Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ and marijuana legalization

Published Apr 22, 2019 12:33 p.m. ET
AP Photo/Nati Harnik

With the American federal elections right around the corner, many citizens are wondering what the next possible president’s think about the booming cannabis industry in Canada, and whether or not a new president might be all that’s needed to introduce federal marijuana legalization across the country. Many states have already adopted their policies surrounding both medical and recreational marijuana, but the inconsistency has left many Americans feeling left out based on location rather than a fair and moral law. In February 2019 Bernie Sanders officially announced that he would be making another attempt at running as a democratic presidential candidate which ignited whispers in the cannabis-friendly communities who believe that he might be exactly the person to bring forward federal marijuana legalization. Though he Sanders has a colored history as a firm upholder of drug reform policy, he seems to have changed his stance over the years, and he’s even included a tidbit in his announcement that referred to the incarcerated Americans and ending the war on drugs as a number one priority.

Is Bernie Sanders to be believed?

Though at one time Bernie held a firm stance against marijuana legalization, he has shown quite a bit of support in the cannabis community across America over the last few years. Let’s take a look at just a few of the things this candidate has done, that seem to prove his claims of wanting to end the war on drugs legitimacy.

  • During Sanders last bid he became the first American presidential candidate to openly endorse the idea of accessible marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes.

  • In 2015 Bernie filed a Senate bill in an attempt to end cannabis prohibition at the federal level, which was the first of its kind in history.

  • Sanders has associated himself with other cannabis friendly legislation such as the Marijuana Justice Act, and the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act which has the goal of bringing forward federal marijuana legalization right across the country.

  • Bernie has a rather long history of cannabis-friendly and motivational tweets that are firmly against marijuana prohibition. A couple of examples are:
    “The time is long overdue for us to take marijuana off the federal government's list of outlawed drugs” made on October 29, 2015, and another more recent read “Now is the time to remove the ridiculous federal prohibition on marijuana. I’m so proud to cosponsor the Marijuana Justice Act.” made on April 20 in 2018.

  • NORML has Rated Bernie Sanders am A+ candidate for federal marijuana legalization.

Though understandably so, many Americans are hesitant due to some of Bernie Sanders other more taboo social opinions, he seems like an incredibly likely candidate to finally bring in marijuana legalization right across the country. There appears to be a major disconnect from many of the other candidates to the cause, but Bernie has garnered some loyal followers based purely on his motivation to remove cannabis as a schedule 1 drug. According to some of the more recent polls, he also stands a good chance at winning the nomination, with a 51% approval rating and climbing as his more recent marijuana focused activism becomes more widely known. Only time will tell for sure, but this one presidential candidate is going to be giving the rest a run for their money this year based solely off of his weed loving fans alone. The future of marijuana legalization in America is looking a little brighter every day.

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