Reader: All Democratic Candidates Should Support Bernie's Pot Platform

Bernie Sanders held a rally in Denver last month.
Bernie Sanders held a rally in Denver last month.
Chase Woodruff
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Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders isn't coy about his desire to see marijuana legalized, and at 4:20 p.m. Eastern time on October 24, Sanders released his pot platform, which includes plans to federally legalize marijuana and declassify marijuana as a controlled substance via executive action within 100 days of his inauguration.

His proposal also calls for banning tobacco and cigarette corporations from entering the legal pot trade, and includes vast expungement efforts for past marijuana convictions.

Supporters were quick to comment. Says Dee: 

Bernie has been a supporter of legalization for decades, long before it was “politically safe” to do so.
He has always been on the forefront of the most progressive policies and has co-authored more passed resolutions in Congress than anyone else.

Responds Patrick: 

Don’t care. I will never vote for a Democrat, Progresso-Fascist or Neo-Bolshevik, which is what Bernie actually is, in reality. Conservatives also support legalizing cannabis.

Replies Tracy:

Common sense at this point. Anyone still opposed to legalization probably also thinks Fox News is actual news.

Asks Scott: 

How can Bernie get the nomination when the media and politics of the country are owned by the people he wants to stop, even though it would be great for the rest of us? The media is still trying like hell to install Biden or someone else at the hands of their owners and donors.

Says Sue: 

Time for all the Democratic candidates to get on board with Bernie's plan.

Suggests Mike: 

Decriminalization, not legalization and regulation. The State has no business taxing either a vice or a medicine, depending on how you look at it. Decriminalize all drugs, the State has no business interfering with what you do with your own body. And decriminalize all hemp operations as well.

Expunging and releasing is a good thing, though.

Concludes Katie: 

 Release the weed bill at 4:20. Perfect marriage of substance and style. How can you not love Bernie??

Friends and foes alike applauded the expungement portion of Sanders's plan. It calls for federal funding that will support organizations that partner with cities and states for nationwide expungement, and will "revitalize the executive clemency process" by launching a clemency board in the White House that would be outside of the United States Department of Justice's control.

According to the Sanders campaign, expungement efforts will be based on California's recently enacted model, which calls for state and local prosecutors to review current and past marijuana cases for record-clearing.

"This review will include re-sentencing for all currently incarcerated with marijuana convictions. Following determination of eligibility or status, prosecutors will have one year to appeal or object, after which authorities will automatically expunge and vacate past marijuana convictions for all those eligible," the plan states.

What do you think of Sanders's proposal? His campaign in general? Post a comment or email your thoughts to marjuana@westword.com.

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