With the fast approaching 2020 general elections, one thing that the Democratic presidential candidates all seem to agree on is that marijuana should be legalized. Almost all of the presidential candidates support the legalization of the substance and have even supported calls for expunging federal charges for those prosecuted for marijuana use.
Many states are becoming more and more interested in legalizing recreational use of marijuana. This is after the District of Colombia and ten other states legalized its recreational use. This choice is popular among the Democrats with a 2018 poll of American adults revealing that 76% are in favor of legalizing marijuana.
Critics fear that the legalization will make marijuana easily accessible leading to misuse of the substance. On the opposing side, supporters base their call for legalization on racial imbalance when it comes to criminal sentences for drug offenders and the increased tax revenue it would yield to the government.
In February, Sen. Cory Booker reintroduced a bill that would legalize marijuana nationwide and allow those prosecuted to petition for shorter sentences. Democratic candidates such as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth, Sen. Kamala Harris, and Sen. Kristen Gillibrand have all shown support for the bill.
Although Booker’s proposal is being supported by a number of Democrats who also hold a 53-47 edge in the Senate, it’s not an easy road ahead. The majority party leader, Mitch McConnell stated that he had no plans of supporting the legalization of marijuana.
The former governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper initially condemned viewed his state’s decision to legalize marijuana recreational use as reckless but later went on to sign cannabis-related bills into law. In March, during a CNN Town Hall interview said that it would be better if the decision was left to the states and not the federal government.