Pretty much everybody running in the Democratic presidential primary has endorsed some form of cannabis legalization. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Beto O’Rourke have done it. And even jolly Joe Biden says he’d be okay with decriminalizing the stuff. Many of them have even laid out plans for how they’ll work with congress and the justice department to do it.
But Bernie Sanders may be the one to watch if weed legalization is one of your priorities as a voter. The former U.S. senator and dude who got f’ed during the last primary says he isn’t even going to bother with congress or the DOJ.
Bernie’ll just issue an executive order to make all puffing and most passing legal at the federal level. Or at least that’s what he said in an interview on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast.
“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,” Sanders said. “And what I call for then, and I call for now, is the legalization of marijuana in America.”
In correcting said broken criminal justice system, Sanders also said he’d undo a lot of cannabis convictions. “So if you were arrested, have a criminal record for selling marijuana, that is being expunged,” he said. “And that is the right thing to do.”
He also fundamentally takes issue with the fact that cannabis is currently a Schedule I controlled substance, alongside drugs with very serious consequences like heroin. That, he said, 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.”
Sanders said he’s never personally been closely acquainted with the wacky weed. “It made me cough a whole lot, alright, but I gather other people have had different experiences,” he said.
But in advocating for cannabis legalization, Sanders shares a view with most voters. Even among republican votes, more support weed legalization than oppose it. So maybe he can pick up swing votes if he gets the nomination. Otherwise, those in the 42 states without legal weed can just keep calling their guy.
Photo via Flickr user Phil Roeder