Bernie Sanders for President campaign event
Photo via Phil Roeder/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Bernie Sanders Says He’ll Legalize Marijuana And Expunge Past Pot Convictions

If you’re still trying to decide who to support in the Democratic primaries, Senator Bernie Sanders just made a promise that may clinch it for a certain segment of the U.S. population. At a campaign rally in Dallas, Texas on Friday, the presidential candidate promised to use executive order to legalize cannabis federally and expunge the records of everyone who had been convicted of possession of the drug.

“By executive order, I can and will legalize marijuana in every state in this country,” he said. “We will expunge the records of those arrested for possession of marijuana.”

Sanders has been vocally in favor of full legalization and the release of those imprisoned on possession charges as well as the removal of those convictions from their criminal records.

The announcement that he will do so via executive order solidifies his position and could mean that legalization would happen faster under a President Sanders.

Nearly all Democratic presidential candidates support the federal legalization of cannabis, which remains a Schedule I drug under the U.S. system in spite of several states having legalized the substance within their borders. Elizabeth Warren also supports expunging the records of those convicted of possession. Joe Biden only supports decriminalization, and Mike Bloomberg wants to “let the states decide.”

Conservative responses are predictable.

Sanders has also vowed to end the so-called “War on Drugs” in the country, end private prisons, and reduce the U.S. prison population, which is a significantly larger percentage of the total population than in any other nation on the planet.

The cool people of America are stoked about the news.

Aim high, am I right?