On the day that Democratic — make that self-labeled "democratic socialist" — Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders announced that he supports removing marijuana from its current classification as a Schedule 1 drug by the federal government, in effect leaving its regulation up to the states, like alcohol and tobacco, it's not surprising that marijuana would come up at the Republican Presidential debate, too.
"Or even some famous Colorado brownies."
Governor John Kasich got the only question about cannabis: "Given the budget pressures in Ohio and other states, is that a revenue stream you'd like to have?" But even though there's plenty to say about the impact of medical marijuana in his state, he gave just this quick response before reverting to an earlier question: "Sending mixed messages to kids about drugs is a disaster."
And then Ted Cruz delivered his own mixed message, joking that moderator Carl Quintanilla could have some tequila or maybe "even some famous Colorado brownies" — before dishing out a simmering critique of the questions and the media in general.
While the GOP debate was being set up at the University of Colorado, Sanders was back in school, too, talking to a group of students at Virginia's George Mason University. “Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use,” Sanders told the audience — and thousands of other students across the country watching a livestream. “That’s wrong. That has got to change.”
By suggesting the ban be lifted, Sanders went further than he had at the Democratic debate two weeks ago, when he said that he would vote for the legalization of marijuana, and further than he had on Jimmy Kimmel Live last week, when he said, “I am not unfavorably disposed to moving toward the legalization of marijuana.” At last night's talk, he said it was "absurd" that the feds handle marijuana as though it was as dangerous as heroin: “In the year 2015, it is time for the federal government to allow states to go forward as they best choose."