Speaking at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia this evening, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders announced his support for marijuana to be legalized by being removed from the federal government list of dangerous drugs. This would give states power to regulate marijuana as they see fit. I.E. Colorado, Washington, Oregon, etc. This is the first time a Presidential candidate has come out swinging about full-fledged marijuana reform on the federal level. As the Washington Post puts it:
No other presidential candidate has called for marijuana to be completely removed from the schedule of controlled substances regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
This means marijuana would no longer be classified like heroin and crack cocaine, letting states decide the legality and regulation of bud (like booze and tobacco, where states make big time tax dollars). Here’s a nice little summary of the Bernie Sanders “legalize it” speech at GMU via Mic.com:
“The time is long overdue for us to remove the federal prohibition on marijuana,” Sanders said during a speech at George Mason University in Virginia. “In my view, states should have the right to regulate marijuana the same way that state and local laws now govern sales of alcohol and tobacco.”
“Among other things, that means that recognized businesses in states that have legalized marijuana should be fully able to use the banking system without fear of federal prosecution..”
“In 2014 … there were 620,000 arrests for marijuana possession. That’s one arrest every minute,” Sanders said. “Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use. That is wrong. That has got to change.”
Watch the full speech over at MSNBC. Now excuse me while I just go throw on some Peter Tosh…