Bernie Sanders is the only presidential candidate to support legalization and challenge the failed war on drugs
Bernie Sanders wants to legalize pot. As of now, he is the only candidate that supports full legalization. This is perhaps not only a sane political platform, but also one that could draw many to vote for Bernie.
The demographic of America has changed. Many Americans have smoked weed at this point. This is a demographic that cannot be ignored or scoffed at anymore. The tide has turned in America, where a new generation of elders now set a different standard. Nearly 10% of American adults have smoked weed, I imagine some do quite regularly. The rate has more than doubled in just the last 15 years. Therefore, the cultural stigma of people who smoke weed has gotten less intense, and this demographic now recognizes that smoking pot is not as dangerous to society as we were first led to believe.
Bernie’s support for full legalization is a breath of fresh air in this situation. No other candidate has gone this far, and I think it will add a lot bigger boost to Sanders than pundits believe. One of the major demographics, untapped, are the legalization voters. There are more of us than the mainstream media would like to believe.
The fact is, many Americans have been brainwashed to believe that weed is a harmful substance, It’s even classified as a schedule one drug on par with cocaine and heroin. While it is a mind-altering drug, like others, its effects and drawbacks are not nearly as harmful as many other substances that are on the legal market. In fact, if there’s any substance that can be least blamed for bad side effects, its weed.
Alcohol and tobacco are two legal drugs in America. As are opiate derivatives like painkillers, which become heavy sources of addiction. Alcohol causes much more issues in society, from addiction, car accidents, and health problems like cirrhosis. Tobacco of course is a cancer-causer too, tied with addiction. Painkillers are an epidemic in many parts of the country. I have personal experience with the effects of those drugs on family members.
These drugs are perfectly legal, and regulated by government agencies. The question has always been; if we can tax and regulate those drugs, why can’t we do it to others, especially the least harmful drug of marijuana? Many Americans have wised up to this logic. It seems Bernie is now tapping into this.
Hillary should definitely be paying attention. If she maintains a more conservative stance on pot legalization, then she could suffer greatly at the polls. The fact is, Americans today know that legalizing pot is not a bad thing, and the benefits it could bring to local economies is not insignificant.
Colorado, Washington, and now Oregon have legalized and taxed pot sales for recreational use. Colorado has even seen a record increase in revenue, and Washington and soon Oregon are set to follow suit. Imagine the economic boost that pot sales could bring to many states?
Bernie could and likely will exploit this to his advantage in the primary season. While it pains me to discuss this issue in such political terms, the truth is that it is time to have a mainstream conversation about legalization of marijuana. If he has a genuine intent to do so, the boost to his campaign could be extraordinary. After all, it worked for newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.