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Where Do the 2020 Presidential Candidates Stand on Marijuana?


Marijuana has become a big talking point for many people, political allegiances aside. All parties have voiced their opinions on marijuana legalization, but some candidates have made their stance clearer than others. For some people, including those currently using marijuana medicinally, the current state of marijuana policy is of high importance. In this post, we will investigate the 2020 presidential candidates and their individual stances on marijuana and its legalization. 

A Breakdown of All Current Presidential Candidates

    • Michael Bennet (D): A relative newcomer to the presidential race, Michael Bennet is a current Senator from Colorado. He sponsored a 2017 bill ensuring hemp farmers access to federal water [1]. He has cosponsored several marijuana bills, one of which would no longer categorize marijuana as a scheduled substance. Overall, he supports federal legalization of marijuana and has shown past support.
    • Joe Biden (D): Former United States Vice President and current candidate, Joe Biden overall does not seem to support federal legalization of marijuana, unlike many current Democratic candidates. In the past, Joe Biden was tough on crime and drugs, though he has since softened his stance, supporting decriminalization. 
    • Bill de Blasio (D): In 2018, the current NYC mayor came out as a supporter of marijuana legalization. Before that, though, he believed in keeping the current laws as they were. This isn’t to say that his past is totally anti-marijuana, as he worked to reduce marijuana arrests in the city during his time as mayor. 
    • Corey Booker (D): Chief sponsor of the famous Marijuana Justice Act, the New Jersey Senator has been a long-time advocate for legalization. In 2015, he introduced an act that would protect medical marijuana patients and has been vocal about his views on the War on Drugs. 
    • 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 in both 2012 and 2011. He does not seem to be supportive of recreational marijuana, however.  


  • Pete Buttigieg (D): The Indiana mayor has been vocal about changing current marijuana laws and has been forthright enough to even share a story of his previous brush with the law concerning marijuana [2].
  • Julián Castro (D): Although past rhetoric seems anti-marijuana, Castro recently shared his views in April 2019 [3]. He is supportive of both medical and recreational marijuana, calling for full legalization. 
  • John Delaney (D): Delaney is currently supportive of medical marijuana but opposes full legalization. He has, however, voted in the past for state-run marijuana programs, and is in favor of federal law reform. 
  • Tulsi Gabbard (D): Totally in favor of marijuana reform, the Congresswoman has had a strong past of supporting both medical and recreational marijuana. This has even gone as far as her introducing the Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act, hoping to decriminalize marijuana totally. 
  • Kamala Harris (D): Senator Harris is, and has been, pro-marijuana reform. Currently, she supports full legalization. She previously co-sponsored the Marijuana Justice Act and advocated for decriminalization in 2015. Prior to that however, she lobbied against a pro-marijuana bill in California.
  • Amy Klobuchar (D): Another slightly quiet candidate, Klobuchar has previously been in favor of marijuana reform. She has voiced concerns over slow marijuana research and has only recently came out in 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. 
  • Tim Ryan (D): Another supporter of full legalization, Ryan was previously on the fence regarding marijuana. 
  • Bernie Sanders (D): One of the most adamant candidates regarding marijuana, Sanders supports full reform and legalization. He is known for being the first major candidate to come out in support of full legalization. 
  • Joe Sestak (D): While Sestak’s views are still not well known, he has a past of supporting state-backed medical marijuana programs. 
  • Tom Steyer (D): Steyer has previously supported marijuana reform and has been public about his support of the business of marijuana. 
  • Elizabeth Warren (D): Warren is in full support of both medical and recreational marijuana. She has sponsored several pro-marijuana bills including the STATES Act, which would give states protection from federal intrusion. 
  • 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 from outside the political space, Yang has shown support for full legalization and has made this reform a core tenant of his campaign. 
  • 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 has shown support of protecting the rights of states with legalized marijuana and has 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 quite clear, he supports full legalization and has even spoken publicly about his past use. 

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