Bernie Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate, wants to end the war on drugs alongside marijuana legalization officially. Marijuana legalization has long been part of Sanders’ plans. The candidate’s platform also includes the removal and elimination of private prisons, death penalty implementation, cash bail, and mandatory minimum sentences.
In his latest interview, Sanders stated his pledge on marijuana legalization through an executive order. Last 2016, when he ran in the Democratic nomination, he discussed the broken criminal justice system which sends more people in prison compared to other countries. On the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Bernie stated: “and what I call for then, and I call, for now, is the legalization of marijuana in America.”
In the interview, Joe Rogan says that cannabis legalization can potentially endanger consumers, especially those in poor agricultural practices and pesticides as well. What Joe means is that because people don’t have access to licensed distributors, there’s a slim chance of having an ethical way of growing the plant.
Bernie continues to press on the issue by aiming the Controlled Substances Act. The Controlled Substances Act places cannabis in Schedule One Category, together with heroin, MDMA, and psilocybin. According to Sanders, putting marijuana in the same category as heroin “is insane” because “Heroin is a killer drug.” He continues to reiterate that cannabis is not heroin and that there are pros and cons with using marijuana.
Sanders believes that an executive order once he wins the United States Presidency, will put an end to the never-ending argument regarding cannabis legalization.
Bernie Sanders is the first significant candidate who firmly believes and endorses the legalization of cannabis. In 2015, Sanders authored The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2015, which aimed to disregard marijuana as a part of the Controlled Substances Act together with Heroin, MDMA, and psilocybin.
Although there are no co-sponsors for the bill, Bernie continues to push forward with the legalization. He is heard stating, “if you were arrested and have a record for selling marijuana, that is being erased. And that is the right thing to do.”
On the bright side, Sanders isn’t alone in the fight for marijuana legalization. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Pete Buttigieg make their intentions known that they support pot legalization and remove possible criminal records regarding marijuana offenses.
Joe Biden, on the other hand, supports the idea of having talks about decriminalization. But Biden is still firm on not having full legalization. Biden is a known proponent against the drug war for the duration of his Senatorial term.
However, Erik Altieri, the executive director of the marijuana reform organization NORML, thinks that Joe Biden does not fully understand the issue at hand. Altieri stated that Joe Biden “holds the worst record on cannabis-related policy,” further reiterating that the Senator’s views are far out of step.
The war on drugs continues, and Bernie Sanders also continues to fight for marijuana legalization. A win at the United States Presidency might give Sanders a shot at implementing the full legalization of cannabis, and its removal from the Controlled Substances Act.