Chelsea Clinton sparked outrage last weekend when she suggested that marijuana use could be fatal in some circumstances. But now a spokesperson is trying to clear the air by claiming that the former and potential future first daughter simply misspoke on the issue.
“Anecdotally we have lots of evidence in…epilepsy but also in autism, in stimulating appetite for people who are on intensive chemotherapy regimens, for people who have non-epilepsy seizure disorders and challenges,” Chelsea said at a Clinton campaign rally in Ohio last Saturday.
“But we also have anecdotal evidence now from Colorado where some of the people who were taking marijuana for those purposes, the coroner believes, after they died, there was drug interactions with other things they were taking.”
The comment caused considerable backlash on Twitter. And rightfully so. Even the DEA - which refuses to recognize marijuana as medicine - acknowledges that cannabis hasn't caused a single overdose in America. But the furor is nothing more than a misunderstanding according to a spokesperson for Chelsea.
"[W]hile discussing her and her mother’s support for rescheduling marijuana to allow for further study of both its medical benefits and possible interactions with other medications, Chelsea misspoke about marijuana's interaction with other drugs contributing to specific deaths," the unnamed spokesperson told The Washington Post.
They also reaffirmed Hillary Clinton's commitment to marijuana reform. Chelsea's comments could potentially harm her mother's efforts to court the millennial vote, so her campaign had good reason to clarify her position on the issue.
"Hillary Clinton has said we should allow states that have reformed their marijuana laws to act as laboratories for our democracy and we should reschedule marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule II substance."
Rescheduling cannabis in the Controlled Substances Act would make it much easier to study its health benefits and risks. That additional research could convince the federal government to finally recognize marijuana as medicine. But if nothing else, it might debunk the anecdotal evidence that leads people like Chelsea Clinton to "misspeak" on the issue.
Banner image: Fortune Live Media / Flickr.com