Bernie Sanders says he would legalize marijuana on his first day as president

click to enlarge Bernie Sanders' pro-pot stance gives "Feel the Bern" a new meaning. - Andrew Cline / Shutterstock.com
Andrew Cline / Shutterstock.com
Bernie Sanders' pro-pot stance gives "Feel the Bern" a new meaning.

In case you were wondering how big a role marijuana will play in the upcoming political season, take a look at Democratic 2020 candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders. Two days before the Iowa caucus, Sanders pledged to legalize marijuana by executive order on his first day in office if elected president.

“We will end the destructive war on drugs,” Sanders said at a rally in Cedar Rapids. “On my first day in office through executive order we will legalize marijuana in every state in this country.”

Sanders also called for equity in the new marijuana industry.

“We will move forward to expunge the records of those arrested for possession of marijuana,” he said. “And we will make certain that the legalized marijuana industry is not controlled by a handful of corporations, but that those people —the African-American community, the Latino community, the Native American community — those people who have suffered the most will get help in order to make money through a legalized marijuana industry.”

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, another 2020 contender, has said that attempting to legalize recreational marijuana "is perhaps the stupidest thing anybody has ever done."

“Last year, in 2017, 72,000 Americans OD’d (overdosed) on drugs," he said. "In 2018, more people than that are OD-ing on drugs, have OD’d on drugs, and today, incidentally, we are trying to legalize another addictive narcotic, which is perhaps the stupidest thing anybody has ever done." What Bloomberg must not understand is that nobody has ever died from a marijuana overdose.

Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden has said that he would not call for marijuana to be legalized without further studies.

The comments put Biden and Bloomberg out of step with much of the rest of the country. Michigan, along with 10 other states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana.

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Lee DeVito

Leyland “Lee” DeVito is the editor in chief of Detroit Metro Times since 2016. His writing has also been published in CREEM, VICE, In These Times, and New City. He once asked porn star Stormy Daniels to spank him with an issue of Metro Times. She obliged.

Larry Gabriel

Larry Gabriel covers cannabis for Metro Times. He also writes the Detroit Watch in the monthly Michigan Cannabis Industries Report. Larry's chapter "Rebirth of Tribe" in the book Heaven Was Detroit, from jazz to hip-hop and beyond chronicles the involvement of Marcus Belgrave, Wendell Harrison, Harold McKinney,...
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