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Bernie Sanders Talks About Medical Marijuana, Decriminalization, Banking, And Legalization

bernie sanders marijuana

(image via Wikipedia)

Many marijuana activists have been waiting for Bernie Sanders to talk more about his stance on marijuana policy. I know I have been. We all know that he is more progressive on marijuana policy than most, and has made many comments about non-legalization policy issues, but has yet to come out with a fully endorsed plan for legalization. Bernie Sanders recently did an interview on public television on a show called Little Village. During the interview Bernie Sanders was specifically asked about marijuana policy, and had the following to say, via Raw Story:

One of the things that hasn’t been spoken about a great deal so far in the race for 2016, is the decriminalization of marijuana, said Walker. “Do you have a policy position on that?” he asked Sanders.

“My home state of Vermont has decriminalized marijuana and I support that,” the senator said. “In other words, if you are possessing a small amount of marijuana it should not be a criminal offense, it will be civil, and you might have to pay a fine on that.”

“I support marijuana use for medical purposes,” Sanders continued, “and we’re exploring the pluses and minuses — of which there are both — of moving more aggressively on that issue.”

“Do you believe that it is the purview of the federal government to legislate the criminalization of marijuana?” Walker asked.

“What the federal government can do is say to the state of Colorado that if you choose to vote to legalize marijuana, we will allow you to do that without restrictions,” said Sanders.

“As I understand it,” he said, “in Colorado, people who run marijuana shops can’t put their money in banks, for example. That’s a violation of federal law. So I think there are things that the federal government can do that would make it easier for states that want to go in that direction to be able to do so.”

“Would you be in favor of having the federal government be more active in moving in that direction?” Walker said.

“That’s something we’ll have more to say about,” said Sanders. “It’s a very good question and it’s a fair question. Let me not jump on what I want to be more thoughtful about in the coming weeks and months.”

I know that a lot of people are wanting Bernie Sanders to just get on with the legalization plan already, but I think that in the grand scheme of things Bernie Sanders is going about it the right way. As I said in a previous article, if he just says ‘legalize it,’ many swing voters will not take his policy position seriously since ‘legalization’ is such a trigger word to so many people. But if he gets everyone on the record as supporting no brainer things like criminal justice reform, racial justice reform, income inequality reform, and many other issues, then he can say ‘now that we can agree that we all support those things, there is one common public policy issue that is found in all of those things – ending cannabis prohibition.’ I think that approach will be much more effective in the long run, and I think so does Bernie Sanders and his campaign, which is why he made the last comment listed in the quotes above. What do TWB readers think? Below is video of the interview:


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  1. Furthermore, several statistics such as crime and DUI rates have dropped significantly in Colorado/Washington as a result of these changes. I think we are more serious about worldly matters than you would have believe, the difference is we are the ones attempting to make a positive change while going against the current of sheep like you.

  2. This is the typical attitude that has allowed it to have remained illegal for so long.

    Do YOU watch the news? i don’t personally watch news ‘programming’ on a regular basis. You know, it was not nearly as mainstream before Dr. sanjay Gupta of CNN talked about the real truths of cannabis previously left to mainstream hearsay instead of scientific fact. one needs only look around to know we have problems, the difference is a lot of people tend to focus on being informed of the most recent issues when the minorities do not have that luxury because they ARE discriminated against. there are countless ways this can be demonstrated. For lack of a better simple explanation, Cannabis smoking is a non-violent crime. a person is at more risk of death from aspirin than they are of cannabis and indeed more people die yearly from aspirin than cannabis. what’s more? its been found to be HIGHLY medicinal containing several different types of medicinal substances. the list can go on and on and on and while the research is still blowing in rapidly, we know much more research needs to be done to fully understand the use of the plant. Who is to say one should be restricted from the recreational use of marijuana when alcohol is found to be more destructive and dangerous?

    and when all of this is added up, one would think the government either insane or conspiracy. why not? the people themselves are evidently sheep who know not what they discriminate but that is not to say the cannabis user is much better but at least they would have ‘medicine’ for that. When considering my vote for an elected official, this level of absurdity is at the top of my list as common sense required before receiving my vote, let alone a citizen shown not to be a sheep but as it would seem, it is unfortunate that a large majority struggle to even know that level of common sense and is exemplified by the ‘popular’ presidential candidates views on this.

  3. Wrong. We have unchecked capitalism. Read history, Reagan stuck the knife into the middle class. The war on drugs. Trickle down economics. Breaking the unions. Big money owns congress now. You want more? Not me! I don’t want over half our budget spent on the military. There has to be change. I hope it comes by ballot. But history says it won’t be so nice.

  4. Thank you for telling me how YOU think I should feel. I NEVER said they shouldn’t be taken care of, not ONCE! I just don’t think it’s the Govt’s job to provide for ME. Nor do I think it’s YOUR job, yet you FAULT me and call me hateful for taking PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR MYSELF? That’s fucking rich!

    No, no, no, no, no! I’m NOT gonna let you get away with adding the “Disabled Vet” to your analogy. It’s Apples and oranges! This country made a DEAL with (what turns out to be, only 7% of the American population) Veterans. The deal was… I signed my name on the dotted line for a 5 year term. Which they can do with me what they wish. Up to and including, MY DEATH! In turn for that, the govt will give you healthcare for ANYTHING that they have caused, for the rest of my life! They didn’t make that contract with you! Why should they? You’ve done NOTHING to protect the country! You’ve done NOTHING but, TAKE the rights that Military personnel have protected for you, while attempting to DESTROY what THEY built for you! Where do you get off man?

    FYI, I AM a “Disabled Vet” and fight DAILY for Veteran benefits and rights. I’ve been to D.C. to not only LOBBY Congress on these issues. I’ve TESTIFIED before the U.S. Congress as well. What is it exactly that YOU’VE done to better your situation, OTHER than to yell “… it’s NOT fair!”? What have YOU done, OTHER than put a “Bernie Sanders” bumper sticker on your car, to TRY to make YOUR Country better? After all, isn’t it YOUR job to ensure that Americans are taken care of? Have you been to a protest with 100K OTHER Vets to DEMAND that the govt live up to its CONTRACT with America’s Veterans? Have you?

    You obviously went right over my post from yesterday. EVERY person IN the U.S. already HAS a RIGHT to Healthcare in America! It’s Federal law that EVERY person who enters an Emergency room, MUST BE TREATED and returned to a Stable condition! How much more do you want? They MUST do this even if the patient CAN’T pay!

    We HAVE “Social Safety Nets”! If ANYONE and I do mean ANYONE goes hungry in America, it’s their OWN fault!

    Finally, don’t EVER tell ME to leave a country that I fucking FOUGHT for! A country of which I’m a Disabled Veteran of, as well. The country in which I took an OATH to defend the U.S. Constitution against ALL enemies, foreign AND domestic (that’s you) that wants to subvert what our Founding Fathers formed. I HATE to tell you this buddy, but if you don’t like the govt this country has, maybe YOU should fucking leave?

    You’ve been fun to toy with. Sorta like a cat with a string. But you’ve SHOWN that you’re NOT a TRUE American! Get ready pal because my enlistment contract to defend the Constitution had NO expiration date!

  5. Wow, you’re disabled and still a conservative? Talk about gullible. You just lost the right to speak to me. You’ve outright failed the IQ test. You actually believe that you, your family or whoever has to bust their ass covering your slack, our disabled veterans, the other people who have worked themselves until they were completely broken, those people don’t deserve to be taken care of?
    See, that’s hate. That’s hate springing from the abject fear that someone will call you a mooch, and the even greater fear that someone will think you are, but other people will get away with it. And it’s fucking stupid. We have social safety nets for exactly that reason. You think it shouldn’t be a right? Then LEAVE THIS COUNTRY. Your morals aren’t good enough to live here.

  6. “Bernie has never supported doing that, to my knowledge.”

    It’s called Google.

    “Until Bernie favors removing cannabis from Schedule 1, I’m afraid he can not be trusted any further than Clinton or Obama on the issue of cannabis.”

    Since I’ve now proven that he does favor rescheduling, I think you should edit in a note on this that you were exceedingly lazy and didn’t google Bernie’s marijuana record (which includes decriminalization when Rand Paul was in diapers and Bernie was mayor of Burlington).

  7. You actually ALREADY have the “RIGHT to Healthcare” in America. It’s FEDERAL LAW that EVERYONE that enters an Emergency room, MUST BE TREATED! They MUST be returned to a “Stable condition”. So you HAVE the RIGHT to Healthcare!

    YOU just don’t wanna have to PAY them for their services! That’s what it boils down to! You want FREE Healthcare! You just don’t wanna PAY anyone for anything. Why don’t you admit it!

  8. ROFLMAO! Look out! Your LIBERALNESS is starting to show!

    Whenever Liberals don’t have an argument, they start calling you names! 9 INSULTS in 1 paragraph! ROFLMAO! That’s GOT to be close to a record!

    I said they had quit teaching it when YOU went to school!

  9. So now I HATE you because I don’t wanna take care of YOU? Because I don’t think YOU have ANY right telling ANYONE in America, how much money they can make? I’m laughing so hard it’s unbelievable! Thanks JC, I really needed a laugh today. That’s NOT a FREE society. Don’t you have a Mother and Father?

    I wanted to point out that I found out you WERE right! I admit when I’m wrong! After research, I find that you are RIGHT about the fact that “Democratic Socialism has NOTHING to do with the takeover of anything”

    Because it involves the State running most EVERYTHING! When you STEAL someone else’s money, because YOU think they’ve made enough! That’s just not a FREE society! I ask you, exactly WTF do you think you are, telling a FREE man how much ??YOU think he should have? Where do you get off?

    The best description of what you call Democratic Socialism is that “NO matter how hard or long you work to build your business or to SAVE ??, you’ll NEVER get rich!

    However, no matter how much you fuck up, you’ll NEVER fail either!” You’ll always be taken care of! WOW! That’s the very definition of MEDIOCRITY at its best! Absolutely NO consequences for being a fuck up? But penalties if you’re successful? Yeah, I’d say that’ll promote a good economy!

    “Failure is the mother of ALL invention” WHY would ANYONE try to invent ANYTHING that would better mankind when if it works? The govt’s going to take 90% of MY inventions profits and give it to everyone else?

    Next, why would ANYONE with half a brain spend their OWN money to invent a new product knowing that IF it hits, the govt takes 90% of the profits for it? But, if they use their own money trying to invent an item, knowing that IF you FAIL (in which 99.9995% of EVERY invention ever made does) the govt’s not going to reimburse me, now will they? Don’t you think they should reimburse me if my invention fails? Using your logic, shouldn’t the govt then reimburse me 90% of the money I spent to TRY to better mankind? After all, they’re going to take 90% of the PROFITS, if it hits!

    The funny thing about all this is the fact that I’M probably more POOR than you EVER DREAMED of being! EVER❗I’ve been disabled for 23 years! But I STILL take responsibility for ME and my family! I’m not out there telling YOU that “I think you’ve made enough money! Everything you make from this point until Jan 1st, 2017, is to come to me”! That’s fine with you then? Right? Even though the amount of money, where I think you’ve made enough, and the rest should come to me and my friends. Is right now 10% of your TAKE HOME pay! You think you’d be living better than you are now, living off of 10% of what you now make! Put THAT in perspective. Put those numbers on PAPER, then get back to me with this utopian ??!

    Being as poor as I am, yet I STILL don’t think YOU owe me SHIT! Sure I may get a little envious that you’re living nicer than I am. Driving a newer car, etc… But that only makes me want to work harder, or be more creative, to allow my family to live nicer, one day. I don’t fault YOU for the situation I’m in! It’s not YOUR fault!

    Oh, I’m sorry I forgot… I’m full of HATE! I’m supposed to HATE you because, I don’t want YOU to have to take care of me and my family?

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