Senator Bernie Sanders released on Thursday at 4:20pm EST, a proposal to legalize cannabis. The proposal would push to legalize cannabis within 100 days through executive action.
Initially, Sanders will have to sign an executive order to direct the attorney general to declassify cannabis as a controlled substance. This would remove it from the drug scheduling system as well as legalize cannabis on a federal level.
Secondly, Sanders will have to push Congress to enact a bill to “ensure permanent legalization of marijuana.” After federal legalization, individual states will have to legalize which may pose an issue on states that have neither recreation and medical use passed. 11 states have recreational cannabis use legalized. At the moment, cannabis businesses must operate as cash-only enterprises as banks choose not to deal with businesses where there are gray area revolving legality issues.
Cannabis related convictions may be pushed to expungement. In Sander’s criminal justice reform plan, he will set up a clemency board to grant individuals with federal convictions early relief. Including a move to “eliminate barriers to public benefits for people who have interacted with the criminal justice system.” Furthermore, Sanders has sworn to create support systems for those formerly jailed that entail as USD 10 Billion grant program to “help disproportionately impacted areas and individuals who have been arrested for or convicted of marijuana offenses start urban and rural farms and urban and rural marijuana growing operations,” and a $10 billion development fund to “provide grants to communities hit hardest by the War on Drugs.”
Other 2020 Candidates, including Joe Biden have been advocated for cannabis legalization. Even in extreme scrutiny, cannabis has been widely advocated by the common consumer.