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Bernie Sanders Just Suggested a Unique Way to Legalize Marijuana
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=51377"><span class="small">Sean Williams, The Motley Fool</span></a>   
Monday, 12 August 2019 14:19

Williams writes: "Sanders has proposed a unique means of bringing the green rush to the United States. He would use a presidential executive order to make it so."

Bernie Sanders. (photo: Antonella Crescimbeni)
Bernie Sanders. (photo: Antonella Crescimbeni)

Bernie Sanders Just Suggested a Unique Way to Legalize Marijuana

By Sean Williams, The Motley Fool

12 August 19


hether you're ready for it or not, it's election season in America. For the next 15 months we'll be hearing political ads and debates, and reading columns concerning which political candidates give our city, county, state, or country the best chance to thrive.

But what's particularly interesting about the 2020 elections is that, for the first time ever, there's likely to be a real focus and debate on cannabis reform.

As you're probably aware, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States. That means it's wholly illegal, prone to abuse, and not considered to have any medical benefits, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the very first cannabidiol (CBD)-based oral medicine in June 2018. Yet according to various polls, the American public favors the legalization of recreational cannabis, and overwhelmingly supports patients' access to medical marijuana.

This bifurcation between what the public appears to want in surveys, versus a body of lawmakers that has been unable to advance serious discussion on cannabis reform, is likely to come to head in the 2020 election.

Feel the (cannabis) Bern?

Whereas President Trump, the expected Republican nominee for a second term, has wavered on his support for legalizing marijuana at the federal level, nearly all Democratic candidates have come out in support of some form of legalization or decriminalization of the drug. But perhaps no candidate has been more vocal about this stance than Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

In 2016, when Sanders ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, ultimately losing out to Hillary Clinton, one of his many campaign promises was to reform America's justice system by legalizing marijuana. This made Sanders the first major presidential candidate to support legalizing cannabis, with many of his fellow Democrats also taking that view ahead of the 2020 election.

But whereas many of Sanders' fellow Democrats have offered their support for legalization or decriminalization without laying out a specific plan on how to get that done, Sanders has proposed a unique means of bringing the green rush to the United States. As reported by Newsweek, Sanders would use a presidential executive order to make it so. 

While speaking with Joe Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Sanders had this to say:

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.

That [marijuana's Schedule I classification] is insane. Heroin is a killer drug. You can argue the pluses and minuses of marijuana, but marijuana ain't heroin. 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.
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+14 # kundrol 2019-08-12 22:19
Bernie and lots of other well meaning people are unaware of what a disaster legalization has been for growers here in the Emerald Triangle. Big corporations are busily putting all the small growers out of business. If Bernie wants to legalize then he needs to find a way to make it possible for 'working class' farmers to survive.
+6 # forestwalker 2019-08-13 07:52
Ah well! What's not to like about this!?
+6 # lfeuille 2019-08-13 17:47
Why not? Harm to the markets of some old time illegal growers doesn't outweigh the damage that having it illegal does to users. Corporate control of agriculture is a problem that is bigger than just weed and should be tackled for the industry as a whole.

But remember executive action can be overturned by future presidents. It's a place to start but by itself it is not enough. We still need congressional action.
-1 # diamondmarge7 2019-08-14 03:11
The will to power & wealth may well always b w/us.
This is an issue of a substance that helps many suffering from PTSD& other afflictions; it causes no more harm in those cases; far less than the addictive opiods.
Re: Big Pharma--I gave up on anti-depressant s because of intolerable side effects; got much relief w/MAGNESIUM. SEE DR. CAROLYN DEAN, 'THE MAGNESIUM MIRACLE.'
-3 # 2019-08-15 14:46
I am very tired of your bias for Bernie Sanders. Too many articles on him have made me reduce my donations. There are 4 women running for President who are very qualified and progressive. Let us women have equal time Bernie is a retread who helped elect Trump by his resisting supporting her. Poor loser. He is an old white man who represents a white state and is not a Democrat. Enough of him already.
+1 # EternalTruth 2019-08-17 03:39
“....helped elect Trump by his resisting supporting her.”

It’s a dirty lie that will remain a dirty lie no matter how many times you tell it. Bernie campaigned hard for “her” and urged his supporters to vote for her.
0 # kundrol 2019-08-17 14:13
Just to be clear - I do support legalization. I do not support the absurd amounts of money growers are being charged by local bureaucracies on the state and local level for a license and a long list of associated fees, amounting to around $30,000, which is not affordable for small growers. This greedy gauging makes state and local legalization a bad joke. Lets hope Bernie can come up with something better on the federal level.