Not long ago, the mainstream consensus was that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has no chance of winning the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, with only his supporters vocally opposing this sentiment. Now, in a short period of time, things have changed. According to a CBS News/YouGov poll released yesterday, Sanders leads Hillary Clinton in the first voting state of Iowa 47% to 46% (with voting just a week away). In the second voting state of New Hampshire, his lead is much larger; 57% to 38%. This type of lead would have been unheard of just a couple months ago.
A big part of this rapid uprising for Sanders is the fact that his message is finally being reached by a wider audience; several debates have taken place in the past couple months, the media has started to pay more attention to him, and probably most importantly of all, he recently began airing television commercials promoting his message (Sanders has received more individual donations at this point than any presidential candidate in history). Sanders large bump in support also came after announcing his support for ending cannabis prohibition on the federal level, removing cannabis as a controlled substance, even filing a bill in the Senate to do just that. Legalizing cannabis, of course, is supported by 58% of those in the United States, according to the most recent Gallup poll.
All of this said, Sanders is still trailing in national polls, with a recent CNN poll showing Clinton ahead 53% to Sanders 38%. Still, 15% is not an unreasonable number to overcome, especially considering the inevitable rush of extra attention that would be placed on Sanders if he wins Iowa and/or New Hampshire, which is seeming more and more likely by the day.
For cannabis law reformers, the choice between Clinton – who recently announced support for rescheduling cannabis to schedule 2, placing it alongside cocaine and other dangerous drugs – and Sanders, is clear. Sanders is the only major-party presidential candidate at the moment who supports anything close to federal legalization, and a Sanders presidency would be a huge victory for cannabis law reform across the nation.
Given Sanders’ rise in the polls, and with election season officially underway next week, there’s no better time for those supportive of cannabis law reform to get behind Bernie Sanders, and to do everything they can to promote his message and candidacy.
You can learn more about Bernie Sanders, and can sign up to volunteer or make a donation, at his website which can be found by clicking here.