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Bernie Sanders Proposes De-Scheduling Marijuana

bernie sanders marijuana

(image via Wikipedia)

Today news broke that Democratic Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders plans to announce his proposal to remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances according to a recent report from the Washington Post.  He plans on making his announcement during an event being held at George Mason University aimed at addressing a myriad of issues that are of concern to college students. If you are catching this story before 4pm PST, you can stream the event here.

Per WaPo:

“The time is long overdue for us to take marijuana off the federal government’s list of outlawed drugs,” he said in prepared remarks given to the Post by his campaign. ”In my view, states should have the right to regulate marijuana the same way that state and local laws now govern sales of alcohol and tobacco.”

In the words of Vice-President Joe Biden, “This is a big fucking deal”.

During his stump speeches, Sanders has routinely talked about the idiocy of policing young people who smoke marijuana, while the Wall Street bankers that destroyed our economy walk free. His tweets on the subject have been retweeted thousands of times.


In the first Democratic primary debate, Bernie came out and said that if he were living in Nevada that he would vote for legalization in 2016, which caused his top rival Hillary Clinton to come out the next day and say that she favored allowing states to experiment with legalization without interference from the federal government. Bernie was also recently asked about legalization on Jimmy Kimmel Live where he said, “”We have more people in jail today than any other country on earth…We have large numbers of lives that have been destroyed because of this war on drugs, and because people were caught smoking marijuana and so forth. I think we have got to end the war on drugs.”

The importance of Bernie evolving to take the position of de-scheduling is huge for a few reasons.

1) No other Presidential candidate has gone as far as to say that marijuana shouldn’t be regulated by the federal government at all. 2) It is the Controlled Substances Act and the nature of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug  that has allowed for federal prohibition to exist, and is for the most part the foundation of state level prohibition. 3) Without marijuana being a controlled substance the cannabis industry would be able to gain access to banking and tax equity just like any other business. This would open up the flood gates of opportunity, allowing the cannabis industry access to much needed capital, and allowing investors a piece of mind that they can start to legally get involved with the industry. 4) It would lift restrictions on marijuana research, allowing science and innovation to help lead the way to medical research revolutions in areas focusing on PTSD, Alzheimers, Seizures, Autism, among many other conditions that we have anecdotal evidence that cannabis can help.

Simply put, de-scheduling of cannabis is what every marijuana reformer has dreamed of as our perfect scenario. Two of the most important policy goals at the federal level for the marijuana reform movement over the last few years has been to get cannabis businesses access to banking and tax equity. Sanders’ forthcoming proposal would allow for this to happen. De-scheduling would be huge for aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs, and would finally end the insane idea that the federal government should be spending any resources policing a plant that is objectively safer than alcohol.

After months of anticipation, Sanders announcement today solidifies that he is the candidate marijuana reformers should be supporting. His campaign has even started an official petition to let states make marijuana legal, which you can sign here.

“Someone in the United States is arrested every minute on marijuana charges. Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use. That’s wrong. That has got to change.

Bernie favors removing marijuana from the list of controlled substances regulated by federal law. Under Bernie’s proposal, people in states which legalize marijuana no longer would be subject to federal prosecution for using pot. Owners of stores that sell marijuana could fully participate in the banking system, like any other business.

States which want to regulate marijuana would remain free to do so the same way local laws now govern sales of alcohol and tobacco. Bernie would continue to allow federal law enforcement officials to arrest and prosecute drug dealers for trafficking in marijuana sales.

Add your name to stand with Bernie to let states make marijuana legal.”

If you haven’t already, you should sign this petition and send some money to BernieSanders.com to thank him for his support of de-scheduling marijuana!


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  1. Nothing wrong with being skeptical at all!
    In fact, it’s good to be skeptical of any and every presidential candidate.

    I was just pointing out that there is little to no chance that Bernie Sanders would pander on anything.
    It’s not his style.

  2. I got ya bruh! I understand exactly what you’re saying! But there’s nothing wrong with me being skeptical either though!

  3. Don’t worry, I’m totally up on the conversation.
    In fact, I should’ve been more clear about the fact I was attempting to bring this to your attention, while figuring you had probably already seen it, since you last commented here.

    His reasoning for pursuing descheduling legislation now, instead of 20 years ago, is probably a matter of where America stands on the topic.
    Had he presented it 10 years ago, it would have no chance whatsoever… now that public opinion has tipped the 50% mark, it would have a chance.

    Maybe it’s partially due to running for president, but I don’t believe it’s something he is doing just for the candidacy… something he doesn’t believe in, but is wagging the dog for votes.
    I think Hillary does that on a few things, but Bernie has decades of staying true to his core beliefs that lend me to believe it’s not his style.

  4. Stay up with the conversation please. Look at when I said what I did! It was BEFORE he came out with this bill. So I wasn’t wrong! Which I STILL say is pandering! 72 yrs old, and he’s just NOW getting around to this? WTF was he, for the decades he’s been in office?

    If he were 40-55 yrs old, I could understand such a drastic change in heart. Because they’ve grown up KNOWING it doesn’t cause White women to wanna sleep with Black men. Nor does it make Mexicans RAPE white women. People don’t believe they can defy gravity after its use! But at 72? He’s much closer to DEATH than he is his birth! Which begs the question… Where were you in the 60’s Bernie? Didn’t you know all this THEN?

    When you’ve never done it in your career, yet now you’re running for President, and at 72 yrs old, you all of a SUDDEN, want it legalized? That makes me suspicious!

    He’s absolutely RIGHT in what he’s asking for! I’m not faulting him for that. I’d say the SAME thing though if it were one of the Republicans, who had NEVER supported it before. The timing just seems AWFULLY CONVENIENT! Doesn’t it seem suspicious to you?

    People have been going to jail for this since 1937! About the SAME amount of time Bernie’s been in Congress! (said tongue in cheek, so you don’t call me a liar) So, I’d be AWFULLY suspicious if I were you.

    Other than the obvious, I’d really LOVE to know his reasoning for legalization! What WAS it, that all of a sudden clicked in his mind, and made him say VOILA… “prohibition of marijuana is wrong”! THAT’S the $64K question, right there!

  5. Closet Warrior on

    I am for rescheduling as to help w/research and the existing businesses would be able to bank like normal citezins. I am passionate about mmj but recreational would not bother me in the least as long as poor counties in every state reaped the benefits as well. If all else fails-throw a few seeds in the ground and watch your rights sprout and grow as they should. Personally, I feel everyone has the right to grow freedom within the confines of your personal property that you pay federal taxes on.Let It Grow, Let it Grow, Let it Grow!!!

  6. You make a good point, one that I believe will apply to an increasing number of politicians in the next few years. Politicians are accustomed to hiding their own youthful indiscretions, while claiming to support laws they may not believe in.
    Now that public opinion favors drug policy reform, political positions will shift.
    Wether you support Bernie or not, this announcement is great news. This opens the door for serious discussion on ending prohibition.

  7. That’ll ultimately be up to what federal policy decides after the changes are made, so it’s difficult to say.

    They need to completely end the discrimination against it. They pretend like it’s fine to consider it a risk for security or military positions, as if using it instantly makes you a terrible criminal.

    I’ve personally heard this argument.

    You know, if you’re in the military/police, and you get high while off duty and you suddenly get called to duty, you could be high! (Which, I suppose, means you’ll laugh and continue to sit on the couch eating while saying “Chillax, dude. Here, come hit this”)

    I responded that you could be legally drunk, which happens to be a favorite pastime of many of our soldiers, and face the same situation, but more likely be much more inebriated. They changed the subject.

  8. depends. if there are no federal restrictions and your state has an mmj system, it could be held that the employer cannot prohibit the employees medicine.

  9. That’s fair! I understand that. But again Rand Paul WALKS the WALK! He’s actually DONE what these people are now talking about. I mean, if you’re 74 years old and just NOW, come out in favor of legalization? I’m sorry, I think that’s pandering!

    Now if it were someone like Marco Rubio (44) (JUST an example) who changed his mind and now favors legalization. I’d believe THAT, before I will a guy who’s 74 and just NOW comes out in favor of legalization.

    Really Bernie? WTF ya been bruh? It’s not like this’s a NEW issue! You’ve supported the FAILED War on Drugs for MANY years in the “Congress”. Now at 74, you have an epiphany? cough… cough… Bullshit!

  10. What if you work for a federal agency like police/fire/sanitation in a state that has legalized marijuana after/if/when it’s removed from the list. Will a federal agency be able to test for what ever they want?

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