Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has previously suggested he would end prohibition of marijuana. should he be elected. At a rally in Puerto Rico on Monday, Sanders answered an audience’s question: “Would you legalize marijuana?”
He responded in the affirmative: “Si. You see, my Spanish is good enough to know that word.”
Sanders has been clear on his position regarding the Controlled Substances Act, which ranks cannabis in the same category as heroin. He reiterated this to the crowd in Puerto Rico.
“We’ve got marijuana and heroin together, that’s pretty crazy to my mind,” he said.
His views on the failings of the War on Drugs have also been voiced in October 2015.
In the United States we have 2.2 million people in jail today, more than any other country. And we’re spending about $80 billion a year to lock people up. We need major changes in our criminal justice system – including changes in drug laws.”
Presidential candidates running for office in 2016 have been more vocal about cannabis legalization than ever before, regardless of their position.
Hillary Clinton has stated she would consider rescheduling marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule II substance, but seems to think no research has been done on the benefits of cannabis, despite plenty of evidence indicating otherwise. She may be unaware that significant research is being conducted in other countries.
“…the problem with medical marijuana is there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence about how well it works for certain conditions, but we haven’t done any research. Why? Because it’s considered what’s called a Schedule I drug and you can’t even do research in it.”
“I know people that have serious problems… and… it really, really does help them,”
he said to Bill O’Reilly.
Sanders is an example of the growing support for cannabis legalization that has nothing to do with personal use and more to do with public safety, public health and the mass incarceration of U.S. citizens for minor drug crimes.