As if the announcement last week that Sanders supported removing marijuana from the controlled substances list wasn’t enough, this week he is already making good on his promise. That has got to be a first, a presidential candidate keeping his word before the election ever takes place?
Last Wednesday (11/4), Bernie Sanders submitted the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2015” through the senate. Even though it has a slim chance of passing the very first time around, it was still a good move on Sanders part.
He made it very clear that he believes marijuana regulation should be determined on a state-level; and I cannot help but agree with him for now. The federal government has bigger fish to fry as it were – there is so much more going on in the country and in the world – and they may focus better on it if they weren’t enforcing marijuana prohibition laws from the 70s.
This act would not make marijuana legal on a federal level – there would be no federal regulations set in place to control or regulate any aspect of the industry. Instead it would simply decriminalize the plant by removing it from the controlled substance’s list.
This would mean that the federal government could no longer interfere with statewide marijuana programs that are functioning within their legal rights. It would mean that scientific studies would be much easier to conduct from getting the herbs to finding funding for the projects. It would mean that those working in a legal industry in their state would no longer be denied safe banking.
Cannabis was incorrectly scheduled as a Schedule I drug back in the 70s – but we know so much more now than we did then. Marijuana has helped so many people overcome illnesses, whether they were physical or mental. Decriminalization will keep people out of jails – and hopefully release those who were wrongfully convicted due to prohibition.
“It’s a state and a federal issue. The federal issue is that we should remove marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act. That’s a federal decision,” Sanders told CNN.
Though it will probably be a while before we get any good (or bad) news on the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2015, it sure is exciting to see this actually happening. There have been multiple pieces of legislature this year to be rejected both on state and federal levels – will this act be the one that passes?