Bernie Sanders’s Not-So-Radical Marijuana Idea

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Two candidates nodded to liberalizing standards about marijuana in the United States on Wednesday—one expected, one a little more surprising. In the latter case, Senator Ted Cruz offered, during the GOP debate, to buy CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla “some famous Colorado brownies.”

Meanwhile, across the country in Virginia, Senator Bernie Sanders called for the federal government to lift its prohibition on marijuana. Though Sanders is sometimes caricatured as an unreconstructed dope-smoking ’60s hippie (and even though his first name is perfect for pot puns), he says he only ever smoked twice, didn’t like it, and didn’t get high. But Sanders has long called for decriminalization, and he took a step further in remarks at George Mason University Wednesday.

“The time is long overdue for us to take marijuana off the federal government’s list of outlawed drugs,” he said. “In my view, states should have the right to regulate marijuana the same way that state and local laws now govern sales of alcohol and tobacco.”

Sanders Proposes Nixing Marijuana From Federal List Of Dangerous Drugs

VIRGINIA: Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders announced his support Wednesday for removing marijuana from a list of the most dangerous drugs outlawed by the federal government — a move that would free states to legalize it without impediments from Washington.

The self-described “democratic socialist” senator from Vermont shared his proposal during a nearly two-hour town hall meeting with college students that he said was broadcast on the Internet to about 300 campuses across the country from George Mason University in Fairfax County, Va.

“Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use,” Sanders told a live audience of more than 1,700 students, which erupted with applause. “That’s wrong. That has got to change.”

No other presidential candidate has called for marijuana to be completely removed from the schedule of controlled substances regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration.