Pro-pot 2020 presidential candidates

Published May 23, 2019 01:00 p.m. ET
Photo Credit: SM1_2402 by collision.conf (2018) Flickr

With the 2020 election creeping up, many Americans are just beginning to learn about their potential candidates’ promises and hopes for the future if eventually elected. As time has shown us, words are easy to say, but actions speak so much louder, and understanding the history of some of these front runners might help you to make a more informed decision. If you are opposed to the criminal status of cannabis and would like to see reform that allows for recreational use right across the country, then you might want to check out this list of the top pro pot Presidential candidates for 2020.

Democrats

1. Andrew Yang

Yang is new to the game, not very well known but a brilliant technological entrepreneur and lawyer. His home New York State is host to a medical cannabis program but has yet to introduce legislation to allow for the average person to be smoking marijuana for recreational use. Andrews opinion of the war on drugs is clear, citing racism and stupidity as the number one reasons for prohibition. A theme that he could never support nor endorse.

2. Bernie Sanders

Sanders was the first major presidential candidate to call for removing cannabis from America’s controlled substances list and has been a longtime advocate for marijuana legalization. His home state Vermont which was the first to legalize cannabis through a vote in the legislator rather than a referendum. Saunders has also cosponsored several bills, including one that allowed anyone with a life-threatening sense threatening diagnosis could self-medicate with cannabis. Bernie has also been one of the most influential on American banks, applying pressure to help make running a legal marijuana business a little bit easier for local owners.

3. Beto O’Rourke

O’Rourke who comes from Texas didn’t officially announce his choice to run to Americans until March of this year, which has delighted many voters who were seeking a fresh face. With his home region remaining opposed to legal marijuana, Beto’s running could mean a whole lot of change in a state that still heavily restricts medicinal patients. In a confident bid forward that has many Texans fullest attention, O’Rourke called for the legalization of cannabis on a federal level.

4. Cory Booker

Democratic Senator Booker is a 2020 candidate that fully believes in marijuana legalization and has long advocated for a formal system that allows for both the regulation and taxation of cannabis. Cory was an author of the Marijuana Reform Act, which called for eliminating convictions and charges faced by citizens with minor cannabis related charges. Though those changes never received the senate's approval, Booker has a consistent history of advocating for marijuana reform and is one of the most pro-pot presidential candidates in the running for next year.

5. Elizabeth Warren

Warren’s home state is Massachusetts, which is a fairly progressive region, and she is one of the most active long-time voices for marijuana legalization in the country. In November of 2018, the region voted to legalize cannabis for recreational use for adults, so it makes sense that another world-famous advocate would stem from this area. Elizabeth has long advocated federally and was one of the lead sponsors of legislation that protects individual states from interference by the federal government called the States Act. She may not have always been an advocate, but her voice and actions have proven that she has been a significant influence on marijuana legalization right across the country.

6. Jay Inslee

Inslee is from Washington state which in 2012 was one of the very first to pass legislation to allow for the recreational use of cannabis. Jay has a very progressive view of marijuana legalization and has spent several years signing bills and pardoning thousands of people who had been convicted of cannabis possession in minor amounts. He has openly called for President Trump to keep his platform promises to leave the states alone that have chosen to allow recreational use. Though he may not be well known, he is certainly a fierce advocate for marijuana and would be very likely to make a positive difference for cannabis law reform in the United States.

7. Julian Castro

Castro original comes from Florida, which is a state that only allows medical marijuana. He once held the position of Housing and Urban Development Secretary in the White House under the Obama administration but has no clear history of advocacy or opinion on recreational marijuana. The reason that he is here is that he does have a few twitter posts that are very clearly pro legalization. One which references Colorado as proof of sensible cannabis controls, and another condemning the government for wasting time and resources by jailing minor marijuana related offenders.

8. Kamala Harris

The Senator of California Kamala Harris is one of the most relatable of all the candidates and has openly admitted to smoking marijuana. Kamala has dedicated an entire book to her personal views on marijuana legalization including some of what she believes to be necessary measures for transition including expunging criminal records and convictions for anyone charged with the position of small amounts of cannabis. This former Attorney General has advocated for the legalization of marijuana since 2014 and appears to have a significant following of pro cannabis supporters who want to see a change after the next election.

9. Kirsten Gillibrand

Gillibrand's home state, New York, is in the perfect position to become the next region of the United States to legalize marijuana. Kirsten has long supported the pro-pot movement with speeches, demonstrations, and by signing her name to many different pieces of legislation that introduced changes to marijuana reform. This runner is also an advocate for cannabis based medicines and blames corporate greed and the pharmaceutical industry for our opioid crisis, all while promising that huge changes will be on the horizon if she is elected in 2020.

10. Tulsi Gabbard

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii is a powerful and progressive advocate for marijuana legalization with a long history of influencing change in political reform. She cosponsored a bill which required the federal government to research the effects of marijuana legalization in each state. Tulsi has encouraged the federal government to fund new research on medical cannabis, and to decriminalize marijuana, which would officially end the long-failed war on drugs. Though her poll numbers so far are quite low, Gabbard is certainly one of the most active and well-known pro-pot advocates.

Republicans and independents

As of now, there are only two candidates within these parties who have been believed to have a positive opinion of marijuana legalization. The most likely for reelection is Mr. Trump himself who has a relatively new public view claiming the war on drugs is not working, but his actions of surrounding himself with racist anti-pot legislators and officials leaves too many questions for the average person to truly believe those statements.

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