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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is making a new run for the democratic presidential election, he announced on Tuesday.

From his time as Mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in his years in the US Senate, Sanders has established himself as a champion of drug policy reform, especially in the field of marijuana. NORML gave the senator an "A +" rating based on his legislative track record.

And it didn't take long for Sanders to incorporate drug reform in his last presidential bid. In his announcement video, he stated that the government "must end the devastating war on drugs."

Legislation and policy actions [19659009] Sanders has been behind some of the first and most comprehensive legislative efforts to fundamentally change federal cannabis laws. He was the first major presidential candidate to approve marijuana legalization during his last bid and in 2015 filed the first ever senate bill to end federal cannabis ban.

He is also associated with a number of reform bills in Congress, and goes back to his time in the house as during his senate period. It includes recent legal provisions such as the Marijuana Justice Act, which would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and punish states with discriminatory enforcement, as well as the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, which would feel cursed in cannabis. 19659004] Now is the time to remove the ridiculous federal ban on marijuana. I'm proud to interact with the Marijuana Justice Act. pic.twitter.com/iEAfmWdE3w

– Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) April 20, 2018

More than 20 years ago, Sanders consolidated a house bill to legalize and regulate marijuana medical . He also signed the legislation that would recast cannabis and protect states with legal medical cannabis. He cosponsored versions of that bill at 107, 108 and 109 congresses.

When Sanders arrived at the Senate, he began supporting measures to reform federal hemp laws. He cosponsored three versions of a bill introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) to remove hemp from the definition of marijuana under CSA, for example. And last congress he puts his name on the law to legalize industrial hemp.

The Senator also supported bills to shield banks from federal proceedings if they choose to accept marijuana business accounts in legal states.

On four occasions in the house, Sanders voted in favor of changes to protect legal medical marijuana states from federal intervention. He voted against a resolution in 1998 intended to express "the feeling of congress that marijuana is a dangerous and addictive substance and should not be legitimized for medical use."

Quotes and Social Media Postings

Sanders has been spoken about his support for marijuana reform in speeches, during debates and on social media . His messages around the problem usually fall into one of three categories:

1. Marijuana is not comparable to other drugs listed in Schedule I in CSA and should be removed from that list accordingly.

"Today, marijuana is listed by the federal government as a Schedule I drug, which means it is considered as dangerous as heroin. It is absurd, he said during a meeting at George Mason University in 2015. "In my opinion, the time is far too late for us to remove the federal ban on marijuana."

He complained that "marijuana is listed side by side with heroin "during a campaign event at the University of Iowa.

" I know that you are an intelligent group of people, and very serious, I know, and I very much hope that you all understand what a worse drug heroin is, "he said. "There are two ways out when doing heroin: Number one, you're being arrested and going to jail. Number two, you're going to die. Stay away from heroin."

"But when it comes to marijuana, what we see is Many lives have been really damaged, because if you get a criminal record for possession of marijuana, it can affect your ability to get a job, "he said. "And that's why I have introduced legislation and will continue as president to take marijuana out of the law on controlled substances."

And when Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton suggested the cannabis conversion and placing it in Schedule II, Sanders said he appreciated that she was addressing the problem but that her suggestion "ignored the main problem", which is that it would place "marijuana in the same category as cocaine and continue to make marijuana a federally regulated substance."

2. Black Americans have been disproportionately affected by the drug war and are more likely to be arrested for marijuana despite the fact that rates of use are roughly the same among different racial groups.

"We must admit that blacks are four times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession, although the same proportion of black and white use marijuana," Sanders said in a press release. "Any serious criminal justice reform must include the removal of marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act."

"I'm happy to see Baltimore will no longer claim marijuana possession and will move to leave some convictions, Sanders says after the city's top prosecutor made this announcement at the beginning of 2019. "Thousands and thousands of people across the country have lost their lives because they have criminal records that A result of marijuana use – and it is disproportionately affecting people of color. It is time to decriminalize marijuana and end the failed war on drugs. "


"When it becomes a racial problem, it turns out that white and black exploited marijuana roughly the same," Sanders said during an interview with rapper Killer Mike in 2015. "Four times then Many blacks are arrested for possession as whites. It becomes a racial problem. "

"The reality is that both African American society and the white community do marijuana at roughly equal prices, "he stressed in a debate in Wisconsin." The reality is four times as many blacks are arrested for marijuana. "

3. It is an injustice that young people can get their lives excited of a non-violent cannabis conviction, while Wall Street bankers avoid prosecution of financial crimes.

"If any children in Iowa or Vermont today are picked up with marijuana, the guys get a police status that will stay with him for the rest of their lives, says Sanders at a meeting in Iowa in 2016. "But Wall Street leaders who drove the country to the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, where greed and illegal behavior resulted in millions of Americans losing their jobs, their homes, their life savings, those billions of dollars worth of government contracts with government Not one of them has been reprimanded. Not one of them has a criminal record. "

"It is an obscenity that we stigmatize so many young Americans with criminal record to smoke marijuana, but strangely enough, that not a big Wall Street – Practitioners have been prosecuted to cause the closest use of our entire economy, "he said during a speech before the National Urban League. "It doesn't make much sense to me."

Before getting behind the full marijuana legalization, Sander's position on drug policy has varied somewhat.

When he campaigned to be the governor of Vermont in 1972, he seemed to embrace the legalization of all drugs in an attempt to push himself against what he described as "the gradual erosion of freedoms and the sense of what freedom really means" Under administration of President Richard Nixon, writes that the government should "abolish all laws dealing with abortion, drugs, sexual behavior."

As states like Colorado began legalizing cannabis for adult use, Sanders said in interviews that he realized the problem was continuing more popular and promised to study it closely. He expressed support for Vermont's decriminalization policy and medical marijuana legalization in general.

Sanders also complained about how federal laws prevent the effective implementation of marijuana at state level and emphasizes that cannabis businesses are struggling to access banking services, for example.

"I think there are things that the federal government can do that will make it easier for states that want to go in that direction to do so," he said in 2015. "What the federal government can do is To say to the State of Colorado that if you choose to vote to legalize marijuana, we will allow you to do so without restriction. "

He also requested federal decriminalization in response to" the continuation of millions of people during Decades to get police officers because they were caught with marijuana. "Millions of Americans have police records as a result of marijuana possession, which is to be decriminalized. [1 9659002] – Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) June 26, 2016

Sanders has criticized movements by the Justice Department during President Donald Trump to dismantle federal marijuana persecution guidelines.

"No, Attorney General [Jeff]] Sessions Marijuana is not the same as heroin," he said in a statement last year before the Sessions completed the Cole note. "No one who has studied the problem seriously believes that marijuana should be classified as a Schedule I drug besides murder drugs such as heroin."

"On the contrary, we should allow states the right to move towards decriminalization of marijuana, not reverse the progress

He also congratulated Canada when the country passed a law that legalized adult cannabis and said, "It is a long time since we in the United States terminate the federal ban on marijuana."

And he congratulated Seattle when the city's judges decided on green light extinctions for former judges' marijuana beliefs.

"We must criminalize marijuana nationally and extend federal marijuana use and possession crimes, "he wrote. [19659019] Personal experience with marijuana

Sanders said he smoked marijuana decades ago, but the plant "didn't do much for me."

"I smoked marijuana twice, and all I did was cough my gut out so it didn't work for me," he said in a Las Vegas rally. "But I understand that other people have had different experiences."

The Senate has said that his efforts to reform marijuana laws are not meant to encourage anyone to smoke marijuana.

Marijuana During a Sanders Presidency

As the first major presidential candidate to approve marijuana legalization – and as someone who has introduced and cosponsored some of the most far-reaching cannabis bills in Congress-Sanders has already made marijuana history in his career. He again signaled in his announcement speech that tackling the damage to the drug war would be a priority if he was elected, and part of this agenda would probably involve serious consideration of legislation to end the federal ban on marijuana. [Nearlyall"radicals70%Medicarewillforeveryone65%willhaveajobguarantee64%willlegalizemarijuana72%willwanttoextendsocialsecurity
] 60% want free public colleges.
58% want $ 15 min salary.
57% want to look up big banks.

– Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) 2019

While most 2020 democratic presidential candidates have supported legalization at this point, Sander's long-standing record of rising drug policy reform gives voters a relatively strong assurance that marijuana legalization will be near the top of their presidential priorities.

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