We know you all have your own opinions as to who is the best candidate regarding social, economic, and foreign policies. However, we’re mostly concerned with who is the best candidate for continuing the legalization of cannabis.
Next year could be a monumental year for legalization. Many more states (California, Nevada, etc) will have recreational legalization on the table, and even more states could transition into medical sales.
However, the wrong president could really roll things backwards and set us back on the wrong path.
We’ll show you an example of what we mean:
Now, Chris Christie isn’t even close to getting the nomination in the polls. But you can see how a president on a warpath against weed could cause real problems for states that have legalized it. The DEA has finally been barred from using funds to go after legal recreational or MMJ cannabis businesses, but who is to say that couldn’t be rolled back by an administration with a vendetta?
Christie is by far the most outspokenly terrible candidate for cannabis legalization, but he doesn’t stray too far from the majority of the other republican candidates. In fact, even many of the democratic candidates (including Hillary Clinton) used to regularly and publically speak out against marijuana use and legalization. In 2007, then Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that she was against marijuana decriminalization. In 2012 Hillary Clinton stated that she didn’t believe legalization was the answer to fixing the failed war on drugs. Now, with legalization an issue that most Americans support, she has changed her tune slightly. In a recent interview with CNN, she stated that she is ‘open to trying marijuana legalization at the state level.’ In the same interview she expressed concerns about medical marijuana, claiming that she wants to see more research first.
It seems that Hillary doesn’t quite want to commit to the issue. She may not do harm to the movement, but she probably wouldn’t do much to help spur it along either.
So now, we get to the clear winners for best candidate for cannabis legalization on each side of the aisle.
For republicans, the clear winner is Rand Paul. Paul has stated publically on multiple occasions his support for states ability to legalize cannabis as they please. He has even courted several donations from marijuana industry groups. However, Rand has also stated that he is not a proponent of full legalization, and that he believes cannabis lowers people’s IQ. In this sense, Paul is similar to Clinton in that he would most likely not hinder legalization, but he wouldn’t help it out much either.
By far, the best candidate on either side for cannabis is Bernie Sanders. He has long been an open supporter of more sensible cannabis policies. In 2005 he attempted to reschedule medical marijuana with the States Rights to Medical Marijuana Act.
In a Reddit AMA last year, Sanders was asked about his opinions on legalization, and here is his response:
“Let me just say this," the state of Vermont voted to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana and I support that. I have supported the use of medical marijuana. And when I was mayor of Burlington, in a city with a large population, I can tell you very few people were arrested for smoking marijuana. Our police had more important things to do.Colorado has led the effort toward legalizing marijuana and I’m going to watch very closely to see the pluses and minuses of what they have done. I will have more to say about this issue within the coming months.”
Since then, Sanders has not quite said that he supports nationwide legalization, but he has come pretty close. We believe that he would certainly be the best president for helping accomplish our goal of legalizing cannabis nationwide.