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Marijuana: Where the 2020 Presidential Candidates Stand in Ohio

The marijuana debate has been going strong for decades, and recently we have seen a huge push for acceptance from nearly all walks of life. We have heard opinions from both parties, with varying degrees of intensity, and huge differences exist between the individual candidates. Even then, current policy may be different than the person’s previous voting habits. For some people, including patients using medical marijuana to increase their quality of life, the future legality of marijuana can be of great importance. In this post, we will look at the current 2020 presidential candidates and their stances on marijuana and the laws governing it. 

The Current Views of All Presidential Candidates

    • Michael Bennet (D): A newcomer to the race, Bennet is a current Senator from Colorado. Overall, he supports federal legalization of marijuana and has shown past support, he has cosponsored several marijuana bills, one of which was a 2017 bill ensuring hemp farmers access to federal water [1]. 
    • Joe Biden (D): Former United States Vice President and current candidate, Joe Biden overall does not seem to support federal legalization of marijuana. Joe Biden has a strong past concerning crime and drugs, though he has since softened his stance, supporting decriminalization. 
    • Bill de Blasio (D): In 2018, the current NYC mayor is a supporter of marijuana legalization. Previously, though, he believed in keeping the current laws as they were, while also working to reduce the number of arrests associated with marijuana 
    • Corey Booker (D): Chief sponsor of the famous Marijuana Justice Act, the New Jersey Senator has been a long-time advocate for legalization. He has made marijuana a strong talking point and continues to support his stance. 

 

  • Steve Bullock (D): The Governor of Montana has still been hard to read as far as his views on marijuana are concerned. Overall, he has a past of supporting rights for medical marijuana patients but is not supportive of recreational use.
  • Pete Buttigieg (D): The Indiana mayor has been vocal about changing current marijuana laws. He has even publicly told a story of his previous brush with the law concerning marijuana [2].
  • Julián Castro (D): Although his past rhetoric seems anti-marijuana, Castro recently shared his views in April 2019 [3]. Overall, he is supportive of both medical and recreational marijuana, and is looking for full legalization. 
  • John Delaney (D): Delaney is currently supportive of medical marijuana but opposes full legalization. Like other moderate candidates, he has backed bills allowing for state-run marijuana programs. 
  • Tulsi Gabbard (D): Totally in favor of marijuana reform, this Congresswoman has had a strong past of supporting both medical and recreational marijuana. She has previously backed movements to fully decriminalize marijuana. 
  • Kamala Harris (D): Senator Harris is, and has been, pro-marijuana reform. Currently, she supports full legalization, and her past voting record is the same. Her past is not totally cohesive, though, and has previously voted against legalization in California.
  • Amy Klobuchar (D): Another slightly quiet candidate, Klobuchar has previously been in favor of marijuana reform, and has only recently shown her support for full legalization.
  • Wayne Messam (D): Messam has made no public statements regarding marijuana reform in any capacity.
  • Beto O’Rourke (D): A long-time supporter of reform, O’Rourke is in full support of legalization. He has previously voted in favor of many marijuana reform bills and looks to be continuing on the same path. 
  • Tim Ryan (D): Another supporter of full legalization, but Ryan was previously on the fence regarding marijuana. He famously wrote a pro-marijuana CNN piece concerning the current state of the laws.
  • Bernie Sanders (D): One of the most well-known pro-marijuana candidates, Sanders supports full reform and legalization. He is known for being the first major candidate to come out in support of full legalization, even showing his support in his campaign announcement video.
  • Joe Sestak (D): While Sestak’s views are still not well known, he has a past of supporting state-backed medical marijuana programs. He also supports ease-of-access reform for research.
  • Tom Steyer (D): Despite his lack of political background, Steyer has previously supported marijuana reform and is anti-prohibition. 
  • Elizabeth Warren (D): Warren is in full support of both medical and recreational marijuana. Her past aligns with her views and recently she has sponsored several pro-marijuana bills including the STATES Act.
  • Marianne Williamson (D): Although Williamson’s views are not fully known, she has previously voiced support for marijuana legalization. Currently, she hasn’t shown any political inclinations one way or the other. 
  • Andrew Yang (D): Another candidate with no political background, Yang has shown support for full legalization and has not shied away from showing his views. 
  • Donald Trump (R): Current President Donald Trump has been a difficult figure to understand, seemingly going back and forth on key issues. He has voiced critiques on marijuana legalization but has also stated he may support the STATES Act. 
  • Mark Sanford (R): The most recent entrant in the race, Sanford has shown support of protecting the rights of states with legal marijuana. He has also worked to promote marijuana research and hemp production. 
  • Bill Weld (R): The former Massachusetts Governor has previously been pro-marijuana, backing a recreational marijuana bill and pledging to end marijuana prohibition in 2016.
  • Joe Walsh (R): Walsh has made his views very clear; he supports full legalization and has even spoken publicly about his experiences with marijuana. 

Cited Works

[1] https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1576

[2] https://www.boston.com/news/politics/2019/03/11/pete-buttigieg-harvard-marijuana

[3] https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/julian-castro-town-hall/index.html