Hillary Clinton never smoked pot, but she is apparently already making a play for the stoner vote in 2016.

Hillary Clinton Marijuana CoffeeThe former senator and secretary of state recently said she supports medical marijuana in the states that allow it. And last fall, she cracked wise about weed, in Colorado, with people who clearly got the joke.

Clinton was at a Denver coffee shop Oct. 14 with Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, a fellow Democrat, when the baristas drew fancy images in the foam of their drinks.

Clinton looked down and saw a pig’s face, a reference to the name of the shop. Udall got a strange shape that the Clinton couldn’t immediately identify.

But she tried her best.

“Look at you,” she told a barista as he handed her a coffee drink with an image drawn in the foam. The barista drew a pig’s face, a reference to the name of the shop, but Clinton saw something more.

“Is that a marijuana plant?” she asked, winking.

“That’s exactly what it is,” one of the baristas replied. Of course, he knew full well it wasn’t a marijuana plant, but he took a gamble on Clinton’s sense of humor. It paid off.



The joke got big laughs on the ground and some national exposure. The punch line was largely at Clinton’s expense, given her lack of familiarity with weed, but she didn’t seem to mind.

Neither did the other patrons. And this sort of thing will probably go over well with real potheads. We’d much rather have a square president who pushes cannabis reform than a hipster who tries to block it.

The incident happened shortly before Election Day 2014, when voters in Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia legalized recreational marijuana. Earlier that year, Clinton said she supports medical weed.

Lack of research

“At the risk of committing radical candor, I have to say I think we need to be very clear about the benefits of marijuana use for medicinal purposes,” she said at the time. “I don’t think we’ve done enough research yet, although I think for people who are in extreme medical conditions and who have anecdotal evidence that it works, there should be availability under appropriate circumstances. But I do think we need more research because we don’t know how it interacts with other drugs.”

The stoner vote could play a critical role in the 2016 presidential election. Should Clinton decide to run – as many think is inevitable – she’ll have something of a head start.

weedLegalization will likely appear on the ballot in several states in 2016. They include California, the most populous state in the country. The presidential candidates will almost certainly have to address the issue head on.

Even many of the Americans who oppose legalization believe it will happen anyway, so a candidate who can win over potheads will have a decided advantage.

That’s especially true because presidential elections tend to draw younger, more liberal voters to the polls, while midterm elections are typically older, whiter, and more conservative.

The fact that two states successfully legalized in 2014 suggests even bigger things are coming in the next two years. In the meantime, Clinton is wasting no time building credibility with the nation’s pot smokers.


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