Jeez, where did the time go? American voters are already gearing up for the next Presidential election. The race to the White House ultimately begins on November 3, 2020 — the first day of voting — but you can set yourself up for success by doing a little research about the Presidential candidates and their stances on marijuana, beforehand. It’s always a good idea to know who you’re voting for before you step into that intimidating booth.
The Divided States of America
Like oil and water, it often seems that marijuana and politics do not mix. Too often we hear horror stories of users getting busted or caught by the police and sent off to jail for unreasonably long sentences. Then again, that level of fear and paranoia highly depends on where you live. Does your state already have recreational marijuana? What about medical? At this point, it feels contradictory to call the United States, well, united. We couldn’t be more divided when it comes to marijuana legalization. The same could be said of our opinions on the Presidential candidates.
Imagine a marijuana map if you will. The west coast (Washington, Oregon, California, and kinda-sorta Nevada) charge full steam ahead on recreational marijuana. As you move further east, you’ve got Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Sorry, marijuana lovers, it’s not happening. At least not *yet*. But then you’ve got Colorado where *surprise* marijuana is fully legal!
Clearly, there’s no pattern here. It would be a miracle if we could all get on the same page about at least one pressing issue. And guess what? The 2020 presidential election could be that very miracle. Let’s see which Presidential candidates could federally legalize marijuana.
Leading Names In The 2020 Presidential Election
Regardless of where you stand on current president Donald Trump (we know, we know), he’s made it clear that he does not support federal legalization of marijuana moving forward. Not to say he hasn’t been wishy-washy in the past. From previous years, he’s been quoted saying marijuana can help some people. “…in some ways, I think it’s good and in other ways, it’s bad…I know people that have serious problems… and it really, really does help them.”
But don’t let your hopes up. The White House has blocked a bill that would make it easier to study the use of medical cannabis by those same veterans, and we all know that actions speak louder than words. This suggests Trump is a BIG FAT NO on federal legalization.
Another big name in the 2020 presidential run is Joe Biden. While one may think that he’s this uber-liberal, uber-left wing candidate, his views on marijuana suggest otherwise. In his eyes, marijuana is still very much a gateway drug. “There’s a difference between sending someone to jail for a few ounces and legalizing it…The punishment should fit the crime. But I think legalization is a mistake. I still believe [marijuana] is a gateway drug.”
This may be shocking to some considering former President Barack Obama was seemingly pro-marijuana. He thinks that marijuana should be treated as a public health issue similar to cigarettes and alcohol.
Also in the running for 2020 is Bernie Sanders, who appeared to be a fan-favorite amongst millennial liberals four years ago. I think a lot of us can agree that voting between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump was like choosing the lesser of two evils. Bur now, Bernie is giving it a second shot! And yes, he’s in support of federal legalization. Duh! “Right now, marijuana is listed by the federal government as a Schedule I drug—meaning that it is considered to be as dangerous as heroin. That is absurd.” In fact, Bernie is one of the most pro-marijuana Presidential candidates out of the bunch.
Which Candidates Support Federal Legalization?
Since we don’t have time to go through every.single.candidate (cause, yeah, there’s a lot), we’ll make things easier for you with a list. The following candidates are in support of federal legalization:
- Michael Bennett
- Cory Booker
- Pete Buttigieg
- Julián Castro
- Bill DeBlasio
- Tulsi Gabbard
- Kirsten Gillibrand
- Kamala Harris
- John Hickenlooper
- Jay Inslee
- Seth Moulton
- Beto O’Rourke
- Tim Ryan
- Bernie Sanders
- Eric Swalwell
- Elizabeth Warren
- William Weld
- Marianne Williamson
- Andrew Yang
Those against federal legalization are Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Granted, you’ve still got some Presidential candidates who are on the fence and could change their stance at any moment — Amy Klobuchar, Wayne Messam, Steve Bullock, John Delaney. Just by looking at the numbers, we can already tell that 2020 is going to bring a big push for federal legalization, which should be great news to all of you reading this! Otherwise, why would you be on a weed website in the first place?
The future looks bright for federal marijuana legalization! I think we can all agree that the government has bigger fish to fry than smokers and tokers. If we stop focusing on the minor things (like marijuana), maybe we can shift our attention to immigration, education, and climate change. Things that actually matter to this country. Important reminder: voting begins on November 3, 2020. We can’t wait to see how things shake out for the 2020 Presidential candidates!