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Bernie Sanders Leaves The Door Open On Marijuana 
Posted by CN Staff on May 20, 2015 at 18:22:38 PT
By Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post
Source: Huffington Post 
USA -- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Tuesday that he supports the decriminalization of marijuana possession and the legalization of medical marijuana, and suggested that he's also open to considering further reforms when it comes to recreational marijuana."Let me just say this," Sanders began in response to a question about his position on the war on drugs during a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" style interview. "The state of Vermont voted to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana and I support that. I have supported the use of medical marijuana. And when I was mayor of Burlington, in a city with a large population, I can tell you very few people were arrested for smoking marijuana. Our police had more important things to do."
With regard to full marijuana legalization, Sanders said he will look to Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal, to see the effects of such a policy change. Colorado was the first state to legalize the drug for recreational purposes. It's now fully legal in four states and in Washington, D.C., though sales remain banned in the District."Colorado has led the effort toward legalizing marijuana and I'm going to watch very closely to see the pluses and minuses of what they have done," Sanders wrote on Reddit. "I will have more to say about this issue within the coming months."Sanders, who announced in April that he will run for president in 2016, has acknowledged using marijuana when he was younger. The senator has been a vocal critic of the decades-old war on drugs, telling Time magazine in 2014 that he had "real concerns" about U.S. drug policy."We have been engaged in [the war on drugs] for decades now with a huge cost and the destruction of a whole lot of lives of people who were never involved in any violent activities," he told Time.Sanders' home state is one of 23 that have already legalized marijuana for medical purposes. It's also one of 19 that have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. In addition, Vermont is one of a handful of states currently exploring legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana. At least 10 states, including Vermont, are expected to consider these or similar legalization measures by 2016.A string of recent polls have shown that a majority of Americans support the legalization of marijuana. Yet the federal government continues to ban the plant, classifying it as one of the "most dangerous" drugs alongside heroin and LSD."It's really exciting to have Sen. Sanders express unequivocal support for decriminalization and medical marijuana," said Tom Angell, chairman of the drug policy reform group Marijuana Majority, to The Huffington Post. "And reading between the lines, it seems to me like he's getting ready to endorse full legalization soon. A growing majority of voters supports marijuana reform, and more candidates are starting to recognize that it makes good political sense to court the cannabis constituency instead of criminalize us."Source: Huffington Post (NY)Author: Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post	Published: May 19, 2015Copyright: 2015 HuffingtonPost.com, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/URL: http://drugsense.org/url/k6s3MvvsCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/cannabis.shtml 
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on May 21, 2015 at 21:00:26 PT
Help me understand!
In Historic Vote, Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Veterans Medical Marijuana Amendment
First Time Senate Has Voted on Marijuana Law ReformAmendment Would Allow VA Doctors to Recommend Medical Marijuana to Their Patients in States Where Itís Legal- See more at: http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/2015/05/historic-vote-senate-appropriations-committee-approves-veterans-medical-marijuana-amend#sthash.p0cPKlr2.dpuf
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Comment #4 posted by John Tyler on May 21, 2015 at 20:35:55 PT
Bernie
Bernie is a good guy. 
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Comment #3 posted by Universer on May 20, 2015 at 23:20:55 PT
Bern, baby, Bern
Senator Sanders' best role might turn out to be pushing Hillary to the left and (among other things) making her think much more absolutely, much less establishmenty, on this (our) issue.He can fill that role if and only if he gets numbers. He can really help push himself towards those numbers with full-throated support for an admittedly flashy and attention-grabbing stance like the correction of cannabis prohibition.It's not particularly newsworthy to be in support of marriage equality anymore. Anyone with a political brain cell knows that that's gonna be nationwide soon and here to stay. (That brain class excludes several demographics of the Republican Party, though anymore by no means all of it since even some Repugnicans aren't dickish enough to tell two people what they can do in their private lives and public declarations.)But if he evolves toward full re-legalization, as Angell says he thinks he's hinting toward, then that could help him gain traction, spur Hillary toward embracing the suddenly successful idea as her own, and aid our cause significantly in the long and short runs.It could be a beautiful thing.Bernie Sanders is the least clueless person in the Senate. He's good at getting it.Among the things I take it he sees: Increasingly, people have scarce patience for others who choose to be dickish enough to tell a person what they can do in the private life and personal space.Libertarian socialism has promise.(We know Barack ain't gonna do it. That's not the legacy he wants. I've come to accept that. His eggs are in the healthcare basket. He ain't signing nothing for us.)Bern baby Bern. Mr. Sandman, bring me a fair, just and good governance structure.
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Comment #2 posted by Vincent on May 20, 2015 at 22:03:52 PT:
The Next President
The next President? If only!!! This man would make a great President, and, as a Socialist, he would not owe either Party a damn thing.  
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on May 20, 2015 at 20:56:59 PT
Standing out is what voters are watching for?
That would be interesting if Bernie comes out supporting RE-legalization and it projects Him ahead in the polls.I don't think I've followed this much ( and don't know who He is) but it seems as though He needs to stand out and supporting cannabis will do it.Stand out or else look more like everyone else.Voters may be tired of the same old crappy politicians but often feel like there isn't much choice. Bernie could be that choice and cannabis will help shape it.
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