Tonight Bernie will deliver a special and historic address just to students and young people, on the issues that matter most to the next generation, like tuition-free higher education at public colleges, climate change, women’s rights, money in politics, racial justice, and more. And under the “More” section it’s being reported that Sanders will announce his support Wednesday for removing marijuana from a list of the most dangerous drugs outlawed by the federal government — a move that would free states to legalize it without impediments from Washington.
You’ll be able to watch it live HERE
“Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use,” Sanders says in prepared remarks for the event provided to The Washington Post. “That’s wrong. That has got to change.”
No other presidential candidate has called for marijuana to be completely removed from the schedule of controlled substances regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Sanders’s plan would not automatically make marijuana legal nationwide, but states would be allowed to regulate the drug in the same way that state and local laws now govern sales of alcohol and tobacco. And people who use marijuana in states that legalize it would no longer be at risk of federal prosecution.
His plan would also allow marijuana businesses currently operating in states that have legalized it to use banking services and apply for tax deductions that are currently unavailable to them under federal law.
Sanders has hinted at his position previously, including during a broadcast last week on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on ABC during which he said: “I am not unfavorably disposed to moving toward the legalization of marijuana.”
“We have more people in jail today than any other country on earth,” Sanders told Kimmel. “We have large numbers of lives that have been destroyed because of this war on drugs, and because people were caught smoking marijuana and so forth. I think we have got to end the war on drugs.”
In response to a question during the first Democratic debate, Sanders said he would vote in favor of a local Nevada measure that would legalize recreational pot use.
“I would vote yes because I am seeing in this country too many lives being destroyed for non-violent offenses,” he said. “We have a criminal justice system that lets CEOs on Wall Street walk away, and yet we are imprisoning or giving jail sentences to young people who are smoking marijuana.”
You can catch the entire live broadcast online at BernieSanders.com/students tonight at 7 pm Eastern time. But the best way to participate is to find a live event happening near you to get connected and get organized with other students. Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #StudentsforBernie!
This is potentially game changing news and like Bernie Sanders has said throughout this campaign so far, he is not afraid of making important decisions.