- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose husband famously declared he tried pot but never inhaled, said Tuesday that she is not ready to throw her full support behind medical marijuana.

Mrs. Clinton, speaking at a town hall event hosted by CNN, also said that she is withholding judgment on whether she supports legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes.

“I don’t think we have done enough research yet,” she said, alluding to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. “Though, I think that people who are in extreme medical conditions and 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. There is a lot that we don’t know on medicinal purposes,” Mrs. Clinton said.

Mrs. Clinton is in the middle of a tour to promote her new book “Hard Choices” and is openly considering a 2016 presidential run.

Polls show that Mrs. Clinton is the clear favorite to win the Democratic nomination. She ran for it in 2008, but lost to then-Sen. Barack Obama, who won the White House and named her Secretary of State.

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Since then, Mrs. Clinton has come under intense fire from Republicans, who say she bungled the response to the attacks on a diplomatic post in Benghazi that led to the deaths of J. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans.

Speaking at the event at the Newseum in Washington, Mrs. Clinton said she was pleased to learn that one of the suspected masterminds of the 2012 Benghazi attacks — Ahmed Abu Khatallah — had been captured and said it shows the U.S. has an unwavering commitment to bring to justice those who are responsible for attacks on Americans.

Mrs. Clinton said she understands the frustration of the families who lost loved ones in the attack.

“I am still looking for answers because it was a confusing and difficult time,” she said.

Overall, Mrs. Clinton acted and sounded a lot like a candidate.

She said she supports marriage for gay and lesbian couples and thinks a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines would curb gun violence. She said she supports comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for those people living here illegally.

But Mrs. Clinton also said the federal government should send a clear message that the illegal immigrant children who have been surging across the border will be sent home.

Asked about the violence in Iraq, she expressed caution about working with Iran.

“I am not prepared to say we go in with Iran right now until we have a better idea of what we’re getting ourselves into,” she said.

Mrs. Clinton also distanced herself from the Obama administration on the way it has responded to the civil war in Syria.

“I recommended that we do more in the very beginning to support the moderate opposition because I believed at the time that they would be overwhelmed by [Syrian President Bashar Assad’s] military force and that they would open up the door to extremists coming in,” she said.



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