5 American presidential candidates who support marijuana legalization

Published Mar 30, 2019 10:35 a.m. ET
AP Photo/Mel Evans

With Canada introducing marijuana legalization in 2018, many Americans have been wondering if the cultural shift will make any difference to the status of cannabis laws across the border. Currently, there are only 33 states that allow medical marijuana and 10 that have legalized cannabis for recreational use, leaving much of the country without access to recreational substances. Now all ears are on the 2020 Presidential candidates who can implement such laws with a majority. Here are five of the most popular runners for this year’s election that fully support marijuana legalization.

1. Bernie Sanders

Bernie has entered the 2020 running with a robust liberal platform that is focusedon marijuana legalization. He is currently the Senator of Vermont where cannabis just officially achieved legal status in 2019. Since 1995 Sanders has been a passionate advocate for marijuana reform where he first co-sponsored the bill that saw medical marijuana legalized. In 2015 Sanders tabled the first ever bill in Senate to push for ending cannabis prohibition and demanded protection against discrimination from banks towards companies who wanted to hold a legitimate tax paying account. Bernie is highly regarded as one of the most likely candidates to introduce recreational reform.

2. Amy Klobuchar

Amy is the most popular female presidential candidate to openly support marijuana legalization. She currently holds the position of the Senator of Minnesota and has been a fierce voice for change at the federal level. Though Klobuchar hasn’t been overly vocal until recently about her opinions on recreational marijuana, shehas supported cannabis research to the tune of 4 Million dollars and signed off on the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act which protects statewide marijuana legalization from any interference from the federal government. Many Americans are questioning her allegiance to the cause due to her refusing to sign the Marijuana Justice Act which would remove cannabis from the controlled substances act, but during her years of power, she has firmly protected all legislation brought forth surrounding medical marijuana.  

3. Cory Booker

Senator of New Jersey Cory Booker authorized the Marijuana Reform Act in 2017 which included some incredibly radical changes to legislation. A few of the elements contained in the Act were to expunge all convictions for cannabis-related charges and offences as well as formally punishing individual states that had current charges which prove a targeting of minorities. It even called for those who were charged at a federal level to be granted a chance to be retried in hopes of obtaining lighter punishments. Cory also has the backing of every current Democratic candidate. All of which have signed on to his previous attempted legislation which would have seen millions of lives changes with the decriminalization of cannabis.

4. Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth is the Senator of Massachusetts which is a cannabis-friendly state that began selling marijuana-derived products in 2018 to adults over the age of 21. She has made several pushed at the federal level for a change in legislation and is the most significant contributor and sponsor to the Marijuana justice Act which is seeking to punish individual states with substantial financial penalties for incarcerating too many people for cannabis-related offences. Though some older generations of Americans may remember Warren from her days of opposing such legislation, times have changed, and it appears so has this popular Senator who is now bringing forward banking protections and regulation for marijuana dispensaries and businesses.

5. Julian Castro

Another Democratic presidential candidate is Castro who has garnered enough fame to be considered competition in the American 2020 election. Though Julian hasn’t been advocating for cannabis reform for very long, he has eased restrictions to medical marijuana making access much easier for patients seeking relief. Castro served as the Housing and Development Secretary in the White House under the Obama administration and kept quiet on such taboo issues until recently. If there were any questions as to his opinions on marijuana legalization his recent twitter post cleared the air where he heavily discouraged the President from cracking down on cannabis dispensaries and users.

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