The time to vote for the next United States president is almost upon us. Many people have already announced they are running for president. One question many people are looking to see answered is where the candidates stand on legalization of marijuana. Here’s what we know.
Senator Cory Booker is an avid advocate for legalizing marijuana. He is one of the lead sponsors for the Marijuana Justice Act, which is a bill that would legalize the drug. It works towards reprimanding states that use marijuana laws in a discriminatory manner. He believes that small businesses and cannabis stores should be allowed to work together. He wants to create taxes on the drug along with government regulations. People who have been imprisoned for possessing or distributing drugs should also get lighter prison sentences, according to Booker.
Pete Buttigieg does not seem to have a particular stance on the marijuana issue. In fact, he believes it to be somewhat irrelevant to his candidacy and thinks it won't come up as an issue. He has, however, signed ordinances prohibiting the use of synthetic marijuana, which has caused several overdoses, seizures, and other health issues.
Julián Castro believed that the government is often too harsh on marijuana-related sentences and recreational users. He believes that the legalization should happen by vote.
John Delaney does not support full legalization of the drug. Delaney has supported several bills pertaining to marijuana. Such bills would remove the use of cannabidiol (CBD), protect safe marijuana users from federal interference, and protect medical users.
Tulsi Gabbard is one of the most avid spokespersons about legalization of marijuana. Gabbard created a bill that would fund research on the effects of marijuana if it were legalized. She is a big proponent for research and studies on marijuana and other drugs.
Kirsten Gillibrand has already made many efforts to legalize marijuana use. She has signed many forms to advance her stance. Gillibrand often speaks about the effects of drug war policies and how warped the justice system is in regards to drug crimes.
Kamala Harris, despite her past with the drug, did not always support marijuana legalization. She now believes in legalizing it. Harris even supports the idea that people with non-violent records of marijuana use should have their records cleared.
John Hickenlooper does not agree with nationally legalizing marijuana, but supports state legalization. Hickenlooper was opposed to reforming cannabis laws because of fears he had. He changed his mind when he saw other legalized states and that his fears were, indeed, not coming true.
Jay Inslee supports some cannabis laws that keep the laws out of the hands of the government. However, he has not created any bills in support of marijuana since he does not agree with the push to legalize it.
Amy Klobuchar does not believe in many of the stances her peers do when it comes to marijuana. Klobuchar believes in keeping the government out of meddling with states that have legalized marijuana. She agrees with the use of medical marijuana, but she separates herself from other Democrats regarding recreational use.
Bernie Sanders has been an outspoken advocate for marijuana reform. He was one of the first Senators to sign the bill that would end the prohibition of using cannabis. He agrees with Booker in that banks should work with cannabis businesses and make opening accounts easier. He has been pursuing the removal of marijuana from the controlled substance list since 2016.
Elizabeth Warren has been in favor of marijuana use since 2016. On that year, recreational use became legal in Massachusetts. In 2018, distribution to adults began. She is a supporter of the STATES Act, which separates government from states where the drug is used legally. She is in favor of the Marijuana Justice Act and the support of banks towards cannabis businesses. She believes that this system should be cash only to insure that the business is kept safe and well monitored.
Marianne Williamson’s main focus is on justice for those who were criminalized for using, distributing, or carrying marijuana. She believes there is a racial issue associated with cannabis, and that must end. She is a strong proponent for legalization of the drug.
Andrew Yang is not a fan of marijuana, but he believes it is a much safer drug than other options, such as opiates. He also believes that the current judicial system is too harsh on drug-related crime and jail sentences. He wants a change in justice, to provide regulations on marijuana, and form government taxation on purchasing it.
Donald J. Trump
President Donald Trump has continued to believe that legalization of the drug should be determined by states. There should not be federal interference.
William F. Weld
William F. Weld is such a fan of marijuana legalization that he and John Boehner, an advocate from Ohio, joined a pot company. He does not believe it should be classified as a class 1 narcotic. Weld also thinks people should be decriminalized if they were charged with a marijuana-related crime.
2020 brings many candidates to the platform. Most people agree that marijuana should be legalized on one level or another. It will be interesting to see what happens from here on out in terms of the cannabis issue. Do you agree with marijuana legalization? How will this affect your vote?
Alizah Acosta is a passionate writer from the cold corner of America, better known as the Northeast. She recently graduated from Clarks Summit University with a bachelors degree. She uses the experiences and skills she has acquired and puts them in her work. Writing is not just a career, but a form of communication and an art. Writing is about showing this art form in a conveying and meaningful way.