Bernie Sanders unveils plan to legalize in his first 100 days
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Senator Bernie Sanders is running for president of the United States in 2020, and yesterday (right at 4:20pm — nice) he unveiled a plan to legalize cannabis by an executive order within his first 100 days in office, if elected. Essentially, he says, he would tell his attorney general to declassify cannabis from the drug scheduling system, and then he would call on Congress to pass a bill making the change permanent.
Which is simple enough — if Bernie can get elected. But he says he’s not going to stop there — he’ll also work with state and federal authorities for full expungement of cannabis-related convictions. The plan would also set up a tax-funded grant program for “entrepreneurs of color who continue to face discrimination in access to capital,” as well as a separate program to fund businesses run by those who have been disproportionately affected by cannabis offenses. He will also set up funds for urban farms and growing operations, and another fund for community grants to those “hit hardest by the War on Drugs.”
There’s more! He would also keep Big Tobacco out of the cannabis industry, would put financial incentives in place to convince cannabis businesses to work as nonprofits instead, would prohibit promotions that target young people, and establish rules for keeping cannabis products safe.
It all sounds pretty great to us — certainly we hope that the cannabis industry can rise above other “vice” industries (like alcohol and tobacco), and become a force for good in the world, rather than just a really successful set of businesses. Bernie’s plan seems designed to do just that. And he’s not just pandering here — he’s come out in strong support of cannabis before, and all of the moves he lays out are certainly doable if he is elected.
Unfortunately, Bernie faces some big battles before any of this happens — he’s got two serious competitors for the Democratic nomination in Elizabeth Warren (our current favorite) and Joe Biden, and then of course he’s got to try and take down Donald Trump who, despite his unpopularity and impeachment battles, is likely going to use every dirty trick in the book to try and stay in office. Russian interference is also a factor in the upcoming election, and the odds are good that any interference won’t be in Bernie’s favor. But we’re definitely fans of his plan and his long history of fighting for justice in the United States.