Grading the Democratic Presidential Candidates on Marijuana: Elizabeth Warren


Every Saturday, we now have been operating a sequence of weblog posts that take an in depth take a look at every of the Democratic Occasion candidates for President in 2020. We study every candidate’s historic method to marijuana regulation and coverage, and we additionally canvas their present respective stances on marijuana.

Over the previous three weeks, we lined Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris. In the present day, we flip to Elizabeth Warren, the Senator from Massachusetts.

Grade: B+

Stance on marijuana: This previous April, Senator Elizabeth Warren clearly vocalized her help for cannabis legalization at a CNN city corridor. On social media, Warren has additionally come out strongly in help of legalization. Warren’s web site, nevertheless, doesn’t particularly advocate for legalization however reasonably for “rewriting our legal guidelines to decriminalize marijuana.” It’s unclear whether or not this is a vital distinction in Warren’s platform as a presidential candidate.

Historical past with marijuana laws: Warren’s stance on marijuana has developed over the course of her senate profession. In 2011 throughout her first marketing campaign for Senate, Warren expressed openness to legalizing medical marijuana however opposed legalization normally. On the CNN city corridor this previous April, Warren declared that she had supported Massachusetts’ poll initiative to legalize marijuana again in 2012. In actuality, Warren was hesitant to supply her help for the poll initiative, vacillating between silence and tentative approval. In a 2018 interview with Rolling Stone Journal, Warren additionally exaggerated her help for Massachusetts’ 2016 poll initiative to legalize marijuana; she mentioned she had endorsed it, however her solely assertion in regards to the initiative was that she was “open to the potential for legalizing marijuana.”

In 2018, nevertheless, Warren pushed for marijuana reform by each her rhetoric and legislative motion. In 2018, she co-wrote a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to reinstate the Cole memo. Later that yr, she co-sponsored the STATES Act, a bi-partisan invoice which, if handed, would amend the Managed Substances Act to permit States to “implement their very own marijuana legal guidelines with out federal interference.” She additionally co-sponsored the Marijuana Justice Act (which might legalize marijuana if handed) in addition to a number of different marijuana reform payments.

Warren turned a vocal advocate of legalization only a yr earlier than asserting her intention to run for president in December of 2018. Contemplating that almost all of People help legalization, this shift in Warren’s platform was most undoubtedly a deliberate transfer as Warren equipped for her presidential marketing campaign.

Conclusion: Warren receives a “B+” grade on cannabis. She clearly needs to come back throughout as a long-time advocate for marijuana reform. Regardless of her claims, nevertheless, Warren didn’t constantly help legalization of marijuana earlier than 2016. Moreover, the assertion on Warren’s web site concerning marijuana requires decriminalization, reasonably than legalization, regardless that Warren herself has referred to as for legalization. Luckily, Warren’s latest legislative motion surrounding marijuana is promising, indicating Warren would probably reform marijuana legal guidelines if elected President.


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