Tim Kaine Poor VP Pick for Cannabis Reform

Tim Kaine Poor VP Pick for Cannabis Reform

August 1, 2016

Hillary Clinton is a known medical marijuana supporter, which is why her choosing Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate may raise questions as to the future of cannabis in a Democrat White House.

“I've never been a legalization fan. I just haven't been,” Kaine said in an interview with WMRA in 2014. “Just for a whole series of both health- and sort of crime-related reasons, I think that would not be a good idea.”

But that isn’t to say he’s a hard-liner like his counter-part, Indiana Governor Mike Pence. While Kaine is not a fan of legalization or decriminalization, he is for marijuana sentencing reform.

“I have generally been for reexamination of sentences because I think often, for sentences for marijuana and marijuana usage, I think some sentences are too strict," he said in that same WMRA interview. "[If] they're nonviolent crimes, I think it could be handled in a different way on a sentencing standpoint.”

In a Senate hearing, Kaine said he would like to see how legalization plays out in those states that have legalized marijuana markets. This puts him in line with Clinton, who has repeated that “states are the laboratories of democracy,” when discussing recreational cannabis.

The odds of Kaine swaying Clinton against rescheduling cannabis, as she has promised, are slim since the Democratic Party endorsed a pathway toward legalization when they set their national platform on July 26.

Photo at top: Sen. Tim Kaine (left) met with Supreme Court Justice nominee Merrick Garland (left) earlier in July. (Photo courtesy: senate.gov)