Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) often pledges on the presidential campaign trail that he will legalize marijuana in all 50 states on his first day in the White House — but he went a step further this weekend by inviting a crowd of about 15,000 people to come and personally witness the cannabis executive action.
At a rally in Chicago on March , the 2020 Democratic candidate reiterated his legalization promise, stating that “there are some things that a president can do with executive order.”
“It just so happens that with an executive order, a president can make marijuana legal in every state in this country,” Sanders said, earning intense applause. “I invite you to the ceremony when we do just that.”
He joked that he might hold the signing ceremony in Grant Park, where the rally was being held.
“Let me ask you all a question: how many folks here know somebody who was arrested for possession of marijuana?” he went on to ask, as he’s done in prior campaign events. “We’re going to move to expunge the records of those arrested for marijuana.”
The senator’s proposal to immediately and unilaterally legalize cannabis nationwide is a relatively recent feature of his campaign, and replaces a prior pledge to enact federal change within his first 100 days in office. And while reform advocates are encouraged that he’s making the issue a priority, some experts have questioned whether the plan is legally or logistically achievable.
Chief among the issues is the fact that removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act wouldn’t necessarily change policies in states that continue to maintain prohibition. It might be federally legal, but individuals could theoretically be prosecuted under state law. Another issue is that the process of changing cannabis’s status under federal law itself involves several agencies and is not something the president can necessarily get done unilaterally—let alone on day one of an administration.
Featured image: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who is campaigning for a 2020 presidential bid, speaks to supporters at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday March 23, 2019, Los Angeles, CA (Yasamin Jafari Tehrani/Shutterstock)
This article has been republished from Marijuana Moment under a content-sharing agreement. Read the original article here.
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