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Candidates on Cannabis: Bernie Sanders

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by Dan Larkin

“Candidates on Cannabis: Bernie Sanders” is the second in a series of reviews of 2020 presidential candidates’ stances on cannabis legalization.

Senator Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont, caucuses with the Democrats. He’s seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. In the last election, he ran a neck and neck race with Hillary Clinton for the party’s nomination.

Sanders has been in the US Senate since 2007. Before that, he was Vermont’s at-large Congressman for 17 years. So that makes him the longest-serving independent in US Congressional history.

Born in 1941, Senator Sanders would be 79 years old at the time of the 2020 election. That makes him the oldest candidate in the race.

Sanders’ Cannabis Record

Bernie Sanders’ views on cannabis make him a rock star compared to many other presidential candidates. He is a long-time proponent for the legalization of cannabis. In fact, NORML gives him an A+ rating. That’s because (among other things) he sponsored the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2015. He says he smoked cannabis in the past and he is outspoken about the need to de-schedule cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug.

All of that made him pretty radical for a presidential candidate the last time around but these are different times. Now, other than Joe Biden, every other major Democratic candidate has come out in support of the legalization of cannabis in one form or another.

Where does Sanders stand on cannabis today?

So, what does Bernie Sanders do? He ups the ante. I’m talking he’s all in on the cannabis thing. In an interview recently, on Joe Rogan’s podcast, he said he would legalize cannabis by Executive Order. That means, if elected, he would make cannabis federally legal without the need for Congress to act.

“What I call for now is the legalization of marijuana in America. I believe we can do that through executive order, and I will do that.,”

Bernie Sanders on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast.

He would also ensure that low-level cannabis arrest records would be expunged. Also, when asked about legalizing other drugs, he has said he didn’t think he would go that far, at this point.

Candidates on Cannabis: Conclusion

If you’re voting for President of the United States based on just this one issue, then you will have a hard time finding a more perfect choice than Bernie Sanders. He is a tried and true, long-time supporter of cannabis rights. He has introduced legislation and fought for those rights for years and continues to do so now.

Read more CannabisIRL articles about candidates here.

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