Whether you’re ready for it or not, it’s election season in America. For the next 15 months we’ll be hearing political ads and debates, and reading columns concerning which political candidates give our city, county, state, or country the best chance to thrive.
But what’s particularly interesting about the 2020 elections is that, for the first time ever, there’s likely to be a real focus and debate on cannabis reform.
As you’re probably aware, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States. That means it’s wholly illegal, prone to abuse, and not considered to have any medical benefits, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the very first cannabidiol (CBD)-based oral medicine in June 2018. Yet according to various polls, the American public favors the legalization of recreational cannabis, and overwhelmingly supports patients’ access to medical marijuana.
This bifurcation between what the public appears to want in surveys, versus a body of lawmakers that has been unable to advance serious discussion on cannabis reform, is likely to come to head in the 2020 election.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaking behind a podium. Image source: Bernie Sanders’ Senate website.
Feel the (cannabis) Bern?
Whereas President Trump, the expected Republican nominee for a second term, has wavered on his support for legalizing marijuana at the federal level, nearly all Democratic candidates have come out in support of some form of legalization or decriminalization of the drug. But perhaps no candidate has been more vocal about this stance than Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
In 2016, when Sanders ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, ultimately losing out to Hillary Clinton, one of his many campaign promises was to reform America’s justice system by legalizing marijuana. This made Sanders the first major presidential candidate to support legalizing cannabis, with many of his fellow Democrats also taking that view ahead of the 2020 election.
But whereas many of Sanders’ fellow Democrats have offered their support for legalization or decriminalization without laying out a specific plan on how to get that done, Sanders has proposed a unique means of bringing the green rush to the United States. As reported by Newsweek, Sanders would use a presidential executive order to make it so.
While speaking with Joe Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience…