2020 could be the year of the three B’s: Bernie, buds, and Black Widow(yeah, we’re curious). Bernie Sanders has vowed that, if elected, he’s going to legalize cannabis in his first 100 days in office, and do a bunch of other cool weed-related policy stuff.
On Thursday at 4:20 (get it?) the democratic presidential hopeful unveiled his new plan for legal nationwide recreational cannabis. Key points of his vision for a 420-friendly country include expunging all cannabis convictions, a reinvestment of cannabis-revenue to reverse damage from the War on Drugs, and provisions to stop big tobacco from ruining the cannabis trade.
The main goal of Bernie’s ambitious cannabis reforms is to tip the scales of social and racial inequalities in the country.
“African Americans are nearly four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white Americans even though people in this country use marijuana at roughly the same rates across all races,” reads a statement from Bernie’s campaign.
“Why is it that in 2019, you can get arrested for smoking marijuana, but not one of the crooks on Wall Street went to jail for nearly destroying the economy 11 years ago? Why is it that millions of dollars are being made by mostly white, mostly male, and already rich ‘cannabiz’ entrepreneurs in states where marijuana is legal, while the people and communities that were ravaged by the War on Drugs have been shut out of the industry, denied credit, and many are still incarcerated? That is going to change when Bernie is president.”
In order to make his progressive changes, Sanders vows to issue an executive action that would deschedule cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances. He would also point a new attorney general, health secretary, and DEA administer to help create a new regulatory system while passing legalization through congressional channels.
For his expungement initiative, the former senator has issued a broad plan to help fund state and municipalities to help them reverse cannabis-related convictions. In addition, he would create an independent clemency board to help expedite executive clemency.
Other provisions of the plan include banning tobacco companies from entering the cannabis market while incentivizing marijuana companies to be structured like nonprofits. He would also direct a minimum of $50 billion to help fight the impact of the drug war, including grant programs to aid cannabis businesses owned by those impacted most including people who have been convicted of marijuana offenses and people of color.
Sounds nice. Maybe if we smoke enough indica now we can just drift off now and wake up in Bernie’s cannabis-infused utopia.
Picture via Flickr/DonkeyHotey