Marijuana News Roundup: Clinton vs Trump on Marijuana Legalization

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Now that both major political parties have officially named their presidential candidate for the November election, what can voters who support marijuana legalization expect to hear from the candidates and their running mates? If you said, “Not much,” you might consider taking up fortune-telling.

To be fair, economic inequality, terrorism and a host of other issues deservedly rank higher on the political bullet list than does marijuana legalization. But the issue won’t be totally ignored, so here’s your cheat sheet for the next 100 or so days.

Vice-presidential candidates Mike Pence (Republican) and Tim Kaine (Democrat) have both opposed any change to the marijuana laws. We covered that in last week’s report.

Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, can’t seem to make up his mind. First he was for letting the states do what they want to do, then he wasn’t, and now he is again. Essentially, Trump’s view is very much a continuation of the status quo. The Republican party platform is against legalization without really coming out and saying it.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has said she favors moving marijuana from a Schedule I drug to Schedule II and has said she supports the use of medical marijuana. That move would allow federal dollars to be used to conduct more research into the effects of recreational marijuana use. Clinton’s position is in line with the party’s platform, which calls for rescheduling the drug and “providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization.”

The candidate with the highest appeal to marijuana advocates is Libertarian Gary Johnson, a long-time supporter of decriminalization, who was president and CEO of Cannabis Sativa Inc. before beginning his run for the Oval Office.

What Does the Average Cannabis Consumer Look Like?

Marijuana pop culture has traditionally centered around the young male smoker and his high times. But the legalization movement has made marijuana more accessible than ever been before, and cannabis’s application as a painkiller is particularly appealing to senior citizens.

So what does the typical, recreational marijuana user look like today? And how do the preferences and spending habits of groups like young men and senior citizens differ?

At Headset, we have a massive dataset of cannabis retailer transaction data, and thanks to customer loyalty programs, we have information about customers’ age and gender. We decided to use to this data to learn more about who buys weed and what they smoke or consume.

The data suggests that smokers in the customer loyalty program are overwhelmingly male, accounting for about70% of all members. And, while customers range from ages 21 to 95, over 50% of loyalty members are under 40.

Read more at Headset.