We’re still three months away from the first presidential primary, which means there’s still plenty of time for Democratic voters to figure out whether they want to vote for Bernie, Hillary or poor handsome Martin O’Malley, who’s polling at just 4 percent in his own home state. Here’s where they stand on marijuana policy, which is an important issue even if you’ve never lit up yourself.
Four states currently allow recreational marijuana while 23 states allow medical cannabis. Recreational marijuana use remains illegal in most states and federally weed is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug on par with heroin.
People, primarily black people, get arrested for marijuana possession every 37 seconds. A recent Gallup poll indicates that 58 percent of Americans would like to see marijuana decriminalized. Nearly half of American adults admit to having smoked before, while nearly a quarter of those under the age of thirty have smoked within the past month.
Bernie Sanders has gone on record as saying that the current laws are dangerous, unfair, and expensive to taxpayers.
“We need major changes in our criminal justice system – including changes in drug laws,” he told an audience at George Mason University. “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.”
Earlier this month, Sanders introduced a bill into the senate that would remove marijuana from the DEA list of “most dangerous drugs.” Conveniently titled the Ending Federal Marijuana Act, the bill would allow states to regulate whether they want to legalize pot for recreational use.
Hillary is more cautious than her opponent. While she’s slowly nudging closer to the Sanders camp, she says that researchers need to further explore the benefits of weed before she will commit to a policy. She recently said that she favors reclassifying marijuana as a Schedule 2 drug, meaning that it would be illegal to use recreationally but okay in certain cases as a prescription drug.
As for O’Malley, he’s also in favor of reclassifying marijuana as a Schedule 2 drug.