With the election of a new President just a few months away, we thought it would be helpful to let you know where each major candidate stands on marijuana legalization.
He’s ahead of the political race, and now the man who some believe could be the next Hitler might also have a chance of becoming the next president. But if so, will Donald Trump use his new-found executive powers to wage war against marijuana use?
According to a long history of Trump’s stance on the war on drugs and marijuana legalization, it seems he’s been quite consistent on the matter.
In October, 2015, he said:
In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state. … Marijuana is such a big thing. I think medical should happen — right? Don’t we agree? I think so. And then I really believe we should leave it up to the states.
In June of the same year, Trump is also quoted:
I’d say [regulating marijuana] is bad. Medical marijuana is another thing, but I think it’s bad and I feel strongly about that. [Moderator: “What about the states’ rights aspect of it?”] If they vote for it, they vote for it… But I think, medical marijuana, 100%
And going back as early as April, 1990, Trump’s stance on the war on drugs is clear:
We’re losing badly the War on Drugs. You have to legalize drugs to win that war. You have to take the profit away from these drug czars.
This is the same Donald, by the way, who drew major criticism for questioning vaccines back in 2014 on his infamous Twitter page:
I am being proven right about massive vaccinations—the doctors lied. Save our children & their future.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2014
Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn’t feel good and changes – AUTISM. Many such cases!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2014
So is Donald J. Trump the world’s most trustworthy health advocate? Well, we won’t go that far, but his stance on vaccines, and even the drug war/marijuana legalization, has been positively consistent.
If Mr. Sanders becomes president, you’ll still get to #FeelTheBern of a freshly lit joint on your lips, because this man has been one of the most consistent on the matter.
As of December 2015, Bernie has vehemently affirmed his intention to remove marijuana from the Federal Government’s “controlled-substance” list.
In October 2015, on the matter of legalizing recreational marijuana use in Nevada, he said:
I would vote yes because I am seeing 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 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.
Even going back to September 1998, the Vermont Senator voted “no” on subjecting federal employees to random drug tests.
Although he’s recently come out with greater support for marijuana legalization, Ted Cruz’s past stance on the issue has not been very definitive. Although he openly disapproves of smoking weed in his personal life, he believes it is up to states to individually decide what the laws are.
Promisingly, he has advocated for a reduction in prison sentences for people convicted of using drugs, saying:
Given the undeniable costs and dubious benefits of mass, longterm incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders, Congress should take steps to give judges more flexibility in sentencing those offenders…Among other things, the bill lowers minimum sentences, cutting them in half…
She’s been given lots of criticism by Sanders’ supporters for being “part of the establishment” and maybe Hillary’s wavering positions on marijuana legalization lend credence to that sentiment.
One specific issue she hasn’t been very “progressive” on is the legal status of recreational vs. medical marijuana use. Hillary has appeared hesitant, calling for the immediate legalization of medical marijuana, yet she opposed recreational use back in mid-2014.
In October 2015, she said:
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.
Although she has called for an end to the imprisonment of marijuana users, it seems a portion of her political career was built on preventing drug use through various initiatives, rather than legalizing and embracing it from a pro-individual-choice perspective.