Oct 292015
 October 29, 2015

bernie sanders marijuanaMarijuana legalization may have gotten it’s biggest endorsement yet Wednesday night when Senator Bernie Sanders came out in favor of ending the federal prohibition of marijuana while speaking at a town hall on the campus of George Mason University. The town hall was also broadcast to 250 student meetings across the country as a part of the Sanders campaign’s “Students for Bernie” online event.

His speech thoughtfully laid out the reasons why marijuana prohibition has failed, including how blacks are almost four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana as whites, while using at roughly the same rates.

Sanders started out his remarks by citing a statistics from the FBI that recently revealed that there is a marijuana related arrest every minute in the U.S.. He went on to cite a study by the ACLU that concluded that over 8 million arrests were made for marijuana from 2001 to 2010, with over 90% being made for possession.

Senator Sanders also brought attention to the fact that the federal government currently treats marijuana as if it is more dangerous than heroin, saying that it is “absurd”. According to BernieSanders.com under the Senator’s proposal ”people in states which legalize marijuana no longer would be subject to federal prosecution for using pot.”, and “owners of stores that sell marijuana could fully participate in the banking system, like any other business.”

Watch his remarks on marijuana below:

History was made last night when for the first time ever a Presidential candidate came out in favor of removing cannabis from the list of controlled substances. If marijuana reform advocates had any doubt in their mind who they should be supporting in 2016, it was made clear last night. For decades marijuana reformers have been fighting to be taken seriously in the national political arena, and last night Bernie Sanders elevated our issue to a level it has never been before.

I sure hope that marijuana reform organizations and cannabis businesses from across the country begin to organize to help Bernie Sanders’ campaign for President. With half a dozen states looking to legalize next year and with a mainstream Presidential candidate backing our issue, 2016 could be marijuana legalization’s tipping point. For those who haven’t already, I think now is the time for marijuana reform movement to get behind Bernie Sanders for President. The beltway pundits think that Clinton is a shoe-in for the nomination, but I think that if the marijuana community were to throw its support behind Bernie’s campaign, that we could seriously affect the outcome of the Democratic primary. If we started raising money for Bernie and using our networks (and our media outlets) to organize on his behalf, including volunteering to call voters in the early primary states, I can envision a scenario where the marijuana community is credited with helping Bernie win the nomination.

Each election cycle the marijuana vote continues to grow stronger, but aside from having more votes cast for legalization in Colorado than for Obama during his reelection, we have yet to see what we can do at the national level. Now that we are being taken seriously, how are we going to help steer the conversation?

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About Kaliko Castille

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  3 Responses to “Bernie Sanders Says “Let States Make Marijuana Legal” (Video)”

  1.  

    Bernie Sander’s advocacy for ending federal prohibition against cannabis is a bold and unprecedented for a national politician. Not merely rescheduling (which would not end prohibition), but actually removing it from the Controlled Substances List.

    Ending federal prohibition of cannabis would have long term transformative ramifications that go way beyond just ending criminal prosecution of those who grow and consume cannabis. It would begin to undermine the death-dealing strangle hold corporate (Big Pharma, Fossil fuels etc.) powers have on us that has severely damaged the health and well being of humans and of the living planet in general.

    It would begin to heal broken human societies that are plagued by fear and distrust of their fellows that has most of us descending into a dog-eat-dog dynamic while the powerful sociopathic elite grow wealthier and more powerful at our expense. This is the fear that most Republicans capitalize on to gain votes.

    Free the healing herb; and we and the living Earth will be liberated and healed in astonishing and new ways.

  2.  

    Behind you 100%, Kaliko! The time has come for us to mobilize around the first VIABLE presidential candidate to endorse full legalization. (Folks, I know some of you have mentioned Libertarian and Green Party nominees, but let’s be real, those parties have never gotten above a few percent of the vote in a presidential election.) If we can put Bernie in the White House on a campaign of legalization (it’s never been more than a side issue previously) then that will represent a mandate for change, even if the Republicans continue to control Congress.
    Federal descheduling is the holy grail, the nail in the heart in cannabis prohibition that would cement our current victories and give us the momentum to allow safe access in all 50 states. We’d be fools not to throw whatever we can behind the guy who can take us there.

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