Bernie Sanders Calls Stigmatizing Americans for Marijuana an Obscenity

   

Cannabis law reformers have held great hope that Senator Bernie Sanders would be a candidate that would call for an end to failed and harmful policy of marijuana prohibition. The Vermont Senator had decried the War on Drugs decades ago and held progressive views on just about every position; reforming U.S. marijuana laws and the greater Drug War seemed in-line with his liberal agenda.

At first, there were merely hints from Sanders that he would divulge his marijuana policy in the future. Next, the anti-establishment candidate kept making progressive statements regarding marijuana prohibition and the greater Drug War.

Eventually, Senator Sanders was willing to state that he would be inclined to vote for Nevada’s marijuana legalization measure during a Democratic debate in Las Vegas; frontrunner Hillary Clinton declined the opportunity to state her support for legalization. Finally, Senator Sanders introduced legislation that would remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances, a bill that would effectively end federal cannabis prohibition.

While cannabis law reformers have to be pleased by the positions taken by Sanders, it is still refreshing to see him reaffirming his commitment in follow-up statements. Most recently, Sanders has taken to Facebook to demonstrate his inclination to improve our failed drug policy.

Cannabis law reformers have long (rightfully) complained about politicians unwilling to tackle the absurdity of marijuana prohibition. Now, we have a candidate that not only has called for an end to cannabis prohibition, but has also called the entire Drug War a failure. Conventional wisdom has considered Senator Sanders a long-shot to win the Democratic nomination, but he is within striking distance of winning the Iowa caucus and is the favorite to win the New Hampshire primary. Sanders’ fundraising success will provide him the ammunition to be very competitive as the primary race moves along, especially if he can win both Iowa and New Hampshire, but he will need our help.

Please keep up the vocal support of Sanders online and in person. If you are able, send Sanders a contribution, even if it is just a few dollars. You can join a record-breaking campaign that is even exceeding the remarkable grassroots support enjoyed by Barack Obama’s early primary campaign, when he challenged the so-called “inevitable” candidacy of Hillary Clinton. If we do our part, then ending cannabis prohibition at the federal level will no longer be just a dream that is spouted on social media, it can be our new reality.

It is an obscenity that we stigmatize so many young Americans with a criminal record for smoking marijuana, but not one…

Posted by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders on Saturday, January 2, 2016

 

Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis le