Sep 102015
 September 10, 2015

bernie sanders marijuanaThe 2016 Election is in full swing, even though it’s still 2015. The stakes are high, and whoever is elected President of the United States in 2016 is going to largely affect the direction that cannabis policy in America goes from then onward. 2016 will be a crucial time for cannabis reform. There have been a lot of cannabis victories this decade, and a marijuana friendly President would only help to increase the marijuana movement’s momentum. A President like Chris Christie would set the movement back quite a bit.

There are a lot of candidates this election cycle for President. On the GOP side, Donald Trump seems to be getting the most attention, although there are still a ton of people in the race. For the most part on the Democrat side things have widdled down to three names – Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden. Although, Joe Biden doesn’t seem to be getting much traction, and still seems to be in an ‘exploratory phase’ of his candidacy.

Traditionally, cannabis consumers tend to favor Democrats. No, that does not mean all of the time, so if you are a non-Democrat and consume cannabis, calm down, I’m just pointing out the math. For me, I have never liked Hillary Clinton from a purely cannabis policy standpoint. I have always felt that she is ultimately against cannabis, but realizes that appearing to be neutral on the issue is good for her political career, so she uses classic tactics to make it appear like she’s semi-sympathetic to cannabis. I wrote an article about it last year that you can read if you like.

I don’t know of one cannabis consumer that is voting for Hillary. That’s not to say that they aren’t out there (again, don’t freak out), but I know A LOT of cannabis consumers all over the country, and not one of them is expressing support for Hillary. Maybe they are closet Hillary fans and plan on voting for her on the down low, but they definitely don’t talk about her publicly. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, seems to be really popular among my cannabis consuming friends and colleagues, and that level of popularity is growing everyday.

Has Bernie Sanders specifically came out in support of marijuana legalization? No. But he has came out publicly with his support for reforming things that overlap with cannabis reform, specifically with prison reform and other criminal justice reforms. He has also made many comments about the deficiencies of marijuana prohibition in general, and has hinted at a marijuana platform that will be announced in the near future. Per The Hill:

“I can tell you very few people were arrested for smoking marijuana [when I was mayor],” Sanders said. “Our police had more important things to do.”

Sanders, a self-described Socialist who is running for the Democratic nomination, said he supports decriminalizing recreational marijuana in Vermont, and is watching the situation in Colorado “very closely.”

Colorado was one of the first states to legalize both recreational and medical marijuana.

“Colorado has led the effort toward legalizing marijuana and I’m going to watch very closely to see the pluses and minuses of what they have done,” Sanders said. “I will have more to say about this issue within the coming months.”

I have felt that Bernie Sanders definitely wants to end marijuana prohibition, but that he is laying the groundwork for such an announcement of support. If he came out and simply said ‘yes, legalize it,’ he would be disregarded as a ‘crazy liberal’ and that of course he wants to legalize marijuana, and it wouldn’t go anywhere. But if he comes out and says he wants to support prison reforms, that he wants to support other criminal justice reforms, that he wants to address racial issues in America, and a bunch of other planks that make up a larger platform, he will develop a more constructive conversation. Then, after he can get the discussion on the right path, then he comes out with full support for legalization. If he does it that way, I think he will be taken more seriously by non-cannabis consumers, and even some cannabis opponents.

I think that’s why ultimately so many cannabis advocates are expressing their support for Bernie Sanders. There is still a lot of time between now and Election Day 2016, or for that matter even between today and the primaries, but so far Bernie Sanders seems to be winning the hearts and minds of cannabis consumers in a way that I have never seen before. My buddy Kaliko wrote a very compelling article about Bernie Sanders, and why all cannabis advocates should support him. You can read that article at this link here.

What do cannabis reformers think? Do you plan on voting for Bernie Sanders? Why or why not? Do you plan on voting for someone else? Why or why not?

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  27 Responses to “More And More Cannabis Advocates Express Support For Bernie Sanders”

  1.  

    Bernie Sanders doesnt support private property rights. He wants to turn America into a Socialist Communist Marxist dicktatership where the government decides what everyone eats and whether you live or die. All the so called “gangapreneurs” would be shut down if hes elected.

    •  

      Simply put, that is a load of bullshit.

      •  

        While Rick Meyers’ post was certainly more reflective and nuanced that yours, I think you pretty much captured all that needed to be said to the “crazy uncle”.

    •  

      skoalllo you should learn a little about your subject matter before you go online with uniformed comments. Bernie Sanders absolutely believes in private property rights, he has a long record in the Congress to back everything he stands for. There some in the media who make a big deal out the fact that he describes himself as a democratic socialist. They like to say he is Socialist, as if that is somehow un American. Perhaps you have heard of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He is credited with bringing America out of the Great Depression with many socialist programs such as the WPA which created millions of jobs rebuilding America’s infrastructure. Bernie Sanders favors a very similar program right now to help create millions of jobs rebuilding our infrastructure. Not one of Bernie’s proposals threatens private property rights in any way. He does advocate requiring Wall Street and the billionaire class to pay their fair share of taxes in order to finance some of his proposals. Bernie supports expanding social security, (another “socialist” idea) and most of all he supports stopping the huge tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires and returning America to all the people, not just the billionaires who, by the way own every other candidate. Bernie is proud of the fact that he does not accept contributions from any super pacs like every other candidate. If you love having billionaires in control of your government, then you should definitely not support Sanders as he is the only candidate advocating returning America to a government of the people, by the people and for the people, (another one of those scary socialist ideas) rather than the system we have now which is a Government of billionaires, by billionaires and for billionaires . (oligarchy).

  2.  

    Now before ya’ll get fired up about the DFH commie bastard Bernie Sanders who’s going to take your land and nationalize your industry, please go look up the difference between the Totalitarian Socialsim and the democratic socialism. One is authoritarian, the other not so much…

    And while we’re at it, take a look at this article in that paragon of Capitalism, Forbes Magazine.

    Forbe’s “Best Countries for Business” list includes these Socialist Democracies:

    1 Denmark
    3 New Zealand
    5 Sweeden
    6 Canada
    7 Norway
    10 Finland
    11 Netherlands
    12 Belgium

    Commie bastards.

    (US: 18th)

    http://www.forbes.com/best-countries-for-business/list/

    •  

      All of those countries listed have more than two political parties sharing power, even Canada. America is not democratic.

      For example, Illinois, where a totalitarian, Michael Madigan, is Chair of the state Democrats and Speaker of the House for more than 40 years now. His daughter, Lisa Madigan, is the Attorney General, the top legal official in the state. Democrats have controlled both the House ans Senate since 2002 with enough members to over-ride any veto by any Governor.

      For a quarter of a century, 25 years, not even a single independent candidate was able to get on the ballot for the state assembly. The so-called Democrats made it almost impossible for independents and other candidates to get on the ballot with the worst ballot access laws of any democracy IN THE WORLD.

      Of all the democracies in the world there are only two countries where all of the political power are held by only two parties, the United States and Nigeria. Every other democracy in the world shares political power among more than two political parties.

      Socialism, where centralized governments are given more and more and more power over the freedoms of its citizens, is especially dangerous where totalitarians, like the Democrat Michael Madigan in Illinois, are allowed to gain and stay in power for long periods of time because of election laws that thwart any political competition. See Cuba and Venezuela for the extreme bad that can happen when power hungry socialists have control over elections, and yes, those two countries do have elections.

      Only one of those “democratic socialist” countries you have listed legally allow their citizens the freedom to use cannabis, the Netherlands. Its technically illegal there, but they don’t enforce the laws on the books and allow a market for cannabis.

      If democratic socialism is so wonderful, why don’t any of them allow their citizens the freedom to use cannabis?

      Also, if you combine all the countries you have listed, they still don’t amount to the total population of the United States. Those countries are more similar in size to some of our individual states. Centralizing all political power into our federal government is a much different animal to pull off than it is in any of the countries you list. See China and Russia for the extreme bad that can happen when centralized political power is used over enormous population bases.

      Just a few counter points to the idea that democratic socialism is a good thing and something we should embrace in this country. We do have a process to amend the Constitution in this country, which is the only moral and legal way for democratic socialism to replace some of the individual freedoms that we are suppose to have in this country. The US is far, far, far from perfect, but that does not necessarily mean it would get better if we just gave the two political parties even more governmental power over our freedoms. Food for thought.

      •  

        ” America is not democratic.”

        Honestly, if you’re some Glibertarian here to tell me how there’s no difference between parties that have Bernie Sanders on one hand and Mike “I don’t understand how the Supreme Court Works” Huckabee on the other, then spare me.

        Really. I just don’t have the time for yet another guy who thinks voting Glibertarian makes him special.

        ” a totalitarian, Michael Madigan”

        You have no idea what totalitarian means.

        Ask Stalin. Or the people he killed.

        “not even a single independent candidate was able to get on the ballot for the state assembly”

        Oh, Boo f’ing hoo. If I had a parliamentary system, I’d vote Green Party. Wah. Bernie Sanders is a life long independent running for the first time as a Democrat.

        “worst ballot access laws of any democracy IN THE WORLD”

        CHANGE THEM! It’s still a democracy. You just admitted it. Despit the fact htat the Chair of the Democratic party (not elected by the public) is, according to you, a totalitarian.

        You know, like Stalin.

        “Every other democracy in the world shares political power among more than two political parties.”

        AGAIN: I know local elections where Green party wins. I know state elections where Independents get elected often. Angus King, Bernie Sander… Next door you had a wrestler get elected.

        “Socialism, where centralized governments are given more and more and more power over the freedoms of its citizens”

        Dude, honestly, if you don’t know that leftists can be authoritarian or libertarian. Up there in the left authoritarians, we have Stalin.

        On the lower left, or libertarian leftists, we have Ghandi.

        Strong social safety net and markets that are kept both free and fair through adequate regulation.

        Leftist libertarians, like Bernie Sanders, are against the Patriot act. They prefer to keep Uncle Sam out of our bedrooms, Dr’s offices, and uteri. They vote against the drug war.

        “why don’t any of them allow their citizens the freedom to use cannabis”

        Democracy is a slow process. Takes a while to convince people to vote for the people who will do what you want.

        But things are looking up, and if you’d care to see for yourself, I invite you to read, and update if you feel inclined, the Wikipedia page on marijuana legality around the world.

        I’m not even going to bother with the rest of your food for thought, which is just so much more babble from someone who was “taught” bullshit and doesn’t care to learn how wrong they are.

        •  

          “Honestly, if you’re some Glibertarian here to tell me how there’s no difference between parties…”

          Isn’t that exactly what you believe when you said all the other candidates are controlled by the rich? Using the term,”Glibertarian” is childish, and well, glib in its own right. Bully for you.

          “Really. I just don’t have the time for yet another guy who thinks voting Glibertarian makes him special.”

          Straw man. I never said anything about voting “Glibertarian” and said nothing about me being special. When you put words in other people’s mouths, that is a straw man argument and shows that you believe you are special, exactly what you are accusing someone else of being.

          “Oh, Boo f’ing hoo. If I had a parliamentary system, I’d vote Green
          Party. Wah. Bernie Sanders is a life long independent running for the
          first time as a Democrat.”

          That “Boo f’ing hoo” attitude is exactly why it is next to impossible to change election laws that thwart democracy and centralize power into two parties. One could assume since you care so little about democratic elections with that “Boo f’ing hoo” attitude, that you are more of a straight socialist than a democratic socialist. A democratic socialist should care that two parties make it impossible for competition to get on the ballot. I have voted Green Party candidates the few times they were able to get on the ballot in my area, and worked on a Green Party candidate’s campaign for Governor. Ralph Nader called me several times personally to ask me to come work for his campaign in 2004.

          I applaud Bernie Sander’s career and am not entirely opposed to him, but he is not a lifelong independent although he has been for most of it, granted. Bernie knows if he wants to win he has to run as a Democrat because of our antiquated election system, and he has said so many times. Bernie has often talked about our unfair election laws, very similar to the things I just said. So do you opposed Bernie Sanders now because we have the exact same thoughts about our election process? Bernie would never say “Boo f’ing hoo” about our election laws as you have just done. You are not doing him any favors there.

          “Dude, honestly, if you don’t know that leftists can be authoritarian or
          libertarian. Up there in the left authoritarians, we have Stalin.”

          Another straw man argument. I said no such thing leftists, you are just assuming that. Another point to make here is that not all totalitarians are responsible for mass murder. Just because Madigan hasn’t gone crazy with government guns, doesn’t mean he hasn’t systematically locked up minorities in cages for drugs and guns or pushed laws that make political competition all but impossible. I do know the definition of totalitarian, and it is not always as extreme as you want to portray it.

          “I’m not even going to bother with the rest of your food for thought,
          which is just so much more babble from someone who was “taught” bullshit
          and doesn’t care to learn how wrong they are.”

          And this will be my last interaction with you and I would advise others to do the same if you are going to treat them the same way. I supplied nothing but facts to back up my opinions (right or wrong) without any personal attacks, name calling, straw man arguments, or assumptions.

          “…someone who was “taught” bullshit and doesn’t care to learn how wrong they are.”

          How do you know what I was taught and how can you possibly assume I don’t care to learn anything? I haven’t decided yet if I will vote for and work to help elect Bernie Sanders. I expect I will get a call to work on Bernie’s campaign just like I did from Ralph Nader. If I find that you are similar to his other supporters I will not be supporting him.

        •  

          Oligarchy— Definition
          noun, plural oligarchies.
          1.
          a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.
          2.
          a state or organization so ruled.
          3.
          the persons or class so ruling.
          Look around you today. We have all of the elite stuffing the politicians pockets full of cash, running their campaigns and in turn writing the laws by which we are governed. This is the system that we now see establishing itself in America today. Thanks to the Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United the country is no longer the democracy it was intended to be. The founding fathers did not say “Of the corporations, For the corporations, By the corporations” did they? Think about it. You decide. IS this what you REALLY want America to be? Are you a Millionaire in waiting? Or one of us?…The 99% who are no longer being represented by our current system of government? Until Citizens United is overturned this is what America is functioning as. Only one candidate is vowing to undo this unconstitutional ruling. This is WHY people are flocking to the Sanders campaign. Not just democrats but all the independents, Disenfranchised and even educated Republicans as well. I am not going to Bash any candidate but I want you all to think hard about what you are asking the rest of America to accept.

          •  

            You people crack me up. You think I don’t know what an oligarchy is? Try plutocracy. Or kleptocracy.

            ” I want you all to think hard about what you are asking the rest of America to accept.”

            And I want you to stop attributing to me what shouldn’t be. I’ve spent my life thinking about this. I hate Citizens United. I hate the Patriot Act. I hate the drug war. That’s why I’m voting for Sanders in the primary. He supports overturning CU. He voted against the Patriot Act every time, as did a large majority of Democrats and a very small minority of Republicans.

            But here’s the deal, Dave. Bernie is HIGHLY UNLIKELY to be the nominee. What is likely, and actually happening, is that his presence in the race is pushing Hillary to the left. She is saying she would like to see CU overturned. She is saying she would appoint justices who would protect our rights and stop giving Billionaires special rights. She’s no Bernie, but I guarantee you she is MUCH MUCH BETTER on the issues I care about–which apparently you also care about–that ANY REPUBLICAN.

            ANY REPUBLICAN?

            You got that?

            I am the 99%. And I’m going to vote strategically to keep the authoritarian Hippie punchers and war mongers in the GOP from ever having a chance to screw things up as badly as GW Bush and Dick Cheney did.

  3.  

    I’m voting for him if he’s in the general election.

  4.  

    You need an editor, Johnny Green. “There are a lot . . .” and “there have been a lot . . .” and a lot of others need a lot of work.

  5.  

    I really hope that Hillary comes around on the marijuana issue. I like Bernie Sanders, and would vote for him if he became the nominee, but right now I really want a president that I know will get shit done. Cannabis is a very important issue to me, but there are so many other things that currently need to be addressed. The Clintons are tried and true, and their political muscle is unquestioned. If Sanders comes out strongly in favor of marijuana legalization, I may change my tune.

    •  

      At this point I would settle for a candidate that stands for ending The (failed) War on Drugs/The War on Non-Violent Americans…every day that American citizens are jailed for cannabis is another day that I feel America is broken…some say “No We Won’t”, I say, “Yes We Can-nabis!”

    •  

      What exactly do you believe Hillary will accomplish that is for us that Bernie will not?

    •  

      It’s neither of these two given their past records.

    •  

      Get shit done? You do realize that Bernie was highly instrumental in not only getting the increased VA funding bill pushed through last year but also worked hard getting bill passed that upgraded all the military humvee’s to armored vehicles in Iraq when they were losing 4 men every 8 hours to IED’s? This after standing vehemently against the war in the first place? Or helping broker the ACA. Or the billions of dollars he had added to the ACA to expand community care clinics funding. Its hard to get stuff done as an Independant but his involvement with the DNC in the Senate has accomplished a lot of good in amendments for the common good of people. On the Hill he is often been referred to as the king of the amendment. No sorry the world over the people are waking up to the plutocracy and if you can’t see you are living as a serf in an oligarchy yet? Let me explain it to you.

      Oligarchy— Definition

      noun, plural oligarchies.
      1.
      a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.
      2.
      a state or organization so ruled.
      3.
      the persons or class so ruling.
      Look around you today. We have all of the elite stuffing the politicians pockets full of cash, running their campaigns and in turn writing the laws by which we are governed. This is the system that we now see establishing itself in America today. Thanks to the Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United the country is no longer the democracy it was intended to be. The founding fathers did not say “Of the corporations, For the corporations, By the corporations” did they? Think about it. You decide. IS this what you REALLY want America to be? Are you a Millionaire in waiting? Or one of us?…The 99% who are no longer being represented by our current system of government? Until Citizens United is overturned this is what America is functioning as. Only one candidate is vowing to undo this unconstitutional ruling. This is WHY people are flocking to the Sanders campaign. Not just democrats but all the independents, Disenfranchised and even educated Republicans as well. I am not going to Bash any candidate but I want you all to think hard about what you are asking the rest of America to accept.

    •  

      Look, in the nineties, this country was in the grasp of the so-called “Reagan revolution”, and Bill Clinton was as far to the left as we could reasonably expect to elect, and even then, it took Ross Perot running to hand him the election. Today, the conservative swing in this country has peaked. We’re now in their version of the seventies, and the conservative movement has just about run it’s course (this time; it’ll be back). There is no possible reason to settle for someone as right wing as Hillary Clinton. We don’t have to do that now.

  6.  

    I expect that some of the candidates, from both sides of the aisle, will take a clearer position on marijuana in the next few months. Marijuana reform is polling at all time highs, and as election day 2016 approaches more of the field should move towards the “sleeper” issue that draws young people, minorities, and “progressives”. I guess I will have to wait and see if I am correct, but much like those that supported gay rights, I want my damn marijuana march!!!(lol)…The LGBT community has had many, the African American community had “The Million Man March”…Why can’t the most inclusive community have one? “The 5 Kilometer Cannabis Crawl”… “The Several Thousand Smoker Stumble”…or simply “Walk 4 Weed”…Who doesn’t like a good parade? I say this not to be facetious, but we know an issue reaches massive support when a March is organized. So give me my damn March already…almost a hundred years of prohibition is almost a hundred hears too many….Free The Weed!!!

  7.  

    Sanders/Warren 2016 !

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