Bernie Sanders Signals Support for Marijuana 
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Bernie Sanders Signals Support for Marijuana 
Posted by CN Staff on October 14, 2015 at 05:48:56 PT
By Christopher Ingraham
Source: Washington Post
Washington, D.C. -- Asked by CNN's Juan Carlos Lopez whether he'd support Nevada's 2016 ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana in that state, Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders answered "I suspect I would vote yes" to applause from the crowd.Sanders' answer is significant because it marks the first time a 2016 candidate has openly declared support for legalizing recreational -- and not just medical -- marijuana. Asked earlier this year on Reddit about his views on marijuana, Sanders replied that he supported marijuana decriminalization as well as medical marijuana. He also hinted that he'd have more to say in coming months on the subject.
His response at tonight's debate may hint at what his future policy proposals may entail. The full question and response is below:LOPEZ: Senator Sanders, right here in Nevada, there will be a measure to legalize recreational marijuana on the 2016 ballot. You've said you smoked marijuana twice; it didn't quite work for you. If you were a Nevada resident, how would you vote?SANDERS: I suspect I would vote yes.And I would vote yes because I am seeing in this country too many lives being destroyed for non-violent offenses. We have a criminal justice system that lets CEOs on Wall Street walk away, and yet we are imprisoning or giving jail sentences to young people who are smoking marijuana.I think we have to think through this war on drugs which has done an enormous amount of damage. We need to rethink our criminal justice system, we we've got a lot of work to do in that area.Hillary Clinton reiterated her previous vow to take a "wait-and-see" approach when it comes to recreational marijuana. Asked if she was ready to take a position on state-level recreational pot at the debate, Clinton responded with an emphatic "No."She added, "I think that we have the opportunity through the states that are pursuing recreational marijuana to find out a lot more than we know today. I do support the use of medical marijuana, and I think even there we need to do a lot more research so that we know exactly how we're going to help people for whom medical marijuana provides relief."The other candidates on state, Martin O'Malley, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee, were not given an opportunity to respond to any marijuana questions. O'Malley has said he supports loosening federal marijuana laws.In an email Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a group that opposes legalization, urged Senator Sanders to reconsider his position. "Just wait until Sen. Sanders finds out that there's a Big Marijuana industry aspiring to be the next Big Pharma and Big Tobacco," he wrote. "I don't think he realizes that there is a huge Wall Street industry supporting legalized marijuana; when he does, he may have second opinions."Tom Angell, chairman of the pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority, was feeling more upbeat. "This is the first time we've seen a major candidate for president say he'd probably vote for legalizing marijuana if given the chance," Angell wrote in an email. "That says a lot about how far the politics on this issue have shifted in a very short amount of time."He added, "in 2008 no major candidate even supported decriminalization when asked in a debate."More than half of Americans say that the use of marijuana should be legal.Christopher Ingraham writes about politics, drug policy and all things data. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Pew Research Center.Source: Washington Post (DC) Author:  Christopher IngrahamPublished: October 13, 2015Copyright: 2015 Washington Post CompanyContact: letters Website: URL:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #8 posted by runruff on October 15, 2015 at 03:14:58 PT
Presidential timber?
Senator Bernie Sanders! "Feel the Bern"!
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on October 14, 2015 at 13:19:13 PT
So would I!
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Comment #6 posted by MikeEEEEE on October 14, 2015 at 11:52:09 PT
He's got my vote
I would vote for Bernie in a second.He also wants to get rid of the scumbag health insurance companies and to-big-to-fail banks. 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on October 14, 2015 at 07:34:49 PT
Who was Hippie Santa in the audience as people are calling him. It sure made me smile!
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on October 14, 2015 at 07:33:31 PT
I watched the whole debate and it was great. When Clinton said no she didn't get any applause but when she acknowledged Bernie Sanders comments on putting people in jail over marijuana is wrong she got applause. Her people will make note of that and hopefully she will change her mind. I love Bernie and would love him as President but if he can get Clinton to wake up that is a good thing.
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Comment #3 posted by Vincent on October 14, 2015 at 07:18:28 PT:
The debate
Sanders is who he is, and he is very proud of it. Clinton's problem is that she still thinks that she can get so-called "conservative" votes, but she is deluding herself -- just because she is, ahem, "Cautious" about Marijuana use, she still will not be able to sway Conservatives because they hate everything about her, so she won't change their minds. (What am I saying? Bible-bangers have no "minds"!!!!!)It's too bad that Lincoln Chaffee didn't respond to this question...he is a big-time Herb-smoker! That differentiates him from Rand Paul. Even though it is common knowledge that he is a big pot smoker, he is still a tight-fisted Republican, who wants to punish the poor, just for being poor. When he says that he wants Cannabis legalized for recreational use, he means only for him, and his boys!
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on October 14, 2015 at 06:09:52 PT
Feel The Bern
Go Bernie Go! Love the man!
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on October 14, 2015 at 06:03:18 PT
Truth is, when citizens "just wait" and listen to the crap spewing out of prohibitionists' orifice's, they vote to end the foul law. It time to flush...Ending the endless circle of racial inequality, incarceration & fixing the broken justice system etc. is entirely related to ending cannabis prohibition. Clinton can not have it both ways; they are intertwined. Sanders recognizes how cannabis prohibition is a part of the broken justice system and will attack that disease. 
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