Democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders takes his political revolution to Puerto Rico, promising in Spanish to legalize marijuana if elected president.
“Would you legalize marijuana?” one person asked in Spanish, before repeating the question in English.
“Si,” he said, and joked.“You see, my Spanish is good enough to know that word.”
He said he thinks it’s unfair that so many people have drug crimes on their record, making it harder for them to get jobs.
Sanders cited congressional legislation he introduced that would take marijuana off of the list of substances under the Federal Controlled Substance Act.
“We’ve got marijuana and heroin together, that’s pretty crazy to my mind,” he said.
Earlier in the event, Sanders spoke Spanish with his heavy Brooklyn accent to explain that the majority of his speech would be in English.
Sanders characteristically thundered against the billionaire banking interests that were campaigning against the idea of financial assistance for Puerto Rico, and proposing austerity measures for the debt ridden island.
“Austerity will not solve this crisis,” he said, “We must vigorously oppose all efforts at austerity.”
He condemned “vulture funds” for trying force Puerto Rico to reduce the minimum wage and cut public services and entitlements to satisfy their $70 billion debt.
“What must be made abundantly clear is that these hedge funds must take a massive haircut,” he said. “They are not going to get it all. The people in Puerto Rico should not be made to suffer even more.”
He called for a stupendous increase of government spending to improve infrastructure, including public transportation systems and fixing electric grids and broadband internet.