Senator Bernie Sanders expressed approval over the past month regarding the approach to cannabis in his home state. The senator tweeted on October 9 that he is thrilled about the progress regarding cannabis taking place in his home state of Vermont, as well as the startling numbers of cannabis-related arrests that took place last year.
Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced earlier this month that he would allow a bill to legalize cannabis sales to become enacted without his signature, and signed another bill to allow for the expungement of past cannabis-related convictions.
“Let me congratulate the state legislature for making Vermont the 11th state in the country to legalize marijuana and also for expunging past marijuana convictions,” Sanders tweeted. Now, it is time for Congress and the federal government to end the war on drugs and legalize marijuana nationwide.”
Let me congratulate the state legislature for making Vermont the 11th state in the country to legalize marijuana and also for expunging past marijuana convictions. Now, it is time for Congress and the federal government to end the war on drugs and legalize marijuana nationwide.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 9, 2020
Sanders conceded in the Democratic Primary election to former vice president Joe Biden. However, the Independent senator put forth easily the most progressive stance on cannabis compared to his counterparts, saying he will “legalize marijuana in the first 100 days with executive action.” His promise is still listed on his website under the section for cannabis policy.
He also pledged to legalize cannabis in all 50 states “on his first day of office,” however, some media sources pointed out that such an action would be unlikely for the country’s executive branch.
Sanders also tweeted on the same day statistics about the number of Americans who were arrested for cannabis last year.
Number of Americans arrested for possessing marijuana in 2019: 500,395
Number of Americans arrested for violent crimes in 2019: 495,871
In America, no one should get arrested for possessing marijuana. Let’s end the drug war, legalize marijuana and expunge marijuana convictions.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) October 9, 2020
Sander’s rival Biden agreed to decriminalize cannabis alongside his candidate for vice president, Senator Kamala Harris, but opposed full legalization measures.