Jill Stein Talks to The Influence About Putting the "Green" in Green Party

Apr 20 2016

Jill Stein Talks to The Influence About Putting the “Green” in Green Party

April 20th, 2016

Last night, Jill Stein, who is seeking the Green Party presidential nomination (which she got in 2012), sent out some very anti-establishment 4/20 tweets, saying that “ is dangerous BECAUSE it’s illegal” and that “Those in jail for “minor offenses” w/ should’ve been able to vote in the because 420 should be legal..”

In a press release, the politician, physician and public health advocate said that: “Marijuana is…not inherently dangerous. Certainly it’s less harmful than alcohol and tobacco, which are perfectly legal.” She said that one of her first actions as president would be to “order the DEA and the Justice Department to cease and desist all attempts to harass or prosecute medical marijuana clinics or other legitimate marijuana-related businesses that are operating under state laws.”

Today, after attending a rally at UMASS for Fossil Fuel Divestment, she told The Influence that “Drug policy has played far too small a role in this election” so far. She says that although “Sanders has been seen in the media as the most pro-marijuana candidate…he stops far short of legalization. He has called for decriminalization—a position which New York State adopted 40 years ago but still has allowed NYC to be the marijuana arrest capital of the world.”

In contrast, Stein, who has supported full legalization for years, says that if she were president, she would “direct the DEA to remove marijuana from Schedule 1” (supposedly the most dangerous category of drugs, which also includes heroin and LSD) and “regulate it in a similar way to alcohol.”

She also speaks frankly about the racist underpinnings of mass incarceration. “The drug laws have been administered in a racially biased manner,” she says. “While the use of drugs among whites and people of color are similar (people of color lower use rates), those imprisoned for drugs overwhelmingly are people of color. As Michelle Alexander has pointed out, the drug laws have been used to continue Jim Crow-era racial discrimination policies.”

As for Clinton, Stein doesn’t hold back: “The Clinton administration heavily promoted these [War on Drugs] programs and [Hillary] Clinton has failed to outright reject them.”

Yesterday evening, as the results from New York’s Democratic primary came in and Clinton emerged as the winner, Stein repeated her offer to be “Plan B” for Bernie supporters if Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee, as well as an offer to collaborate with Sanders himself.

Stein has previously addressed fears that the Green Party will split the left-of-center vote, saying: “We could fix that in the blink of an eye with a simple voting reform called ‘rank choice voting’ that allows people to rank their choices.”