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Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who commands the liberal left with his economic policy positions, 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."
For former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the answer was hazier.
Asked if she was ready to take a position on legalizing recreational marijuana, she replied, "No."
"I think that we have the opportunity through the states that are pursuing recreational marijuana to find out a lot more than we know today," she said. "I do support the use of medical marijuana, and I think even there we need to do a lot more research so that we know exactly how we're going to help people for whom medical marijuana provides relief."
But Clinton said she agreed with Sanders on reforming the criminal justice system when it comes to punishment for pot.
"We have got to stop imprisoning people who use marijuana," she said. "Therefore, we need more states, cities, and the federal government to begin to address this so that we don't have this terrible result that Senator Sanders was talking about where we have a huge population in our prisons for nonviolent, low-level offenses that are primarily due to marijuana."
Both answers, however, mark just how far the political conversation surrounding marijuana has come since 2008.
Tom Angell, chairman of the pro-pot group Marijuana Majority, said, "Legalization is at the forefront of mainstream American politics, and politicians are starting to treat it as such."
"As a point of reference, in 2008 no major candidate even supported decriminalization when asked in a debate, and our movement had to chase them around New Hampshire and repeatedly harass them just to garner pledges to stop federal raids on state-legal medical marijuana patients," he said.
WASHINGTON -- Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton on Tuesday night emphasized the historic nature of her candidacy, highlighting the possibility that she could be the first female president in U.S. history.
Clinton largely avoided playing the gender card during the 2008 presidential campaign, but famously declared in her concession speech to Barack Obama that her candidacy had put "18 million cracks" in the glass ceiling. If there was any question of how much she’d focus on gender this time around, it was answered repeatedly on Tuesday night.
The former secretary of state delivered one of her strongest lines on the issue right out of the gate, saying during her introductory remarks that with her in the White House, “finally fathers will be able to say to their daughters, ‘You, too, can grow up to be president.’”
Asked how her presidency would be different from President Barack Obama's, she quickly responded, “Well, I think that’s pretty obvious. Being the first woman president would be quite a change from the presidents we've had, including President Obama.”
originally posted by: Sublimecraft
I am vehemently anti-big government so Bernie agrees with a lot of things that I say - go after banksters, elites and big pharma, deconstruct the current corporate-owned government and enhance the middle class.
originally posted by: Sublimecraft
Agreed, lobbynomics is destroying the intent of the constitutional republic where elected representatives are actually meant represent the citizens and not corporate interests.
Now, in my opinion, the legalization of MJ for recreational use is a logical thing to do simply because it is currently happening at the moment anyway, and has been for a very very long time, well before you or I were a twinkle in dads eye.
originally posted by: Skadi_the_Evil_Elf
I wonder if his holding firm will harm or help him, though? Our election system and social mentality does not seem to favor principle, reason, or honesty when it comes time to vote.
I do support the use of medical marijuana, and I think even there we need to do a lot more research so that we know exactly how we're going to help people for whom medical marijuana provides relief."