Bernie Sanders isn't sure that Biden will back legalization

Published Apr 26, 2020 11:00 a.m. ET
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It’s sort of like a horse race. How do you know you have backed the winner? Does the horse have the qualities that you believe in, and are the strengths of the horse good enough for you to put your name behind it? I wonder if Bernie Sander has these feelings about Joe Biden.

Bernie Sanders promised to remove the federal ban on marijuana within his first 100 days of being president of the United States. However, he dropped out of the presidential race, and is now backing Biden to see his ideas come to light. One could question if he has supported the correct person.

Bernie Sanders views on cannabis

  • Legalization of cannabis within the first 100 days of being in office
  • Vacate and expunge all past marijuana-related convictions
  • Create an independent clemency board
  • 50 billion dollars in tax revenue from the sale of legal cannabis
  • Grants for people of colour who continue to face discrimination

Joe Biden’s views on cannabis

  • Believes in eliminating criminal penalties that are linked to cannabis
  • Erasing cannabis-related criminal records
  • Allowing states to set their policies regarding the legalization of recreational marijuana
  • Further effort to study the effect of marijuana use.
  • His opinions are unclear, as recorded in his statement of “basically, legalized “in his comments
  • Unclear if marijuana is a gateway drug
  • Opposes legalization on the federal level
  • Supports moving cannabis from a schedule I drug
  • Encourages cannabis to be moved to a schedule II category making research of the plant more accessible

So, time will tell us if Bernie Sanders has backed the right horse or if Joe Biden opposes marijuana legalization, but he does seem to back a more modest type of reform. Bernie also shares the same views as Joe that decriminalization and expunging of records is a necessary forward move.

Joe Biden’s views on moving cannabis to the new category would not be acknowledging federal legalization of marijuana. It would, however, be a progressive move towards changing the decades-old laws that cannabis is encased in today.


The current category that cannabis is placed in is unbelievable to many because very few people believe that marijuana should be in the same category as heroin. Joe Biden, if elected and if he initiates the cannabis policy of legalization would be the first president to publicly acknowledge the incredible value of medicinal cannabis.

The clock is ticking

Joe Biden has been criticized for his approach to the marijuana policy, not only by Sanders but also by other voting Americans. As the date of the election approaches, perhaps Sanders may have second thoughts on who he backed to follow his dreams about how the country should be viewing cannabis.

The road to the president's position was paved in green when Bernie walked that path. Soon we will know if Bernie has put his name and vote behind the person who will continue on that green path, and included in it, his visions going forward for the United States of America. Bernie, as will all cannabis users throughout the world, will be watching on November 3 in 2020.

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