At his February 1 rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Bernie Sanders promised an executive order to legalize weed on his first day in office.
Vermont senator and socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders led thousands in a “party-like” campaign event bursting at the seams with enthusiastic voters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, just two days before the caucus. Booze, music, and headliners like Grammy-award-winning indie rock group Vampire Weekend served as a prelude to a rousing speech.
“We’re not only going to win here in Iowa,” Sanders called out to a deafening ovation from his supporters, “we’re not only going to win the Democratic nomination, but we are going to defeat this dangerous president.” The whole thing made for a strong statement, especially while neighboring events for Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and Elizabeth Warren — his chief rivals for the Democrat nomination — drew between 158 and 700 voters.
Notably, Sanders used the event to make a bold promise to his supporters. “We will end the destructive war on drugs,” he said, assuring them that he would start right away. “On my first day in office, through executive order, we will legalize marijuana in every state in this country.”
Beyond simply making weed legally accessible, Sanders wants to liberate the disproportionate number of minorities imprisoned on low-grade possession charges. “We will move forward to expunge the records of those arrested for possession of marijuana,” he said, continuing:
We will make certain that the legalized marijuana industry is not controlled by a handful of corporations, but that those people — the African-American community, the Latino community, the Native American community — those people who have suffered the most will get help in order to make money through a legalized marijuana industry.
The stance plays very differently from that of former Vice President Joe Biden, who has said he would not make a decision regarding legalization until more studies were completed. It is even further from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s position. The billionaire New York politician called attempts at recreational legalization “perhaps the stupidest thing anybody has ever done.”
Today, as Iowa voters make their decision on the Democrat nominee, Sanders is projected to win. Sanders is currently experiencing another surge of popular support across the country, pushing him into the pole position to run against President Donald Trump for the White House in 2020 — and terrifying the Democrat establishment in the process.