Connect with us


GOP Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley Says Marijuana Legalization Should Be A ‘State-By-State’ Issue



Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R), a 2024 GOP presidential candidate, has reaffirmed her position that marijuana legalization should be treated as a “state-by-state issue” without federal intervention.

During a town hall event in Iowa days before the state caucus, Haley was asked whether she would move to legalize cannabis if elected president.

“You know, in South Carolina, I did for medicinal cannabis, but I think it’s a state-by-state issue,” she said. “I think that’s something that needs to be handled close to the people, and so I think all the states should be able to decide on that.”

That echoes comments she made on the topic last May, when she described herself as a “states’ rights person” after she was asked about cannabis policy.

While Haley took credit for legalizing medical marijuana in South Carolina in her latest comments, the law that she enacted as governor is highly restrictive, only permitted low-THC cannabis extracts for certain patients with a doctor’s recommendation.

That’s why lawmakers in that state have continued to work on advancing comprehensive medical cannabis legislation, with a key Republican senator now pushing for a vote on a GOP-led proposal next month.

Haley, who also served as United Nations (UN) ambassador under President Donald Trump, doesn’t have an especially extensive cannabis background. She has previously express openness to continuing conversations with advocates and lawmakers about the issue, though.

In 2014, the then-governor also put her signature on a bill to legalize industrial hemp in South Carolina and remove the nonintoxicating form of the cannabis plant from the state’s definition of illegal marijuana.

But overall, her cannabis record is light, and the new interview appears to be just the second time she’s publicly commented on her position since entering the presidential race.

Her statement about states’ rights generally aligns her with the other top competitors for the party nomination, Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

However, while DeSantis has similarly talked about letting states navigate legalization, he’s expressed personal opposition to the broad reform and said last summer that he would not move to federally decriminalize cannabis if elected.

Connecticut Democratic Governor Has ‘Concerns’ About Psilocybin Decriminalization, His Office Says As Lawmakers Plan For 2024 Reform

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
Become a patron at Patreon!

Marijuana News In Your Inbox

Get our daily newsletter.

Support Marijuana Moment

Marijuana News In Your Inbox


Get our daily newsletter.