Bernie Sanders Is First Major-Party Presidential Candidate to Express Support for Legalizing and Regulating Marijuana for Adult Use
During Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate in Nevada, Sanders said he would vote ‘Yes’ on the initiative to regulate and tax marijuana that is set to appear on that state’s ballot next year
Hillary Clinton said she still has not taken a position on whether marijuana should be legal and regulated for adult use; Chafee, O’Malley, and Webb were not given a chance to address the issue
[Press Release] Las Vegas — During Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders became the first-ever major-party presidential candidate to express support for legalizing and regulating marijuana for adult use. When asked how he would vote on an initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol that is set to appear on Nevada’s ballot in 2016, Sen. Sanders said he would vote “yes.”
Hillary Clinton was asked if she has taken a position on such proposals now that it has been a year since she said she wanted to wait to see what happens in Colorado and Washington. She said she supports laws that allow legal access to medical marijuana but still does not have a position on whether it should be legalized and regulated for adult use.
The other three candidates in the debate, Lincoln Chafee, Martin O’Malley, and Jim Webb, were not given the opportunity to answer questions regarding marijuana policy.
The Marijuana Policy Project is tracking the positions of all of the 2016 major-party presidential candidates at http://www.mpp.org/president.
Statement from Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project:
“This marks the first time a major-party presidential candidate has clearly expressed support for ending marijuana prohibition and regulating marijuana like alcohol. The people have typically led the politicians on this issue, and finally we’re seeing a presidential candidate who appears to have caught up with them.
“Marijuana is far safer than alcohol for the consumer and society, and it should not be controversial to support treating it that way. Politicians are evolving on this issue, and Sen. Sanders is the first presidential candidate to stop dragging their knuckles when it comes to marijuana policy.”
Statement from Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project:
“This is no longer a controversial issue. A solid majority of Americans support making marijuana legal for adults, and the vast majority believe states should be able to do it without interference from the federal government.
“Allowing states to establish their own marijuana policies is one of the only things Republicans and Democrats agree on. Presidential candidates like Chris Christie, who says he would try to roll back the progress that has been made in states like Colorado and Washington, are sorely out of touch with the country. They’re also at odds with most in their own party.”
Source: The Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization.