For the first time ever, marijuana reform is expected to play a crucial role in who becomes the next President of the United States. King Trump, a Republican seeking a second term, has not established a definite stance on the matter since taking over the White House, yet his cabinet has been mostly comprised of the same reefer madness slinging grey hairs that have filled that space for decades.
Members of the Democratic Party believe that Trump may use marijuana legalization as a way to drive home his reelection campaign, and, honestly, that scares the hell out of them. Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon said last year that he fears “as the 2020 election approaches, Donald Trump will claim credit for our work in an effort to shore up support — especially from young voters.”
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Sadly, the cannabis industry seems desperate to side with any candidate that leans even remotely close to bringing legal weed to the national spotlight. So, if Trump can promise the goods, regardless of how ridiculous he has proven to be on other vital issues, you can bet your lunch American’s weed dealers will run with the devil. But Democratic presidential candidates have been jumping into the pool as of late, most of which have been fighting for cannabis reform for the past few years.
Here is a quick glimpse of the candidates that have tossed their hat into the ring and where they stand on weed:
Senator Kamala Harris of California, where she was once served as attorney general, is in favor of reforming the cannabis law in this country. She once said, “Making marijuana legal at the federal level is the smart thing to do and it’s the right thing to do,” after signing on to a bill intended to do just that. Harris has gone on record opposing policies aimed at punishing small-time pot offenders.
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, the first major candidate to announce a potential run, support bringing marijuana prohibition to an end. She has cosponsored legislation intended to give states the right to conduct pot business without federal interference, as well as one designed to eliminate cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and make it part of regulated commerce.
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Senator Kristen Gillibrand of New York, who first announced her potential run on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” is a strong supporter of cannabis reform. She has sponsored legislation intended to end decades of a prohibition standard across the country. Also, in addition to wanting to legalize weed at the federal level, she supports expunging records for pot-related offenses.
U.S Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, one of the latest Democrats to announce their candidacy, is also in favor of far-reaching cannabis reform. In addition to her support for bills designed to open up more opportunities for the cannabis trade, she has signed on to legislation intended to eliminate marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act altogether – giving it the same freedom as alcohol and tobacco.
U.S. Representative John Delaney, the first official Democratic candidate to announce, is in favor of legalizing marijuana nationwide. He was part of a group of lawmakers who protested former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ move to eliminate the Cole Memo (a non-binding document allowing states the right to experiment with marijuana legalization). What more is cannabis advocacy groups have given him perfect ratings for his position on bringing down prohibition in the United States.
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More To Come?
Other Democrats, including Senator Cory Booker and former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, are expected to jump in soon. Both of these guys support cannabis reform. It is likely that former vice president Joe Biden will make a move, not to mention Senator Bernie Sanders. Of course, Sanders has supported cannabis reform since before it was cool, while Biden believes spending money to bust pot offenders is a waste of resources.
One thing voters can count on is Democrats seeking to steal the White House from Trump will not support marijuana prohibition.