Article composed by Sophia Cooper
As of 2016, legalization of Marijuana has remained to be a vital issue. Most of the major contenders for the 2020 presidential nomination came up in support of the legalization of Marijuana, with some going further to propose expunging of Marijuana-related convictions.
Let's find out some of the candidate's perspectives on how they will deal with the marijuana issue if elected.
Let's start by examining the approach to the law and policy of the current president of the United States and the probable nominee for the Republican Party Donald Trump. On some occasions, Trump has expressed candid support to the use of Quality Marijuana seeds as well as giving states the power to decide either to legalize or not.
However, his stand on Marijuana remains unclear because, as the president, his actions flip-flop on both sides. His history with the legislation with Marijuana as from the 2016 presidential campaign saw Trump assert to allowing states to choose the legalization of Marijuana. Shortly after the election, his position changed completely where his government revoked the Obama era policy of allowing states that have legalized Marijuana to do so without interference.
With the 2020 elections approaching, Trump support of pro-legalization stands out as a strategic move seeing that most Americans lean towards legalizing Marijuana.
Though Trump has advocated for the STATES ACT, he has not expressed his views on Marijuana openly. In conclusion, Donald's actions and words do not give a clear indication of his opinion on cannabis.
Senator Bernie Sanders
The presidential candidate claims that if he were to get into the president's office, he plans to legalize weed by executive order. Just like most of the Democratic candidate, the presidential hopeful has laid out steps towards the removal of records for those with weed-related convictions.
Joe plans to leave the decision for legalizing recreational weed to the states. He also claims that he would expunge weed-related conviction as well as end prison sentences, thus decriminalizing cannabis. Marijuana rates as a Schedule 1 drug, which is the classification for drugs with the highest potential for abuse; Joe plans to classify it as Schedule 11, thus allowing more medical research.
The former South Carolina congressman who was also the governor for South Carolina is on the presidential race, where he is challenging Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination.
Sanford favors the legalization of Marijuana. He says that this issue is more concern with federal drug policy. When he was a congressman member, he cast his favor on marijuana reforms on several occasions.
Bill Weld was among the first to announce his primary challenge on Donald. Weld is the former Massachusetts governor, former U.S Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, and he claims that he has supported the legalization of Marijuana for long.
He backed up an initiative that supported recreational Marijuana in his home town of Massachusser in 2016. At the time, he said that he wasn't sure that legalizing Marijuana was the way to go. Later on, in the same year, he stood with Gary Johnson for the Libertarian presidential seat and promised to revoke federal marijuana prohibition if he got the position.
Today, Bill Weld serves as one of the board directors for the Cannabis Investment Firm Acreage Holdings. He supports giving states the right to decide on whether Marijuana should be legal by endorsing the states bill so that states can make this choice without federal interference.
The former Illinois congressman is also challenging Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination. Walsh has made it clear that he endorses the full legalization of Marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes. He admits that he has indulged smoking in the past.
Joe Walsh urges that the drug should be made legal for those over 21. In 2012 he voted in the amendment that seeks to shield states that legalized medical marijuana from federal interference.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
Rep Tulsi Gabbard has always been vocal where she advocates for cannabis reforms since she got her congress seat in 2013. She has voted for several amendments, especially those aimed at shielding all marijuana states.
Tulsi introduced the finding marijuana prohibition act in 2018, which aimed at decriminalizing Marijuana as well as removing it from the Controlled substance act of the states have the liberty to regulate Marijuana as they choose.
After the introduction of the bill, she gave a speech in the U.S House, where she urged her colleagues to support it. In 2019, she filed a well-researched reform bill that decriminalizes Marijuana as well as expunging previous convictions. She served in the medical unit, where she supported legislation that would allow veterans to get easy access to medical cannabis such as from the Canada weed dispensary. Besides the legislative efforts directed towards the support of various reforms on Marijuana, she has made several statements that are pro-cannabis on social media.
The former Rep. for Pennsylvania has remained quiet in concern to the legalization and reforms on cannabis. Over his congress years 2007 and 2011, he never stood up for or against any cannabis reforms.
However, Sestak voted for an amendment that aimed at protecting medical marijuana states. He also supported the changing of federal laws to allow for more thorough research into psychoactive substances.
Though his stand is not very clear, his various views and statements point to the fact that he supports increased access to medical Marijuana.
Though not particularly vocal on her views towards Marijuana, she supports legalization wholeheartedly. Her policy page for the 2020 election does not touch on cannabis as an issue, but she makes criminal justice and mass incarceration are some of her signature features. Since she has not held any political office previously, she has not had a chance to participate in any votes for cannabis legislation.
The mayor of Messam second term running has not made his opinion on marijuana legislation clear. His campaign page for the 2020 presidential election does not include cannabis reforms as one of the features.
The prominent businessman and entrepreneur have made marijuana legalization to be one of the critical parts for the 2020 platform. On his policy page, yang claims that he supports the idea of legalizing Marijuana fully as well as expunging federal offenses that relate to the use and possession of Marijuana.
He also claims that he will reduce all sentences about nonviolent drug offenders by offering early releases and offering probations. His campaign has taken to selling cannabis-themed merchandise which includes bumper stickers, caps and T-shirts. Yang has not had an opportunity to introduce, vote, or sponsor any marijuana legislation because he has never held a political office previously.
Gov. Steve Bullock
The Montanna governor has not supported marijuana reforms or the legislation of recreational Marijuana. However, he claims that in 2004, he voted yes to legalize medical marijuana in Montana. During his years in office as the governor, he has signed in legislation and reforms which regulate the marijuana industry as well as to protect state laws on medical marijuana.
The democratic presidential candidate promises to do away with drug possession and apply reductions on drug possession. He also plans to legalize Marijuana as well as expunge past convictions on the same.
Julian Castro is the former United States secretary of housing and urban development, and he has made very few comments regarding his opinion on Marijuana. However, he supported CNN town hall in 2019, for the legalization of Marijuana, expunging of records for those imprisoned for the use of Marijuana. He also proposed a criminal justice plan in 2019 that favored making Marijuana legal, the removal of prior cannabis convictions, and investment in the cannabis industry.
Though she has not laid out a specific plan on the issue, she introduced an act on Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment in July. The bill seeks to expunge marijuana convictions, create funds for businesses related to cannabis, and diverse the demographics of the industry.
He introduced the Marijuana Justice Act, which seeks to accomplish his goals on cannabis. Cory pledges that if elected, he will delete records for weed-related crimes. He would also reduce sentences for those serving sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.
Mayor Bill De Blasio
Initially, the New York mayor opposed the legalization of Marijuana; however, in 2018, he endorsed the legalization of cannabis fully. The mayor said that he supports the idea of legalizing Marijuana under certain conditions.
If elected, he plans to remove weed from Schedule 1 of the controlled substance act and to expunge weed-related convictions. He also plans to put in place federal guidelines that support decisions made at the state level.
The former hedge fund manager has remained unclear on his stance on Marijuana. However, he supported the legalization of Marijuana in an interview on The Las Vegas Sun. He was also a part of the campaign held in the 2016 California initiative advocating for parole consideration for those convicted for nonviolent offenses.
Rep. Seth Moulton
He supports easy and legal access to medical and recreational marijuana. While serving as the Massachusetts representative, Moulton has voted and sponsored various cannabis reforms
The issue of marijuana legalization remains a prominent factor for the 2020 presidential elections. The reforms and legislation could lead to the Autoflowering seeds that are likely to yield a high-quality harvest. Candidates running their campaign around criminal justice have taken a keen interest where most of them have made a clear stance.