|Democrats Forming Marijuana Legalization Consensus|
|Posted by CN Staff on February 15, 2018 at 05:45:36 PT
By Tom Angell, Contributor
Washington, D.C. — Support for marijuana legalization is quickly becoming a mainstream consensus position in the Democratic Party. Two of the party’s leading potential 2020 presidential candidates joined together this week in support of far-reaching legislation that would end the federal prohibition of cannabis and encourage states to legalize the drug.“Legalizing marijuana isn’t a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said about the legislation, the Marijuana Justice Act, which he introduced last August.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who signed onto the bill as a cosponsor on Wednesday and did a Facebook Live chat with Booker about it, called cannabis legalization “a social justice issue and a moral issue that Congress needs to address.”
The vocal pro-legalization support from the two senators, who are widely considered to be weighing campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, signals that a shift toward marijuana reform advocacy that has been underway in the party for some time is elevating to a near consensus.
And polling shows that Democratic voters are in support of the move.
Gallup found last year that 72 percent of Democrats back marijuana legalization, and a Quinnipiac University survey last month showed that 95 percent of the party’s voters support medical cannabis.
The latter poll also showed that just 12 percent of Democrats want the federal government to interfere with the implementation state marijuana laws.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who caucuses with Democrats, also supports legalization. The senator, who introduced legislation to deschedule marijuana during his nearly successful campaign for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination, is reportedly considering another run in 2020.
Last week, Sanders’s campaign organization launched an online petition calling for an end to marijuana prohibition and the broader “war on drugs.
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