Election 2020

All the Top Democrats Running for President Favor Legalizing Marijuana

The one potential holdout? Joe "gateway drug" Biden.

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"Marijuana legalization," declared a Vox headline last month, "is winning the 2020 Democratic primaries." A quick scan of the field indeed shows how far we've come since even 2011, when "Choom gang" alum Barack Obama was still cracking down on state-legal medical marijuana outfits and laughing off suggestions that prohibiting a popular, non-lethal plant was perhaps not the wisest public policy.

In fact, the top 11 highest-polling declared Democratic presidential candidates (plus a bunch in the lower tiers, notably Rep. Tulsi Gabbard [D–Hawaii]) have all backed some form of ending the federal prohibition of marijuana, fewer than four years after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) became the first major-party candidate in history to do so. Several in fact have become legislative leaders on this issue, especially Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), plus former congressman Beto O'Rourke.

As popular opinion and state law speeds toward legalizing recreational weed, and a tough-on-crime Republican president frees prisoners and advances criminal justice reform, former drug warriors are scrambling to catch up with the times. The last holdout here may be still-undeclared candidate Joe Biden, who invented the office of the drug czar, spearheaded some of the very worst criminal justice laws of the past four decades, and said while vice president that legalization is a "mistake" because marijuana is a "gateway drug."

Still, as senior editor and longtime drug policy journalist Jacob Sullum told Nick Gillespie on Wednesday's Reason Podcast, virtually all major-party presidential candidates this year are pretty damned good on pot legalization. This not only is unprecedented, it was also unthinkable very recently.

So with a big assist from our friends at Marijuana Moment, and taking advantage of Reason's new-and-improved search engine, here's a survey of post positions among the highest-polling Democrats to declare:

1) Bernie Sanders

Legalize it!: Sanders in October 2015 became the first major-party presidential candidate to come out in favor of legalizing marijuana. Since then he introduced the Senate's first bill to repeal federal prohibition and has made ending the war on drugs one of his central issues.

Other bills/concepts backed: Co-sponsored (as did many 2020 competitors) Cory Booker's Marijuana Justice Act, which would expunge possession arrests from people's records, allow current pot prisoners to be resentenced, and withhold federal funding from states that crack down too vigorously on weed. Thinks "small business people in the African American [community] deserve to be part of" the corporate marijuana market.

Prohibition disconnect: Has questioned why non-marijuana cigarettes should be legal.

Inhaling status: "Didn't do a whole lot for me. My recollection is I nearly coughed my brains out, so it's not my cup of tea."

2) Beto O'Rourke

Legalize it!: O'Rourke was earlier than 99 percent of elected Democrats to the legalization issue, pushing the El Paso City Council in 2009 to at least study it, co-writing a 2011 book advocating legal weed, and successfully primarying an eight-term prohibitionist in 2012. He not only wants to remove federal prohibition, he'd also like the federal government to declare the plant legal across all 50 states, and then lead the international fight to "end the global war on drugs."

Other bills/concepts backed: As congressman, introduced a bill to end the federal government's policy of withholding highway funds to states unless they suspend the driver's licenses of drug convicts. Also co-sponsored various bills to seal criminal drug records, protect legal-weed states, allow doctors to prescribe pot to veterans, and remove possession convictions as a barrier to federal student aid.

Prohibition disconnect: Thinks a good way to combat opioid overdoses is by jailing pharmaceutical executives.

Inhaling status: "Pot, yeah, there was definitely, you know….There was, uh, I don't know how to put this, but yeah. People smoked pot, but not habitually."

3) Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)

Legalize it!: Now, sure. But before gearing up to run for president? Ugh.

Other bills/concepts backed: The Marijuana Justice Act. Beyond that, "Harris has only co-sponsored one other cannabis-related bill: the SAFE Banking Act, which would protect banks that work with marijuana businesses from federal punishment."

Prohibition disconnect:

Inhaling status: "I inhaled….It gives a lot of people joy, and we need more joy."

4) Pete Buttigieg

Legalize it!: "I think even in Indiana, criminal justice reform, including marijuana [legalization], we're probably there….I really think a state-wide campaign in Indiana would do well, especially on the criminal justice stuff. To find common cause between the younger, libertarian right that's not so sure about the Republican Party as an institution, and a more traditional, progressive coalition—I think you can get there on drugs."

Other bills/concepts backed: Well, the South Bend mayor is only 37 years old. Has talked favorably about commuting sentences and rehabilitating ex-cons once drug laws are changed.

Prohibition disconnect: Approved "an ordinance in 2017 that prohibited businesses in the city from selling synthetic cannabinoids."

Inhaling status: "I was standing outside my dorm. I was on my way home from a party or something….I ran into a friend and he had an acquaintance with him, and we were chatting, and at some point I noticed that she was smoking a joint. And just out of curiosity — there was like a little bit left — I was like 'Oh, is that…' And she handed it to me."

5) Elizabeth Warren

Legalize it!: Since 2017, yes, though as recently as 2016 she declined to endorse a Massachusetts recreational initiative (which she then later lied about); and in 2013 she was out-and-out tarring her Republican opponent as being soft on pot.

Other bills/concepts backed: Was the main Democratic sponsor of a bipartisan 2018 bill to removal federal prohibitions in states where marijuana is legal. Co-sponsored the Marijuana Justice Act, plus bills to deschedule weed, legalize pot-related banking, and conduct research aimed at getting veterans medicinal access.

Prohibition disconnect: Warren would like to create a huge new federal Office of Drug Manufacturing, which wouldn't necessarily start as the nationalized pot pusher-man, but….

Inhaling status: "No."

6) Cory Booker

Legalize it!: Cory Booker is the most far-reaching pro-legalization Democrat in the United States Senate, frequently joining with the libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) on all manner of criminal justice reform. Has made his Marijuana Justice Act a centerpiece of his presidential run, and busted johnny-come-latelies like Kamala Harris for making jokes about the herb while people still rot in prison. Like O'Rourke, he was railing against the drug war in local politics more than a decade ago.

Other bills/concepts backed: Co-sponsored the landmark CARERS Act, which would protect state-legal marijuana operations from federal law enforcement. Would "absolutely" back mass marijuana-related pardons as president.

Prohibition disconnect: Has repeatedly expanded a law enforcement approach to the opioid crisis.

Inhaling status: "I have never smoked marijuana, I have never smoked a cigarette, I have never eaten marijuana, I have never tried another drug, I have never drank alcohol. I think the most alcohol I have had may be a sip of beer to get my friends off my back, or maybe the church wine."

7) Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)

Legalize it!: "I support the legalization of marijuana and believe that states should have the right to determine the best approach to marijuana within their borders," she said in 2019. Twenty years ago it was a much different story.

Other bills/concepts backed: Co-sponsored the Booker/Warren Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act. Has backed measures to expand cannabis research and remove pot from the Controlled Substances Act.

Prohibition disconnect: As Hennepin County (Minneapolis) Attorney from 1999-2006, Klobuchar doubled the number of drug convictions. "We must keep a focus on drug dealers," she said in 2004. As senator, she has been one of the leading proponents of civil-liberties-restricting "sex trafficking" legislation.

Inhaling status: Unclear.

8) Julián Castro

Legalize it!: "Colorado and other states have shown we can sensibly legalize marijuana with reasonable controls."

Other bills/concepts backed: In favor of expunging drug-possession arrests from criminal records.

Prohibition disconnect: "Under his leadership, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a 2014 memo clarifying that owners of federally assisted housing facilities are required to deny entry to people who use marijuana, even for medical purposes in accordance with state law."

Inhaling status: "It's unknown if Castro has ever consumed cannabis, though he did write in his book that he hung out in college with a 'Jeff Spicoli' type."

9) Andrew Yang

Legalize it!: In one of the better campaign stunts in recent memory, the tech entrepreneur and robot-pessimist announced earlier this month that, "I would legalize marijuana and I would pardon everyone who's in jail for a non-violent, drug-related offense….I would pardon them all on April 20, 2021, and I would high five them on their way out of jail." Later, he clarified that this pertained only to marijuana-related convictions, but still—4/20 clemency day!

Other bills/concepts backed: Decriminalizing opioid use and possession.

Prohibition disconnect: Yang has some of the weirdest policy sets out there, including providing "guardrails to keep technology from corroding our mental and emotional well-being, particularly for young people," because smartphones are having a "devastating" impact on children.

Inhaling status: "No, no, I'm not really" a weed smoker, he said in a radio interview this month. "You know, I was a pretty geeky Asian dude."

10) Kirsten Gillibrand

Legalize it!: "The senator, who has an A grade from NORML, has become one of the most vocal advocates for federal marijuana reform in Congress, co-sponsoring multiple pieces of legislation and frequently talking about the issue in speeches and on social media. However, she did not start off her political career supporting cannabis reform."

Other bills/concepts backed: Marijuana Justice Act, CARERS Act, the Booker/Warren Respect States Act, expanding research, expunging records, giving access to veterans.

Prohibition disconnect: Hoo boy. Gillibrand last month proposed a seven-day limit to pain prescriptions, which is one of the worst policy ideas in recent memory.

Inhaling status: Unknown.

11) John Hickenlooper

Legalize it!: The former Colorado governor "may be best known nationally as the guy who opposed marijuana legalization in his state but ultimately decided it was not the disaster he feared it would be."

Other bills/concepts backed: Supports the STATES Act, and further says that the laboratories of democracy should be able to decriminalize cocaine and heroin (and sex work!), which is unusually bold. Favors expunging non-violent convictions.

Prohibition disconnect: Even after his big policy turn, Hickenlooper signed a ban on pot gummy bears and animal-shaped edibles, and a reduction on the number of pot plants people can have in their homes. He vetoed a bill allowing for marijuana tasting rooms.

Inhaling status: "He wrote in his book about how his mother caught him attempting to grow marijuana during high school, how cannabis 'slowed me down and made me kind of silly' and how he 'got a little high' and took a nude selfie as part of a project for an advanced photography class in college."

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  1. Not one of them would move on legalization once in office. But, hey, the can all join Boehner in retirement making some extra dough shilling for Big Weed.

    1. The liberal-libertarian mainstream will continue to improve America with respect to marijuana and other controlled substances — against the wishes and efforts of right-wing authoritarians.

      Faux libertarians will continue to cling to silly claims that Republicans favor freedom, but more and more inconsequentially.

      Carry on, clingers. The doobie warriors, especially. Progress is a bit more fun when achieved against opposition.

      1. Hey Art, have you signed the MoveOn impeachment petition? You really should, now that Mueller has definitively proven Drumpf’s obstruction.

        1. OBL –

          I signed the petition to impeach Drumpf for the crime of beating Hillary Clinton, the most qualified candidate ever. Even more so than Washington, Jefferson, Adams and Lincoln.

          Have you signed the petition to put Hillary on Mt Rushmore?

          1. By GUM he’s got an excellent standin!

          2. Hillary on Mt. Rushmore? Only if you mean as a thin veneer of flesh, having been fired at the rock face with a cannon.

            Might poison the scavengers, though….

            1. Is South Dakota big enough for a sculpture of Hillary’s ass?

          3. Thank you for signing… I have been circulating a similar petition in my neighborhood for the last 24 months but with little success. I will keep at it. I think getting Hill on Mt Rushmore may take a little longer primarily because she is on the never ending “woe is me tour” and like Cher who keeps retiring or like the perpetual “going out of business sale” the local furniture store promotes at some point you create a type of fatigue with the public which impedes all efforts to immortalize. Don’t give up on Hill.

        2. I do not favor impeaching Trump, particularly not after he has been politically neutered.

          First, he is branding the right-wing cause with white supremacy, general bigotry, ignorance, slack-jawed superstition, and corruption for at least a generation of young voters. This is good, especially in the long run, for the liberal-libertarian mainstream.

          Second, he is illustrating for my neighbors in strong communities just how severe the levels of dysfunction, ignorance, and stale intolerance are in our shambling, left-behind-for-keeps rural and southern stretches. Some of my friends had no idea how many Americans were mired in the world of street pills, unskilled work, faith healers, self-pitying bigotry, homeschooling, revival meetings, and belligerent ignorance. Now they know, thanks to Trump.

          A couple of more years of this emasculated amateur hour is a reasonable trade-off for the long-term benefits.

          1. “I do not favor impeaching Trump, particularly not after he has been politically neutered.”

            Even bigoted assholes have fantasies.

            1. Such as . . .

              ‘lock her up’

              ‘we will build a wall . . . and Mexico will pay for it’

              or (my favorite)

              ‘I shall enable half-educated, unskilled, alienated, left-behind white men in rural areas to prosper . . . and not only that, but they shall prosper at the expense of those pointy-headed coastal elites’

              fantasies such as those, you bigoted right-wing rube?

              1. Hey Rev where do you solicit, (I mean preach)? You seem to have a real sense of spirituality. I would argue that Trumps dysfunction has allowed for GDP growth of over 3% far exceeding Obama’s dismal 1.5-2%.. Same with record unemployment and wage growth and virtually no inflation… If this is dysfunction give me more.

    2. President Choom made a fair bit of noise about legalization, and did precisely fuck-all about it in the eight years he was taking up space in the white house. At the end of the day, he was never going to take any action to reduce the power of government to attack innocent people.

      -jcr

  2. More proof that any serious Koch / Reason libertarian must vote Democrat in 2020. (But hopefully not for Tulsi Gabbard.)

  3. Funny that I never heard of several of them. How shallow is that Dem bench? It’s like they promoted every minor league farm team player they could dredge up, and yet some of the old fogies still have a better chance of getting on base. Biden? Surely you jest! I bet Hillary would poll better than most of these clowns! Bring back Pete Rose too!

    1. I don’t know who Pete Rose is, but except for Tulsi Gabbard every 2020 Democrat brings something valuable to the table.

      Harris would be the first woman of color President.
      Mayor Pete would be the first openly LGBTQ+ President.
      Biden was VP during the strongest economy ever.
      Sanders supports abortion access right up until birth.
      Warren is on the right side of history on impeachment.

      And so on.

      1. “Biden was VP during the strongest economy ever.”

        Was this under Bill Clinton or under Trump? It certainly wasn’t under Obama, who started out in a near-depression and managed to slow the recovery for 8 years. But there was a big bump at the end of Obama’s second term – AFTER the election, when people knew that there was going to be at least a 4 year halt to adding more job-killing regulations. I don’t know if the economy under Trump exceeded WJC’s peak years, but it’s certainly been better than the previous 16 years.

  4. Big Deal. I don’t need their permission to smoke what I want.

    By the way, it was FDR, their socialist god, who signed the marijuana tax act which started the federal war on weed.

    Blow it out your asses, clown car drivers.

  5. I don’t see why it matters where socialists stand on marijuana.

    Here’s what the Green New Deal says it will achieve within ten years:

    “Guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States.”
    “Providing all people of the United States with – (i) high-quality health care; (ii) affordable, safe, and adequate housing; (iii) economic security; and (iv) access to clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and nature.”
    “Providing resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher education, to all people of the United States.”
    “Meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_New_Deal

    I can’t look past anyone who supports that Ten Year Program to see where he or she stands on marijuana. The bad news is that the new president is a Leninist–but the good news is that he’s in favor of legalizing marijuana?!

    No. That doesn’t make me feel better. In fact, fuck the Democratic field–every single candidate. Even if there were one that wasn’t a committed socialist like Biden, he can’t protect us from the authoritarian socialists in their own party. He’ll sign whatever they send to his desk once he’s in the White House.

    1. There’s this thing called Duverger’s law. It has a number of implications, but the obvious one that applies here: As the Democrats become increasingly authoritarian and socialist, libertarian capitalists should become more Republican.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duverger's_law

      1. Right-wing malcontents and bigoted ‘build that wall’ slack-jaws are among my favorite faux libertarians.

        1. “Right-wing malcontents and bigoted ‘build that wall’ slack-jaws are among my favorite faux libertarians.”

          Bigoted assholes are the scum of the earth; to be scraped off your shoe soles before they stink up the house.

          1. Have you ever seen Kirkland make a rational criticism of anything?

            The reason he doesn’t address issues is because he can’t. It’s much like the reason the Democrats want to make 2020 election a personality contest–they can’t win on the issues.

            Every single Democrat issue is a loser everywhere–except in closed primaries. They want to talk about issues to others, but they can’t–just like Kirkland can’t talk about the issues. It’s too embarrassing!

            Who in their right mind would defend the Green New Deal? Maybe Medicare for All or Reparations for Slavery will win 2020? That’s ridiculous. It’s smart of the Democrats to focus everything on Trump’s personality–because that’s their best chance at winning.

            I’ve never seen Kirkland put two rational words together, but calling us names is pretty good strategy when the Democrats are so embarrassing on every issue.

            1. “Have you ever seen Kirkland make a rational criticism of anything?”

              It remains open to question whether I’m kicking a bot or a human who cannot pass the Turing test.
              But I enjoy it anyhow.

              1. You guys about ready to declare right-wing victory in the American culture war?

                Abortion to be outlawed any day now?

                That wall being built, and paid for by Mexicans?

                Have Republicans returned school prayer to public schools?

                Is gay marriage outlawed, or conservative gay-bashing back in the mainstream?

                Are right-wingers able to suppress science and history again to flatter superstition on campuses?

                Is the Muslim ban working for wingnuts?

                Have conservatives come up with something to prevent universal health care’s inevitability?

                Are right-wing drug warriors winning the argument with their nanny-state conservativism?

                1. Most of the things you seem to think the Democrats are differentiating themselves on are only in your head. The ones that they might differentiate themselves on are mostly losers.

                  You believe Trump to be anti-abortion in some way? Has Trump done anything about gay marriage? He’s respected marijuana laws in the states even. Has Trump done something bring prayer to public schools?

                  Those are not Democrat issues in 2020. The Green New Deal is a Democrat issue in 2020–and it’s so embarrassing that the Republicans in the Senate brought it to a vote just to see if there were any Democrats stupid enough to go on the record voting for it.

                  The fact remains that, pursuant to the implications of Duverger’s law, as Democrats become increasingly authoritarian and socialist, libertarian capitalists should become more Republican.

                  The fact remains that because the Democrat candidates offer little or nothing to differentiate themselves from Trump on issues that might appeal to us, Trump remains the more libertarian alternative on issues like taxes, deregulation, Second Amendment rights, etc.

                  Is there a Democrat candidate that’s pro-free trade? If not, then Trump is a wash on that issue.

                  Face it, the Democrats have no issue vis-a-vis Trump that does or should appeal to libertarians–even as they Democrats charge further and further into authoritarian and socialist corner of the Nolan chart. Libertarian and capitalist is the opposite of authoritarian and socialist, and it’s a single member district system with winner take all. If the choice is between an authoritarian socialist in the White House or Donald Trump, I’ll pick Donald Trump every time–whether I like him on issues that the Democrats are no different than he is or not.

                  The Democrats are going more and more authoritarian and socialist all the time, and the sensible thing for libertarian capitalists to do in response to that is vote for Trump. The reason you don’t address this fact is because you can’t.

                2. “You guys about ready to declare right-wing victory in the American culture war?”
                  Uh, no, not yet you bigoted asshole.

      2. But that too is a good thing, isn’t it?

    2. Ken Shultz
      April.20.2019 at 11:03 am
      “I don’t see why it matters where socialists stand on marijuana….”

      Exactly.
      ‘Breaking: even brain-dead socialists favor setting broken bones!’
      So what?

      1. So, one of these people might become president some day. Isn’t it good to know whether they’re planning to set people’s bones or break more of them?

    3. I think it’s beneficial for the Democrats to support legalization, even though I don’t generally ever want them to win elections. If they continue to talk about what seems to be a popular position, it will only be a few election cycles before you’ll see more and more Republicans jumping on the bandwagon.

    4. Shorter Ken:
      Even when Democrats do something that libertarians can nominally support, I’ll still bitch about them!

      1. Sorter Jeff:
        “Hey, there’s nothing wrong with my clock! It’s on time twice a day!”
        Wee knew we could rely on you to make an ass of yourself.

        1. Even when they do something right, you still bitch about them.
          So just call yourself “anti-Democrat” instead of Libertarian or Republican or anything else. Because that seems closer to the truth.

      2. “Even when Democrats do something that libertarians can nominally support, I’ll still bitch about them!”

        I bitch about my fellow libertarians doing something if it’s wrong–regardless of whether they’re also doing something else right. Why would I treat the Democrats any differently?

        Are you incapable of critical thinking, Chemical Jeff?

    5. But…those are all good things! Of course none of them can be delivered, but how are any of them the stuff of an objection?

  6. Wisconsin Governor Evers has called for legalization of Medical Marijuana. The Republicans are opposing the legislation. So much for Republican’s libertarianism.

    1. Even in a profoundly Democrat state like California, the people had to legalize marijuana by way of a referendum over the objections of the Democrats who control Sacramento. It is rare for state lawmakers of any party to legalize marijuana, and that mostly has to do with the reluctance of state employees and their unions–especially law enforcement.

      I understand New Jersey just failed to legalize marijuana again for that reason.

      “Gov. Phil Murphy lamented that a planned vote on a bill to legalize marijuana in New Jersey fell apart in the state Legislature on Monday — but he insisted this is not the last try.”

      https://www.nj.com/marijuana/2019/03/what-phil-murphy-just-said-after-big-nj-legal-weed-vote-was-called-off.html

      Democrat governor. Democrat House. Democrat Senate.

      Can’t even get them to bring it to a vote.

      Hell, the Democrats in New York don’t want you to be free to drink large sugary soft drinks. Why would they let you inhale marijuana?

      1. Because per the title of TFA, they aren’t running for President?

        1. You know we’re not talking about something theoretical, here, right?

          The Democrat governor, who promised to legalize marijuana, had to have the bill to legalize it withdrawn because if they’d brought it to a vote, the Democrat controlled legislature (both houses) would have voted it down. That isn’t how I feel. That isn’t why they wanted to legalize it. That’s what they did–and why they didn’t legalize it.

          Your fantasies about why they should want to legalize it have already been shut down by their actions. They stopped a vote from being taken to save the Democrat governor from embarrassment. If you’re still nursing a weird theory about how deep blue state New Jersey Democrats want to legalize marijuana, it’s been demonstrated to be false. It is an ex-theory.

          Oh, and when the Democrat wins in the primaries, it’ll be because they won the support of the most radical Democrats in closed primary states–and they won the support of the most radical Democrats who were named as super delegates. The primary contenders are trying to win their support at this point in the game. As soon as the primaries are over, it may not be as bad as Barack Obama raiding medical marijuana clinics in California hundreds of times, but then again, it might be. From Kamala Harris in California to the Democrats of New York and New Jersey, the Democrat political machines are all beholden to law enforcement unions–and they’ll be as big a force as ever come the general election.

          1. You talkin’ to me? You think I like Dems?

            Crossed wires, my guess. Wrong Reply button, a different guess.

          2. They know the polls are overwhelmingly in favor. They just want to find something unrelated that the polls are overwhelmingly against to attach as a rider, and they’re arguing over whose bread to corruptly butter by such a rider. State politicians always see a popular measure as an opportunity to screw the public, and don’t want to waste the opportunity by passing only the popular measure.

    2. So much for Republican’s libertarianism.

      You were sadly mistaken if you thought Republicans were libertarians.

    3. “So much for Republican’s libertarianism.”

      I’ll take it where I can find it, but:
      California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said Sunday that he is not convinced legalizing marijuana is a good idea because the population needs to “stay alert.”

      “The problem with anything, a certain amount is okay,” Brown said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “But there is a tendency to go to extremes. And all of a sudden, if there’s advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world’s pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together.”
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/02/jerry-brown-marijuana_n_4885455.html

      So much for D libertarianism…

      1. If he really believed any of that crap about being alert and ready for competition, he wouldn’t push the welfare state that coddles brains into mush. The competitive world don’t care about safe places and gendered bathrooms.

  7. That explains the bills getting passed in the House to legalize weed.

    Oh right. There are none. But at least they oppose raising the smoking age to 21, right?

    Oops.

    But at least Reason is consistent with the weed/ ass sex/ Mexicans motto on the masthead.

    1. Which part of current conservatism is more attractive and important, Hero . . . the bigoted authoritarianism or the gullible ignorance?

      Also . . . do you have a plan for handling being replaced?

      1. “Which part of current conservatism is more attractive and important, Hero”

        The part which recognizes you as a bigoted asshole.

      2. At this point, the only things Trump has done to delay full cannabis legalization were the appointments of Sessions and Barr. Every serious Democratic candidate has a much longer record of working to throw people in prison for selling cannabis.

  8. “Inhaling status: “I inhaled….It gives a lot of people joy, and we need more joy.”

    If Harris needs cannabis to feel “joy“ in her life, it says more about what a miserable piece of garbage she is than about the need to repeal pot prohibition.

  9. OT:
    “Rising anxiety on campuses linked to finances, phones in UC Berkeley study”
    […]
    “By the time UC Berkeley sophomore Maja Ahmann had been on campus a few weeks last fall, her pattern was clear: When schoolwork felt too overwhelming, she relaxed with Snapchat, Twitter or Instagram, sometimes scrolling for hours….”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Rising-anxiety-on-campuses-linked-to-finances-13781698.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

    Good chance it’s pay-walled, but the article claims something like 20% of college students are seeking professional help for anxiety. Further, financial distress and overuse of social media are claimed to be the causes.
    Nowhere in the article is there even the slightest mention that perhaps raising kids, totally protected from any and all danger might leave the kid unprepared to deal with conflict and incapable of balancing risk and reward without mommy or the nearest mommy-substitute.
    Briefly, it appears we’ve managed to raise a generalization of neurotics.

    1. I wonder what the long term ramifications are, if true, and depending on how true. If they really are that incapable of handling classes in basket weaving or gender studies, they probably couldn’t even handle being a politician, and they sure couldn’t handle anything requiring real thinking or real work. Maybe real physical labor, as in a gulag, since it can keep your brain from overthinking.

      On the other hand, maybe they are just bored to death and don’t realize it, and once they come in contact with a real job, the boredom will diminish and they will actually be productive subjects.

      But I find it hard to really put myself in their shoes, since I don’t spend my day worrying about what other people are up to.

    2. “…generalization of neurotics.”
      Unintended self-critique of my post.

      “Generation of neurotics”

  10. It seems that if Trump claimed to like weed, Reason would be all behind him.

    Reason is a two issue site. Neither are libertarianism.

    1. But Trump doesn’t support weed or the other issues that Reason has been consistently critical of him on:
      Free trade
      Freedom of association/movement of people
      Gun rights (remember that bump stock ban?)
      Free speech/press on the internet
      Government spending

      Remember when Reason was supportive of the president on the following? Seems maybe they don’t have TDS after all?
      Judge Gorsuch
      Reducing regulations
      Criminal justice reform (when Trump has been for it)
      Withdrawing troops from Syria (until Trump apparently flip-flopped on this one)
      Tax cuts (yes they were for the cuts, but most articles also called for reduced spending)

      1. Contrary to popular belief there is a middle ground between being a “Trumpkin” and having TDS. I think Reason is right where they need to be on that spectrum.

        1. Put another way:
          If Reason WASN’T getting criticized by the Trumpkins, there would be something seriously wrong with Reason.
          Same with Reason getting criticized by the BernieBros, etc.

        2. “Contrary to popular belief there is a middle ground between being a “Trumpkin” and having TDS. I think Reason is right where they need to be on that spectrum.”

          I don’t.
          The ‘editors’ spent many electrons explaining how Trump might have, could have, was prevented from, and more bullshit, all admitting that he was caught doing 34 in a 35 zone, BUT, BUT, BUT!!! Classic TDS; the lot of them need to grow up.
          And we finally get one admitting he broke no laws at all and avoided the entrapment which was a real possibility, damn him, since the writer doesn’t like him!
          Like the press in general, Reason should hold him to account, but strangely, that ethic has only resurfaced since early November 2016. Oh, that the same attention should have been directed to Obo and that hag.
          I did not vote for the guy, I beat on SIV for his MAGA shit on a regular basis, but was relieved the hag lost (along with the pathetic losers/supporters still making asses of themselves), but have been pleasantly surprised:
          1) DeVos
          2) Gorsuch
          3) Kavanuagh
          4) Ajit Pai, end net price fixing
          5) Major reduction in the growth of regulations
          6) Dow +30%
          7) Unemployment at 3.8%
          8) The US Manufacturing Index soared to a 33 year high
          9) Got repeal of the national medical insurance mandate.
          10) Withdrawal from Paris climate agreement.
          11) Tax cuts.
          12) In the waning days of 2017, the Trump administration pulled its support for the $13 billion Hudson Tunnel project.
          13) More than 16,000 jobs have been cut from the federal leviathan
          14) MIGHT have a deal to de-nuke NK.
          I don’t support “the wall” or the reason for it, and the tariff crap is horrid, but 2:14 looks like a good ratio to me. Seemingly not to the stylish Reason ‘editors’.

          1. So you’re a Trumpkin then. That’s fine. Just say so.

            1. “So you’re a Trumpkin then. That’s fine. Just say so.”

              No, I’m not, but obviously a brain-dead lefty would jump to that conclusion from a list of what Trump has accomplished.
              So you’re a brain-dead lefty? Fine. Just change your (lying) handle to
              “brain-dead lefty” so there’s no confusion.

  11. 1) They were bound to get SOMETHING right. They aren’t consistent enough to have nothing but BAD ideas.

    2) Once elected, the vast majority of them would be far too busy bringing about their idea of Utopia (everybody bloody well does what the Progressive Elite tells them to) to bother with petty matters like campaign promises.

  12. […] the top Democrats running for president favor legalizing. How Trump could take pot legalization away from Democrats in […]

  13. Happy

      holiday

    motherfuckers.

    Really wish we had our preview button back.

    1. Happy 4/20 Tony. I’m hoping to raise from the dead tomorrow.
      #WWJD

      1. Oh I forgot about that other holiday.
        Is it a decent enough hour to start getting baked?

  14. […] All the Top Democrats Running for President Favor Legalizing Marijuana  Reason […]

  15. When Dems quit trying to stamp out electrical power generation the way Republicans try to stamp out choice, they might again win some elections outside of the bastions of physical illiteracy.

  16. If The Bern was the first major-party candidate for president to come out for legal pot, then what was Gary Johnson in 2011, when he sought the Republican nomination for president?

    1. Come to think of it, what about Ron Paul, same election?

      1. You mean 2008 for Ron Paul.

        1. Right? Where were these people then?

  17. So do the top Republicans (Trump and Weld).
    Politicians are weather vanes, and point whichever way the wind is blowing.
    Just 10 years ago, Obama chuckled at marijuana questions from the pro-legalization supporters who put him in office.

  18. […] All the Top Democrats Running for President Favor Legalizing Marijuana  Reason […]

  19. Joe Biden? LOL.

    Trump is more pro pot than Biden.

    In a speech delivered at the Miami Herald’s Company of the Year Awards luncheon [April 1990], Donald Trump condemned the “war on drugs” as “a joke” and called for the legalization of drugs. “We’re losing badly the war on drugs,” he said. “You have to legalize drugs to win that war. You have to take the profit away from these drug czars.”

    Besides we learned that from Alcohol Prohibition.

    1. But one of Trump’s first acts as an elected politicians was to appoint the old drug warrior Sessions as AG. When he fired Sessions, he replaced him with an even more dedicated drug warrior. His actions don’t match his words, on this and many other issues.

      OTOH, every Democrat listed in this article has a much longer record of imprisoning people for pot, and have only talked about legalizing pot, rather than doing anything effective.

  20. The fact that a libertarian website seriously did not know that Ron Paul was pro legalization in his presidential campaigns is a touch concerning.

  21. …have all backed some form of ending the federal prohibition of marijuana, fewer than four years after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) became the first major-party candidate in history to do so

    As others have pointed out, this is wrong, and you should correct it.

  22. Reason seems to have been purchased by the Democratic Party.

    Vote for big statism; they promise you stuff that you want!

  23. […] “All the Top Democrats Running for President Favor Legalizing Marijuana,” by Matt Welch […]

  24. […] “All the Top Democrats Running for President Favor Legalizing Marijuana,” by Matt Welch […]

  25. […] “All the Top Democrats Running for President Favor Legalizing Marijuana,” by Matt Welch […]

  26. […] on the state, local, and federal levels; where the 2020 candidates stand on incarceration and weed, and maybe a bit on the state of government […]

  27. […] will follow, not lead, on legalizing marijuana, which two out of three Americans — and all 12 presidential candidates immediately behind him in national polls — now support. Even while […]

  28. […] not lead, on legalizing marijuana, which two out of three Americans — and all 12 presidential candidates immediately behind him in national polls — now support. Even […]

  29. […] follow, not lead, on legalizing marijuana, which two out of three Americans—and all 12 presidential candidates immediately behind him in national polls—now support. Even while […]

  30. […] follow, not lead, on legalizing marijuana, which two out of three Americans—and all 12 presidential candidates immediately behind him in national polls—now support. Even while […]

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