South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is competing for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. If he is elected, he would be the first obviously gay and youngest president, and he supports marijuana legalization to start.
While the candidate has not spoken much about cannabis reform, he has also not dealt with any marijuana law in his time at the mayor's office, he commented that he supports efforts to end the ban, which he sees as a matter of social justice. Here is a look at where Buttigieg stands on marijuana.
Legislation and policy actions
As mayor, Buttigieg does not seem to have signed legislation directly related to marijuana. However, he approved an ordination in 201
– Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) May 14, 2018
"Getting less attention [than opioids] nationally is the question of synthetic cannabinoids, sometimes called synthetic marijuana, "he said in a press release recommending the city council for approval of the regulation. "These products, sometimes available in convenience stores and petrol stations, are much more dangerous than marijuana itself."
Quotes and Social Media Posts
Compared to most of his democratic opponents, Buttigieg has rarely talked about cannabis politics. Having said about marijuana legalization, he is consistently talking about pursuing reform.
"Safe, regulated and legal sale of marijuana is an idea that has come for the United States, as evidenced by voters demanding legalization in states across the country," he told The Boston Globe.
Buttigieg also said he believe that voters in his home state of Indiana, who do not even have a comprehensive medical cannabis law, are ready to legalize marijuana.  "I believe in Indiana, justice reform, including marijuana [legalization]. We're probably there, "he told Indianapolis Monthly." Perhaps not a 70 percent majority, but a majority. "
" I really think a state campaign in Indiana would do well, especially on the criminal issues, "he added. To find a common cause between the younger, libertarian rights, it is not as sure about the Republican party as an institution. And a more traditional, progressive coalition. I think you can get there on drugs. I think you can get there on many things related to criminal justice. "
Personal Experience with Marijuana
Buttigieg's most comprehensive public comment on marijuana is related to his own personal experience of cannabis and law enforcement, and in particular, how it sheds light on the concept of white privilege.
During an interview at South By Southwest spoke the mayor about how he was caught with a joint while a student at Harvard University.
"I stood outside the dorm. I was on my way home from a party or something, "he said." I ran into a friend and he had an acquaintance with him and we talked, and at one point I noticed that she was smoking a joint. And just out of curiosity – it was like a little again – I was like "Oh, it's …" And she gave it to me. "
" At this very moment, a police car at the university is driving the police – and I guess it must be over my shoulder, he said.
The officer showed that he had only touched Buttigieg, swore to him and shouted Harvard students arrogantly.
Earlier today, in @TexasTribune discussion on @sxsw @anamariecox asked me when I first became aware of my white male privilege. I told a quick story about getting caught in a college joint. #SXSW pic.twitter.com/RKX81jdJoM
– Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) March 10, 2019
"And then my hands are on the back of his suitcase and he goes through my pockets to see if I have anything more on me, he said. "He shouts some more obscenities, and just as I'm being read to take a ride with him, he drives off. And that was that. It's a fun story I can tell about my college days. "
But there was also an unfunny lesson to be learned, which has informed Buttiggie's stance on cannabis reform."
"Many people probably had exactly the same experience and would not have been believed and would have been much worse than shouting on and would not have slept in their own beds that night – and maybe would have been tracked in their careers because of it, "he said." That's one of many reasons I think we must end the war on drugs and move towards legalization of marijuana. "He also said that the odds of him facing more serious life-long consequences over the joint would be much greater if he were not white.
" Think about it: It's a fun story for me, "he said." It can be a fun story for me. And if I wasn't white, chances were that something would have saved my life exponentially higher. So it's one of many moments when I learned a thing or two about privilege. "
Separately, Buttigieg addressed how many times he has used cannabis in his book:" not many but more than zero. "
Marijuana During An Buttigieg Presidency
Without a legal history of cannabis reform or comprehensive statements such as lays out his political stance on the problem, it is difficult to say how Buttigieg would approach marijuana as president, of course, his stated support for the legalization and recognition of the racial injustice of prohibition shows that he would at least not impede efforts to change federal cannabis laws – and can actually embrace them, but at this point there are no indications that marijuana reform would be a priority issue for Buttigieg
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