Bernie Sanders Wants To End Federal Prohibition

Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders announced at a town hall meeting yesterday that he will be introducing a bill to the Senate that would remove marijuana from federal prohibition. His legislation would also remove marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances as well as allow states to create their own policies without federal interference.  While the bill may be similar to one introduced in 2011 by Democrat Barney Frank and Republican Ron Paul, this will be the first bill ever introduced to the U.S. Senate to end the war on marijuana. 

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The new Gallup poll is proof that 58% of Americans are in support of marijuana legalization. Michael Collins, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Action, stated, “Clearly Bernie Sanders has looked at the polls showing voter support for marijuana legalization. Marijuana reform was already moving forward in Congress but we expect this bill to give reform efforts a big boost.”

Earlier this year, Senators Rand Paul, Cory Booker, and Kristen Gillibrand introduced the CARERS Act which would legalize cannabis for medical use. In addition, several spending amendments have passed the U.S. Senate and/or the Senate Appropriations Committee, allowing states to set their own cannabis policies without interference from the federal government. 

 “As more states legalize marijuana for medical or non-medical use the pressure to change federal law will continue to grow," said Bill Piper, director of national affairs at Drug Policy Action said.  “There is a clear bi-partisan majority in Congress for letting states set their own marijuana policies.”