create another tobacco monopoly, but permits small businesses to actually flourish."