Presidential Candidate Calls For Descheduling Marijuana

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 29, 2015

    thumbs_upVermont Senator and Democrat Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders yesterday pledged to get the federal government out of the marijuana enforcement business by removing the substance from the US Controlled Substances Act.

    Senator Sanders called cannabis’ present schedule I status under federal law “absurd.” He added: “In my view, the time is long overdue for us to remove the federal prohibition on marijuana. … [S]tates should have the right to regulate marijuana the same way that state and local laws now govern the sale of alcohol and tobacco.”

    The Senator also said that state-compliant marijuana operations “should be fully able to use the banking system without fear of federal prosecution.”

    Senator Sanders comments differ from those of Democrat opponent and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley who promised to use the executive powers of the President to “to move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act.” Republican candidate Rand Paul [R-KY] has also co-sponsored federal legislation, SB 683, that seeks to reclassify cannabis to Schedule II under federal law. However, simply rescheduling marijuana from I to II would not limit the federal government’s authority to prosecute marijuana offenders, including those who are in compliance with state law.

    While several other Presidential candidates have called on federal officials to respect states’ marijuana policies, none have proposed amending federal marijuana laws.

    Senator Sanders latest position is consistent with the view of most voters. According to a 2015 Pew poll, 60 percent of Americans agree that the government “should not enforce federal marijuana laws in states that allow use,” while recent Gallup survey data finds that 58 percent of US citizens over the age of 18 believe cannabis should be legal for adults.

    45 responses to “Presidential Candidate Calls For Descheduling Marijuana”

    1. john oates says:

      DID YOU HEAR THAT that sound we have not heard in 100 years… that is the sound of freedom people … VOTE FOR FREEDOM IN 2016 VOTE FOR BERNIE SANDERS let freedom ring … Bernie just set some thing on fire what is all that smoke in 2016 that is the people rushing to the polls to VOTE FOR FREEDOM VOTE FOR SANDERS

    2. Ivan says:

      Bernie Sanders for president all the way!!!!!!!!!!!

    3. Evening Bud says:

      There’s the issue everyone’s been talking about for years on this forum: rescheduling MJ.

      Can’t wait to see the responses/complaints.

    4. John P says:

      As a senator, Bernie Sanders could of introduce legislation to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act anytime since he was first elected. Has anyone been a fact check to see if he has ever introduce such legislation? He could even do it tomorrow or the next day if he wanted to. I agree with removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act. I just find it rather convenient that he is bringing it up now that he is losing to Hillary Clinton.

    5. In my opinion this issue needs to be forced onto the front burner. It needs to be discussed before we vote. Candidates, you want elected? stand up now and raise your hand. I will legalize marijuana!!! Congratulations ! you just made America billions of dollars. Thousands of people are working adding to our economy. Don’t worry about foreign policy, we have enough people in this country who need help. THANK YOU

    6. Dave Evans says:

      Hmm, the only marijuana policy that doesn’t sound like it was written by a lunatic happens to come from the only Presidential Candidate running that is not bought and paid for by corporations. Also, Bernie is the only strong Candidate that isn’t also a narcissist (narcissists don’t do critical thinking very well, yet are very manipulative).

    7. James says:

      John P,
      While he does have the capacity to do so at any time, it would be difficult to get this passed in our current Congress. However, as POTUS, he could pull this move unilaterally. He’s been broadening his agenda lately as he seeks the presidency. He hasn’t been an enemy, so let’s not begrudge him for not having always been a steadfast ally.

    8. C Midgette says:

      Bernie Sanders is the best candidate by far running for President. Anyone who is serious about this issue, and any other issue around the health and well being of people in the USA, needs to show up and vote for Bernie Sanders in the primary and general election.He has in fact introduced positive legislation around the issue of cannabis in the past. He is the most honest and clear thinking candidate running for President, or that has run for President in a very long time.

    9. Fat Freddy says:

      Most of those against MJ legalization are elderly. One way to get the message through to them is to let them know that MJ has been proven to fight cancer, a disease mostly of old age, as well as epilepsy, dementia and other age related disease.

      It is sad that some of these people will only see the light after their grandchild is arrested for pot and has to fight a felony conviction.

    10. Linda Keller says:

      Many politicians don’t keep their campaign promises after they’re elected. Senator Sanders should PROVE he means what he says and introduce bills to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and to allow marijuana facilities to use the banking system NOW. As Senator Sanders said, “the time is long overdue”, so what is he waiting for?