During Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate, Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders expressed support for legalizing recreational cannabis. When asked if he would vote on an initiative to legalize cannabis which will appear on next year’s ballot in Nevada, Sanders responded “yes, I suspect I would”.
“This marks the first time a major-party presidential candidate has clearly expressed support for ending marijuana prohibition and regulating marijuana like alcohol”, says Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. “The people have typically led the politicians on this issue, and finally we’re seeing a presidential candidate who appears to have caught up with them.”
When Hillary Clinton was asked if she was ready to take a position on legalizing cannabis now that she’s had over a year to examine legalization laws in Colorado and Washington, she said “no”, but added that she supports access to medical cannabis, though wants more research to be done on what conditions it should be used for.
The other three candidates, former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and former U.S. Senator Jim Webb, were not asked their opinion on legalizing cannabis.