Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, is not a fan of marijuana legalization. In a speech at U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland Tuesday, Bloomberg called the drive to legalize recreational cannabis “perhaps the stupidest thing anybody has ever done.”
While speaking at Annapolis, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg also blasted efforts to legalize marijuana, calling it “perhaps the stupidest thing we’ve ever done.” pic.twitter.com/dN5sdJdYBt
— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) January 23, 2019
“Last year, in 2017, 72,000 Americans OD’d [overdosed] on drugs. In 2018, more people than that are OD’ing on drugs, have OD’d on drugs, and today, incidentally, we are trying to legalize another addictive narcotic, which is perhaps the stupidest thing anybody has ever done,” Bloomberg told the crowd.
“We’ve got to fight that, and that’s another thing that Bloomberg Philanthropies will work on it in public health,” he added.
Bloomberg’s anti-legalization comments stand in stark contrast to most Democratic presidential candidates who have begun their 2020 campaigns. Current New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has reversed his policy on cannabis legalization as well, pushing hard for adult-use marijuana legislation in 2019.
“The fact is, we have had two criminal justice systems: one for the wealthy and the well-off, and one for everyone else,” Cuomo said in a speech last December. “And that’s going to end. We must also end the needless and unjust criminal convictions and the debilitating criminal stigma, and let’s legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all.”
Though Bloomberg’s statements Tuesday night have drawn widespread media attention, this is not the first time the former governor has railed against cannabis legalization. As Marijuana Moment first reported, Bloomberg said that legalization “doesn’t make any sense at all,” during a speech at the University of Toronto last week.
“To go and encourage people—to make it easier for people to engage in a behavior that has a significant possibility of damaging people’s health—is just nonsensical,” Bloomberg said. “This mad, passionate rush to let everybody do things without any research just isn’t something we would do in any other way.”