If you’ve been wandering which of the 2016 presidential candidates has the most progressive marijuana policy, the verdict is in.
Bernie Sanders, the spunky old socialist from Vermont, just introduced a bill in the Senate that would end cannabis prohibition by the U.S. government. The bill — appropriately called The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act — is the first of it’s kind ever proposed in the Senate, although similar legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives.
Now, this wouldn’t make recreational cannabis legal from sea to shining sea. But it would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, as well as the DEAs “most dangerous drug” list, freeing states to decide for themselves. It would also free banks and financial institutions to serve canna-businesses without fear of prosecution.
In a speech at George Mason University on October 28th, Sanders told the crowd,
In the United States we have 2.2 million people in jail today, more than any other country. And we’re spending about $80 billion a year to lock people up. We need major changes in our criminal justice system – including changes in drug laws. Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use. That’s wrong. That has got to change.
It seems that unlike many progressive politicians out there, Bernie isn’t all talk — he walks the walk, too. With election day only a year away, he is taking a clear and decisive stand for freedom, legalization, and common sense.
But does this bill have any chance of passing? That’s a good question. Only time will tell. But the latest polls show that a record 58 percent of Americans are in favor of cannabis legalization, a figure that will only continue to rise.
And Bernie Sanders, for one, can read the writing on the wall.
As for the other candidates, the Marijuana Policy Project keeps an updated list of all the presidential hopefuls and where they stand on the issue. Check it out here.
If we want to bring an end to cannabis prohibition, it’s important to stay informed, and take action. Contact your senator and representative, and your state and local officials. Get involved in your local chapter of NORML. Talk to your friends and neighbors. Most importantly, get out and vote!
Let your voice be heard, and your vote be counted. Together we can end cannabis prohibition.
image credit: facebook.com/berniesanders