2020 Democrat Candidate’s Position on Marijuana
Marijuana is going to be one of the many issues in 2020 as politicians climb for the ultimate position in Washington D.C. If President Trump wins his second term in 2020, marijuana is most likely to be left at the discretion of each individual state. In June of 2018, President Trump stated he would support a bipartisan bill that would make marijuana legal on a federal level or leave it up to each state on whether they would want to legalize marijuana.
On February 7, 2019 William Barr replaced former Attorney General Jeff Sessions as the new Attorney General. Barr made it known to cannabis businesses that their worries could be put to ease unlike the previous Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ tenure. During Barr’s confirmation he stated that federal resources would not be used to regulate federal marijuana laws in states where marijuana has been legalized.
Democrats have been at the forefront for the legalization of marijuana, as their voter base strongly continues to push for legalization. This has not always been the case and not all democrats are on board. The Democratic party is diverse, you have the far left, moderates and swing voters who vote democrat most of the time. A lot of candidates are making big promises for 2020 but actions speak louder than words, lets take a close look at these candidates voting records versus what they promise to the public.
Here are some of the Candidates that will be running against Trump in 2020:
- Julian Castro
- Kamala Harris
- Cory Brooker
- John Hickenlooper
- Jay Inslee
- Bernie Sanders
- Amy Klobuchar
- Andrew Yang
- Elisabeth Warren
- Marianne Williamson
- Tulsi Gabbard
- John Delaney
Let’s examine the four leading democrats according to voter polls and what their stance is regarding marijuana reform.
We still haven’t heard whether Joe Biden will be a contender in the much anticipated 2020 presidential race. Many believe he would be a worthy candidate for the democrats, due to him serving for eight years as vice president under former President Barack Obama. Let’s look at his record regarding marijuana and see if the potential for federal legalization would be less or more likely, if Joe Biden would become President in 2020.
TIME magazine held an interview with Joe Biden in 2014, where he stated that criminal action against marijuana users was a waste or resources. This stance is not to be confused with him pushing for the legalization of marijuana. Biden also stated that legalization was not the goal in their (Obama’s) administration’s policy. In a previous interview in 2019 with Christian Pat Robertson, Biden stated that he believed that marijuana is a gateway drug and from his years of experience as Charmian of the Judiciary Committee, legalizing cannabis would be a mistake.
Biden has shown himself to be a strong proponent of the war on drugs led by the Democrats in the past. He was also a supporter of harsh minimum sentencing policies that were mandatory.
Bernie Sanders leads the pack as a serious contender. His campaign raised 5.9 million dollars in 24 hours. Bernie Sanders has been vocal on his support for cannabis reform. He’s also a co-sponsor of the Marijuana Justice Act. He stated at a rally for U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee that hundreds of thousands of people’s lives have been ruined due to having a criminal record for marijuana possession. His state of Vermont has decriminalized marijuana medically in 2004 and in 2014 marijuana was legalized for recreational purposes.
Bernie also stated that legalizing cannabis and ending the drug war was going to be one of his top priorities. During his 2016 campaign, Bernie Sanders was one of the first candidates running for president to endorse the legalization of marijuana and he also filed the first bill ever in the Senate to end the prohibition of marijuana on a federal level. Sanders not only wants to remove cannabis from the list of federally controlled drugs, he also stated that the country needs to legalize it to achieve a less racist and fair criminal justice system.
Kamala Harris caught backlash by the media for lying in an interview with the Breakfast Club. She claimed that she smoked pot while listening to Biggie and Tupac. This lie was easy to catch because when Kamala Harris was in college these rap artists were not out yet. Whether Senator Kamala Harris wanted to be more relatable to her audience or will just say anything to get votes, no one will ever know. Let’s take a careful look at her voting record to see where she really stands.
In 2010 Kamala Harris was in opposition to marijuana. Five years later she voiced her support for the legalization of medical marijuana. Currently she claims to support the recreational use of cannabis. Harris released a book last month and stated that cannabis should be legal and that cannabis related offenses that are nonviolent should be cleared from citizens criminal record.
In 2010 legislation was brought forth that would legalize cannabis, Kamala Harris opposed it. Harris stated that a federal ban on medical cannabis should be eliminated in 2015 at the DSC. Her campaign manager told Capitol Weekly, “Harris believes that selling drugs harms communities.” when justifying support for medical marijuana legalization but not for recreational use. One should take note that Harris’ past stance may be attributed to her role as California’s Attorney General. In this role, one must enforce laws not provide their opinion on them. Harris’ stance seems to change with public opinion on marijuana. Which is not necessarily a bad thing when your job is to represent the people and not your own beliefs and opinions.
The good news is that unless some anti-marijuana dark horse comes out of no where and steals the election, it looks like marijuana laws will not regress but move forward. Depending on who wins will decide at what pace cannabis legislation will progress. This is one of the many reasons to cast your ballot, regardless of what side of the political aisle you’re on. These politicians work for the people so make sure your voice is heard through your vote. Stay tuned for the next article on the upcoming 2020 Republican Presidential candidates and their stances on marijuana.