Bernie Sanders Signals Support For Marijuana Legalization

Asked by CNN’s Juan Carlos Lopez whether he’d support Nevada’s 2016 ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana in that state, Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders answered “I suspect I would vote yes” to applause from the crowd.

Sanders’ answer is significant because it marks the first time a 2016 candidate has openly declared support for legalizing recreational — and not just medical — marijuana. Asked earlier this year on Reddit about his views on marijuana,Sanders replied that he supported marijuana decriminalization as well as medical marijuana. He also hinted that he’d have more to say in coming months on the subject.

His response at tonight’s debate may hint at what his future policy proposals may entail. The full question and response is below:

LOPEZ: Senator Sanders, right here in Nevada, there will be a measure to legalize recreational marijuana on the 2016 ballot. You’ve said you smoked marijuana twice; it didn’t quite work for you. If you were a Nevada resident, how would you vote?

SANDERS: I suspect I would vote yes.

And I would vote yes because I am seeing in this country too many lives being destroyed for non-violent offenses. We have a criminal justice system that lets CEOs on Wall Street walk away, and yet we are imprisoning or giving jail sentences to young people who are smoking marijuana.

I think we have to think through this war on drugs which has done an enormous amount of damage. We need to rethink our criminal justice system, we we’ve got a lot of work to do in that area.

 

Who’s Legalizing Marijuana In U.S.?

By Brianna Gurciullo, Karen Mawdsley and Katie Campbell, News21

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Advocacy groups have poured millions of dollars into legalizing both recreational and medical marijuana in states across the country.

One of the most powerful and influential groups — Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project – was behind successful recreational measures in Alaska and Colorado, two of four states that now allow recreational use. MPP organizers hope to replicate those efforts in five other states during the 2016 elections, an undertaking they say will — if successful — prove significant for the effort to end marijuana prohibition.

One of them, Arizona, is a state that conservative icon Barry Goldwater called home. It frequently makes national headlines for controversial measures on immigration and gay rights.

Voters passed the state’s medical marijuana program by the barest of margins in 2010.

California’s Most Effective Pot Lobbyist Used To Be A Cop

CALIFORNIA:  Nate Bradley used to be a cop. Now he’s the marijuana legalization activist that California state legislators and weed entrepreneurs alike have come to rely on.

The son of a pastor and conservative Christian radio show host, Bradley has a well-used bong and a rig for dabbing hash oil on his desk in his office. His power lies in his ability to translate the struggles of the dispensary owner who sometimes wears fairy wings to the chair of the Republican caucus. He can bridge the gap between the activists and entrepreneurs who support marijuana legalization and the type of people who think pot smokers should be locked up.

Since starting the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) at the end of 2012, the 35-year-old Bradley has spent his days bounding through the halls of the Capitol building and his nights hopping from reception to fundraiser, hoping to befriend influential legislators, lobbyists, and political staffers and communicate the details of what reasonable marijuana regulations might look like. “Make me your Google on this issue,” he tells them.