Bernie Sanders Continues to Surge in the Polls, Cannabis Community Can, and Should, Pitch in More


The most recent polls continue to show momentum for Bernie Sanders as Super Tuesday 2 approaches. Following the huge (YUGE) upset in the Michigan Primary, where Sanders was trailing Hillary Clinton by more than 20 points in most polls, Bernie appears within striking distance in Missouri, Ohio and Illinois, with a CBS/YouGov poll actually showing Sanders up 2% in Illinois, Hillary Clinton’s birth-state. While he still trails by over 20% in both North Carolina and Florida, there are signs that Sanders is closing the gap, just as he did in Michigan.

While the cannabis community has largely rallied behind Bernie Sanders’ campaign, thanks to his call to end cannabis prohibition and other criminal justice reforms, but the largest marijuana law reform PACs mostly saving their resources for state ballot measures. Without big donors, in the cannabis industry, or really any industry for that matter, Bernie Sanders relies upon small contributions to keep up with the large establishment financial backing enjoyed by Hillary Clinton.

My wife and I have pitched in more than we have for any candidate before and some local Portland cannabis entrepreneurs have found unique ways to support Sanders’ candidacy. As our Carl Wellstone experienced first-hand, Foster Buds dispensary is providing 10% of proceeds from pre-rolled joint sales to Sanders and apparently, business is good as cannabis consumers are flocking to the shop to #FeelTheBern. Ceramics artist Ariel Zimm has been widely successful selling pipes adorned with Bernie Sanders’ logo and sending 10% to his campaign. Zimm has been so successful, that she has maxed out her $2,700 allowable personal donation to Sanders her Stonedware company has a backlog until June on the pipes.

Ending cannabis prohibition, as Sanders supporters, would greatly benefit the cannabis community and industry across the nation, in addition to being a better policy for the rest of the country. Illinois has a fledgling medical cannabis program while Ohio, Missouri and Florida hope to join the ranks of medical states this November. A Sanders presidency is still a possibility, and while it is, the cannabis community, drug law reformers and civil libertarians in general, should contribute as much as they can.

(Featured photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.