As seven Democratic presidential candidates jockeyed for advantage in South Carolina’s unruly debate, just one week before Super Tuesday, the issue of marijuana legalization came out loud and clear.
Like everything else among the presidential hopefuls, marijuana legalization was dragged over the coals in yet another contentious argument when a CBS moderator posed the question to Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar whose response was a basic yes with a caveat that it will take time because “you need to look back at people’s records.”
Former New York City mayor and billionaire, Mike Bloomberg, doesn’t want legalization. He cautioned people to heed doctors and scientists because not enough research has been done and “the evidence so far has been worrisome.” Bloomberg’s Stop-and-Frisk program was also worrisome when it resulted in the arrest and incarceration of hundreds of thousands people of color for simple marijuana possession.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has already said no to legalization and has not come up with anything new on that score with each passing debate.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren recently rolled out a reasonable plan to legalize cannabis and expunge records.
Billionaire philanthropist, Tom Steyer, the quiet gentleman on the far right of the stage, supports marijuana legalization and has made fighting the opioid crisis a key part of his presidential platform.
Mayor Pete is vaguely in favor of legalization though the cops in his town of South Bend, Indiana keep arresting people, mostly blacks, for possession.
Despite his lofty Douglass Plan, (Investment in the Empowerment of Black America), it seems the mayor has not been able to put the concept into effect in his own town of 101,000 people, so it might be a bit of a stretch to imagine he’d carry it out nationwide.
The unequivocal proponent of legalization
Frontrunner Bernie Sands took the time, while being piled on by his colleagues for recently having praised a neighboring country’s education system, to lay out his marijuana legalization plan, yet again.
In doing so, Sanders mentioned a point that many reading this will likely appreciate: keeping deep-pocketed corporations and Big Weed from pushing out small growers, producers, companies, etc.
“We are going to provide help to the African-American Latino native American community to start businesses to sell legal marijuana, rather than let a few corporations control the legalized marijuana market,” Sanders said.
Sanders also touched on the disturbing fact that the United States has more people in prison than any other country on earth, including China. Sad but true, according to the World Prison Brief.
Sanders partially blamed the war on drugs for the US’s mass incarceration problem.
“So I do believe that on day one, we will change the federal Controlled Substance Act which, if you can believe it, now equates heroin with marijuana! That’s insane!
“We are going to take marijuana out of that and effectively legalize marijuana in every state in the country. What we are also going to do is move to expunge the records of those people who were arrested for possession of marijuana.”