Bernie Sanders sent a tweet on Thursday unveiling his comprehensive plans to legalize marijuana and “combat the destructive war on drugs.” Unironically, he made the tweet at EXACTLY 4:20 p.m., an obvious nod to the widely recognized weed day.
Marijuana use recreationally is now legal in 11 states as well as Washington D.C., but recreational smoking remains illegals at the federal level. It’s no secret that Sanders is all for the legalization of the plant, and he is now vowing to legalize it within 100 days via executive action, followed by a push for legislation that would ensure permanent legalization or marijuana.
On Bernie’s website, the statement reads, “while Congress must aggressively move to end the war on drugs and undo its damage, as president Bernie will not wait for Congress to act.”
It’s widely known the war on drugs has decimated entire communities, specifically communities of color, in an effort to remedy this, Sanders plans to expunge marijuana-related convictions on both the state and federal level, and ensure that revenue from legal cannabis industry is reinvested in communities hit hardest by the War on Drug.” Sanders plans to do this by creating a $20 billion grant program for people of color entrepreneurs who face discrimination in access to capital.
This is clearly the most ambitious legalization of marijuana plan we have seen to date. Other presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Beto O’Rourke have both promised to use executive action to deschedule marijuana, however, the promise from Sanders’ to do so within the first 100 days is incredibly unique, and certainly a first says Violet Cavendish, spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project.
“With the exception of Joe Biden, all of the leading Democratic candidates for President support legalizing marijuana,” Cavendish told Rolling Stone. “Bernie Sanders has set himself apart from the field by proposing the most detailed plan we’ve seen from any candidate during this primary campaign.”
Sanders’ proposal is unique in that it takes a serious long term approach to the cannabis marketplace and ensures that small businesses will get a piece of the larger pie. It also assures that communities that were ravaged by the War on Drugs are benefiting from what’s now legal, that led to the devastation years ago.