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Bernie Sanders Endorses California Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Bernie Sanders cannabis Now
Photo by Gage Skidmore


Bernie Sanders Endorses California Marijuana Legalization Initiative

The United States’ most progressive candidate for President of the United States endorsed the leading marijuana legalization effort in California, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act; adding momentum to the campaign of “Let’s Get It Right, California”.

“You’ve got a pretty good ballot initiative coming up in November,” Sanders first told California crowds in regards to marijuana policy on May 10, reports state. Sanders decried the reality that young people have criminal records for pot, while the bankers that crashed the U.S. economy were never charged. Then on Wednesday, Bernie doubled down.

“I do not live in California,” the Vermont senator told supporters at a rally in San Jose, reports state. “But if I lived in California, I would vote ‘yes’ to legalize marijuana.”

Sanders is the most vocal supporter of cannabis law reform among presidential candidates — vowing to take cannabis off the federal list of controlled substances and leave policy up to the states. He is battling former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the California primary June 7. Secretary of State Clinton has said she would respect state marijuana laws and move cannabis to Schedule 2 of the federal list.

Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has taken varying stances on cannabis, most recently saying both that he would respect state laws, but then saying Colorado legalization as creating “a lot of problems”. By contrast, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has said that legalization “just might work” in Colorado.

Californians will get one chance to vote on cannabis legalization on Nov. 8 courtesy of the “Let’s Get It Right, California” campaign in support of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

AUMA immediately legalizes one ounce of flower in public and growing six plants per household in private for adults 21 and over. Adults could eventually buy cannabis in regulated, licensed retail stores like Colorado and Washington. AUMA also allows people with past convictions to get their records expunged, and the currently incarcerated to petition for re-sentencing under the new marijuana rules.

About 20,000 Californians will be arrested for pot this year.

A number of groups are opposed to California legalization this year, including the leaders of the state’s prison guards, police and sheriff’s deputies, as well as those in the drug abuse treatment industry.

Prohibition’s supporters have donated over $60,000 to defeat the measure.

Joining with the prison guards in opposition to AUMA are some rival legalization groups, as well as select pockets of medical and recreational cannabis growers and stores opposed to further regulations and reform.

Do you support AUMA? Let us know in the comments below.



  1. Shadar

    May 28, 2016 at 9:12 am

    I support ANY legalization initiative or bill that allows people to buy cannabis at shops in any form for any reason. Including no reason other than that they like it.

    AUMA isn’t perfect by any means, but it’s not all that much worse than what AK, CO, WA and OR started with. And the shops in CO, WA and OR are stuffed (overstuffed) with good product and prices continue to fall.

    Once its legal and regulated, then you can work on tuning the laws to make it work better. For instance, when WA started, supply was highly constrained and crappy quality and there were limited number of shops. Now the state has doubled the number of shops (more licenses available than takers) and supply of legal weed is so large that taxed shop weed has fallen below the price that black market was at before legalization. And some (certainly not all) of that weed is better than the black market ever delivered.

    So yeah, pass AUMA, and then start on improving it.

    I can tell you this with some confidence… if CA doesn’t legalize in 2016, then very few (if any) other states ever will. And the Feds… forget it. Once these kinds of things stall out, the Establishment takes over, and does as as little as possible other than to line their own pockets.

    Remember, behind every wave is a trough. If the wave doesn’t wash you to shore, you gotta wait for the next one. I saw that in the early 70’s. The trough was huge and deep and ugly, and the next wave took a long time to come. Don’t think this can’t happen again.

  2. m. Wolf segal

    May 24, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Because Carers doesn’t open up full entourage medical cannabis.

  3. m. Wolf segal

    May 24, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Allison D Because Carers does NOT open the door to full spectrum use and keeps it in the hands of big-pharma.

  4. spam

    May 24, 2016 at 10:25 am

    What’s up with Gary Johnson?

  5. Allison

    May 24, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Why won’t Bernie sign on to the bipartisan-sponsored CARERS ACT that has bipartisan support and a much better chance of passing than his bill with no co-sponsors?? It will immediately benefit veterans, researchers and over 140 million people. Can you say hypocrite boys & girls???

  6. elelo

    May 23, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    I LIKE SANDERS the man tells it like it is!

    • Allison D

      May 24, 2016 at 10:25 am

      Bernie is a hypocrite! Ask him why he refuses to sign on to the CARERS ACT that is supported by bipartisan co-sponsors??

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