Presidential standpoints on the legalization of marijuana plays a major impact on those who love the recreational use of it, as well as those who need it for those days where just nothing seems to be going right and need an “ahhh” moment, and let’s face it, baths just aren’t for everyone. To influence your vote a lil bit more we’ve dug deeper to find out what the main democratic and republicans lead have or are saying about the issue at hand.

Bernie Sanders once said, “Someone in the United States is arrested every minute on marijuana charges. Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use. That’s wrong. That has got to change.” Bernie has said on multiple occasions that he favors removing marijuana from the list of controlled substances regulated by federal law. He believes that being prosecuted for something as minor as possession of marijuana is something that should not be taken into consideration due to the fact that there are various offenses that play a much larger role in the criminal aspect of society. Sanders doesn’t necessarily believe this needs to be a concern at the moment, but he doesn’t push it aside just because there are more important issues, he sees the strain the public is putting on it and will look more into it when need be, but it’s obvious he’s more in tune with the fact that having it not legalized is creating more problems than it needs to be.

Similar to Sanders, Clinton takes a stand much like this one in the sense that she believes the incarceration of people because of the procession of marijuana is something that is overlooked and shouldn’t be taken as seriously as it is with the prison population rate rising for something so miniscule. Clinton also points out the overlooked fact that marijuana has been in medical research for years, and the barriers set on it should be removed. “I don’t think we’ve done enough research yet although I think for people who are in extreme medical conditions and have anecdotal evidence that it works, there should be availability under appropriate circumstances.” She hopes that states follow Colorado and Washington for they’re the stepping stones in a path to show what really works and what doesn’t. “Honestly, I don’t think we’ve done enough research yet to say what the effects are and what they could be on different people with different physical or psychological issues, different ages — yes, medical first and foremost, we ought to be doing more to make sure that we know how marijuana would interact with other prescription drugs and the like. But we also have to know how even medical marijuana impacts our kids and our communities.” Clinton believes that there shouldn’t be a total leap of faith in the legalization of recreational use of marijuana mostly due to drug cartels in Latin America that use marijuana to get footholds in states, but that we really just need to do more research on what we would actually be approving, for medical and safety concerns.

In 1990, Trump once said he wanted all drugs legalized… yep, he actually said that. The crowd pleaser continued this stand point with saying he supports the legalization of marijuana, not for the medical benefits, but to, believe it or not, take power away from another higher up in the world. “We’re losing badly the War on Drugs. You have to legalize drugs to win that war. You have to take the profit away from these drug czars.”  Trump is always very unclear of what he actually wants, but from previous interviews it seems as though he’s okay with medical marijuana, as long as you’re okay with it too. “I think it’s bad, and I feel strongly about that,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of problems going on right now in Colorado, some big problems.” However, when asked about the states’ rights aspect to marijuana laws, Trump said, “If they vote for it, they vote for it.” When he actually addressed the medical benefit of marijuana he replied as such, “Marijuana is such a big thing. I think medical should happen — right? Don’t we agree? I think so. And then I really believe we should leave it up to the states.” Who really knows what Trump wants?

In April of 2015, Rubio clearly stated that he does not want marijuana to be legalized, and that in states that it has been, the federal government needs to go in and repeal such laws. He’s a firm believer in the federal law system, and therefore does not want it to be a country wide legalization. Basically stating, yes on medical, no on recreational. “If there are medicinal uses of marijuana that don’t have the elements that are mind-altering or create the high but do alleviate whatever condition it may be they are trying to alleviate, that is something I would be open to. The bottom line is, I believe that adding yet another mind-altering substance to something that’s legal is not good for the country, I understand there are people that have different views on it, but I feel strongly about that.” So it seems as though Rubio is more afraid of the side affects more than the enjoyment of it, which is a good point… but then again alcohol is legalized so there is a double standard to be addressed here, don’t ya think?

Cruz was once opposed to the Obama Administration for not enforcing federal law on Washington and Colorado due to the fact marijuana was only legalized to regulate and tax marijuana simply to alcohol. But he’s had a change of heart, one of which much similar to Clinton’s point. “That’s a legitimate question for the states to make a determination. And the citizens of Colorado and Washington State have come to a different conclusion. They’ve decided that they want to legalize it. I think it is appropriate for the federal government to recognize that the citizens of those states have made that decision. One of the benefits of it … is we can now watch and see what happens in Colorado and Washington State.” It’s clear he wants to make Washington and Colorado a role model for what steps we should take next. Cruz clearly states that the federal law isn’t his main concern, but that it’s really up to the states needs for further action. Cruz clarifies that if it appeared on Texas’s ballot, he would vote against the state legalization of marijuana.

Clearly there are some who are borderline, and some who truly feel like the federal system enacted a hundred years ago are correct. In upcoming election, these are some points to look at if you’re stuck on voting for someone who agrees with a lil puff here and there. But when voting this year, also don’t be afraid to look at other issues and really educate yourself about things past what the media puts out there.

You can view “every political leader on every issue” at ontheissues.org to be more involved in the upcoming election.
Author – Erica Purdy

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