The Race for POTUS: It’s Going To Be A Strange And Curious Ride
Stories Dawn Garcia
If you have a pulse, you know we’re in the throes of a rather colorful—and heated—presidential race for 2020. It’s hard to ignore the many things happening in our nation’s political arena, so rather than focus on the chaos, let’s take a look at some of the Democratic candidates and how they stand on one particular issue: marijuana and cannabis legalization.
With 11 states that have fully legal markets and Illinois just joining the ranks, the topic of legalization is one of great debate. Looking at a breakdown done by politico.com, six Democratic candidates have a spectrum of thought on the topic. Despite believing that marijuana is a “gateway drug,” former Vice President Joe Biden supports it being downgraded to a Schedule II of the Substance Abuse Act and decriminalizing it at the federal level, though states could still prosecute its use as a punishable offense. Indiana’s mayor of South Bend, Pete Buttigieg, is a strong supporter of legalizing, as are Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, New Jersey senator Cory Booker, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
“We will take executive action to de-schedule and legalize marijuana nationwide and expunge as many prior marijuana-related convictions as possible,” wrote the Sanders campaign in response to a questionnaire supplied to all presidential candidates on what executive actions they would commit to. Warren wrote on prospect.org, “I support delisting marijuana as a Schedule I drug to limit federal intervention when states have already legalized marijuana…I also support the full legalization of marijuana and restorative justice for those unjustly jailed for marijuana crimes.” Her office confirmed that this was an endorsement of administrative de-scheduling.
Cannabis has become too big to ignore in terms of its economic impact, its health benefits as an alternative to opioids, and its use as an agriculture necessity. From food to medicine to pet wellness to stress relief, cannabis is here to stay, and we’re well on our way to changing the stigma.