Bernie Sanders Introduces Bill To Legalize Recreational Marijuana
Bernie Sanders, as we have come to learn, is a bold man.
He doesn't give a sh*t about doing what's popular, he only gives a sh*t about doing what he feels is right. (And he sure as hell doesn't give a sh*t about your damn emails, Hillary Clinton.)
On Wednesday, the Vermont senator and presidential candidate introduced legislation that would end the federal ban on marijuana and allow states to decide if they want to legalize for recreational use.
The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act would remove marijuana from the Drug Enforcement Administration's list of the "most dangerous" drugs as well as remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act.
It is the first Senate bill to propose legalizing recreational pot on the federal level.
Colorado Rep. Jared Polis, who put forth a similar bill in 2013, said in a statement,
Just as alcohol prohibition failed in the 1920s, it's clear marijuana prohibition is failing today. For decades, the federal ban on marijuana has wasted tax dollars, impeded our criminal justice system, lined the pockets of drug cartels, and trampled on states' ability to set their own public health laws ... Today's introduction of the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act in the Senate is a huge step forward in the movement to enact the common sense drug laws needed to grow our economy and restore fairness to our justice system.
Sanders has been a well-known supporter of legalization for some time. He has stated more than once that decriminalization is one of the best ways to overhaul our criminal justice system.
On October 28, Sanders told students at George Mason University,
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. Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use. That's wrong. That has got to change.
Sanders' proposed bill would make marijuana more akin to alcohol. If the bill were to pass, marijuana would be overseen by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It would also have similar import/export provisions to alcohol.
Although nobody really expects the bill to pass, what it does is show just how serious Sanders is about reform, and hopefully, it will endear him to younger voters.