Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has made it clear he would like to end the federal prohibition of cannabis. The big question is, will he ever be in a position to do something about it?
Right now he is a U.S. Senator, which gives him more power in this arena than most. He has the power to sponsor and advocate for a bill that would end cannabis prohibition on a federal level, which he has done.
If Senator Bernie Sanders has already impressed you with his humble background, campaign funding discrimination, and generally progressive stance that give him that "cool old guy" feel, I am about to add another feather to his cap. Remember, Hillary and Bernie differ quite a bit when it comes to legalization.
When it comes to the Democratic presidential candidates for 2016, they are in “play to the base” mode. This is where they hype Democratic issues in anticipation for the primaries. And if you’re looking for a popular issue to hype to progressives nationwide, marijuana law reform is the one.
While some states are making great strides in marijuana law reform, the federal government is moving along at a glacial pace when it comes to reforms. Congress had made some progress, and there are rumblings of agencies making changes, but little has come from the White House as of yet except for some vague references to criminal justice reform.
Barack Obama will leave office in January of 2017. Whoever takes his place will have major influence on how quickly the federal government adopts major reforms, if it does at all. And no matter what the states do, there is always the specter of federal intervention hanging over them.