Election season is almost here. And with cannabis legalization at the forefront of national policies and debates, candidates are making sure now more than ever that their stances on the industry and legalization are known.
Cannabis is currently classified as a Schedule I drug in the U.S., meaning that it is fully illegal and it has no medicinal value. However, citizen support of cannabis legalization has hit a new high, according to an April 2019 poll, which found that 65% of Americans support legalization, reports CBS News. Thus, with this overwhelming support, candidates that promote legalization are likely to sway at least some voters their way.
In terms of the 2020 election, the majority of democratic candidates have advocated for legalization and decriminalization. Vermont Senator Bernie Sander is one of the most vocal about such issues.
Appearing on the Joe Rogan Experience last week, a podcast hosted by American comedian, actor and sports commentator, Joe Rogan, Sanders said that if elected president, he would legalize cannabis through executive order.
“When I ran for president for the Democratic nomination in 2016, I talked about a broken criminal justice system which ends up having, in the United States, more people in jail than any other country. And what I call for then, and I call for now, is the legalization of marijuana in America,” Sanders explained on the podcast.
“That [Schedule 1 classification] is insane. Heroin is a killer drug. You can argue the pluses and minuses of marijuana, but marijuana ain’t heroine,” Sanders continued. “So we have to end that, and that’s what I will do as president of the United States. I believe we can do that through executive order, and I will do that.”
Sanders further advocates for the reform of the justice system, which continues to disproportionately affect minorities, by calling for the expungement of criminal records for those with low level cannabis-related offenses.