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Marijuana Policy Project Grades Presidential Candidates on Their Cannabis Reform Policies

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Marijuana Policy Project Grades Presidential Candidates on Their Cannabis Reform Policies  

By: mpp.org

Joe Biden (D)                                                                                                             

Vice President Joe Biden is widely rumored to be considering a run for president in 2016.          

Where does he stand?

As a senator, Biden took a hard line against marijuana. He spearheaded legislation that created the federal “drug czar” position and mandatory minimum sentencing for marijuana-related offenses.

As vice president, Biden has continued to oppose the legalization of marijuana, but he has spoken in favor of reducing enforcement of federal marijuana policies.

What has he said?

“I think the idea of focusing significant resources on interdicting or convicting people for smoking marijuana is a waste of our resources. That’s different than [legalization]. Our policy for our Administration is still not legalization, and that is [and]continues to be our policy.” …

“I am not only the guy who did the crime bill and the drug czar, but I’m also the guy who spent years when I was chairman of the Judiciary Committee and chairman of [the Senate Foreign Relations Committee], trying to change drug policy relative to cocaine, for example, crack and powder.” TIME, February 6, 2014

“I still believe it’s a gateway drug. I’ve spent a lot of my life as chairman of the Judiciary Committee dealing with this. I think it would be a mistake to legalize.” ABC News, December 2010

Grade: D

What you can do:

Contact Vice President Joe Biden and urge him to support ending marijuana prohibition, not just reducing enforcement of failed prohibition laws.

 


Jeb Bush (R)

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced he is running for president on June 15, 2015. 

Where does he stand?

Former Gov. Bush has a long history of supporting the war on drugs and opposing the legalization of marijuana for any purpose. He and his wife, Columba, are on the advisory board of the Drug Free America Foundation, a radical anti-marijuana organization with a history of opposing efforts to legalize marijuana for any purpose.

At the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference, he said he supports states’ rights to establish their own marijuana policies and that the federal government should not interfere in their decisions.

What has he said?

“I thought [legalizing marijuana in Colorado]was a bad idea, but states ought to have that right to do it. I would have voted ‘no’ if I was in Colorado.” C-SPAN, February 27, 2015

Grade: D

What you can do:

Contact Jeb Bush’s campaign and urge him to support legalizing and regulating marijuana, not just states’ rights.

 


Ben Carson (R)

Dr. Ben Carson announced he is running for president on May 3, 2015.

Where does he stand?

Dr. Carson has expressed some support for allowing the use of medical marijuana, but he has been highly critical of legalizing and regulating marijuana for adult use, citing the thoroughly debunked “gateway drug” theory.

What has he said?

“I think medical use of marijuana in compassionate cases certainly has been proven to be useful. But recognize that marijuana is what’s known as a gateway drug. It tends to be a starter drug for people who move onto heavier duty drugs – sometimes legal, sometimes illegal – and I don’t think this is something that we really want for our society. You know, we’re gradually just removing all the barriers to hedonistic activity and you know, it’s just, we’re changing so rapidly to a different type of society and nobody is getting a chance to discuss it because, you know, it’s taboo. It’s politically incorrect. You’re not supposed to talk about these things.” Fox News Channel, January 2, 2014

Grade: D

What you can do:

Contact Ben Carson’s campaign and tell him that marijuana laws should be based on science and facts, not “reefer madness.” 

 


Lincoln Chafee (D)

Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced he is running for president on June 3, 2015. 

Where does he stand?

Former Gov. Chafee has expressed a willingness to explore the potential benefits of regulating and taxing marijuana, but he wants to wait and see what happens in states that have adopted such laws.

As governor, he signed Rhode Island’s marijuana decriminalization bill into law in 2013.

What has he said?

“We’ll see what comes out of the legislature. We’re just still putting in the medical marijuana component and we’ll certainly see what’s happening in Colorado … Certainly the revenue is enticing for all governors. Somebody was saying to me back with the bad weather we’ve had back home, and all the potholes, we should have the revenue go to infrastructure. ‘Pot for potholes.’” The Huffington Post, February 24, 2014

“I think it should be an international discussion over our drug policy, whether its winning or loosing the war on drugs, and the destabilizing effect the illicit drug trade has […] It should be an international discussion: is this working?” YouTube, April 2013

Grade: B+

What you can do:

Contact Lincoln Chafee’s campaign and urge him to support ending marijuana prohibition and replacing it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

 


Chris Christie (R)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is expected to announce he is running for president on June 30, 2015. 

Where does he stand?

Gov. Christie opposes the legalization of marijuana and has spoken out repeatedly against states that have legalized marijuana for adults.

He opposed New Jersey’s medical marijuana law, which was signed by his predecessor, and he has imposed strict restrictions on the program that have hampered its effectiveness.

What has he said?

“[Marijuana legalization]’s not gonna come while I’m here … See if you want to live in a major city in Colorado where there’s head shops popping up on every corner and people flying into your airport just to come and get high. To me, it’s just not the quality of life we want to have here in the state of New Jersey and there’s no tax revenue that’s worth that.” International Business Times, July 25, 2014

In response to the question,“If you were president, how would you treat states that have legalized marijuana?”: “Probably not well. Not well, but we’ll see. We’ll have to see what happens.” The Huffington Post, June 20, 2014

When asked if he would enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized and regulated marijuana: “Absolutely, I will crack down and not permit it.” …

“States should not be permitted to sell it and profit [from legalizing marijuana].” The Huffington Post, April 14, 2015

Grade: F

What you can do:

Contact Gov. Chris Christie and let him know he needs to adopt a more reasonable approach to marijuana policy.

 


Hillary Clinton (D)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced she is running for president on April 12, 2015.

Where does she stand?

Clinton has expressed a willingness to support more research into the potential medical benefits of marijuana.

She said she supports Washington and Colorado’s rights to set their own marijuana policies and that she is interested in seeing the results of their decisions to legalize marijuana prior to taking a position for or against such laws.

What has she said?

“I don’t think we’ve done enough research yet although I think for people who are in extreme medical conditions and have anecdotal evidence that it works, there should be availability under appropriate circumstances.”

“States are laboratories of democracy. I want to wait and see what the evidence is.” CNN, June 2014

Grade: B-

What you can do:

Contact Hillary Clinton’s campaign and urge her to support ending marijuana prohibition and replacing it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

 


Ted Cruz (R)

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas announced he is running for president on March 23, 2015.

Where does he stand?

At the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference, Sen. Cruz said he is opposed to the legalization of marijuana for adult use, but he believes states should have the right to establish their own marijuana policies.

Previously, the senator had criticized the Obama administration for not enforcing federal marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington after voters in those states adopted laws that regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol.

What has he said?

“I actually think this is a great embodiment of what Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called the laboratories of democracy. If the citizens of Colorado decide they want to go down that road, that’s their prerogative. I don’t agree with it, but that’s their right.” Conservative Political Action Conference, February 26, 2015

“I don’t support drug legalization, but I do support the Constitution. I think individual states can choose to adopt it. So if Texas had it on the ballot, I’d vote against it, but I respect the authority of states to follow different policies.” Texas Tribune, March 24, 2015

“That’s a legitimate question for the states to make a determination. And the citizens of Colorado and Washington State have come to a different conclusion. They’ve decided that they want to legalize it. I think it is appropriate for the federal government to recognize that the citizens of those states have made that decision. One of the benefits of it … is we can now watch and see what happens in Colorado and Washington State.”  Hugh Hewitt Show, April 16, 2015

Grade: C+

What you can do:

Contact Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign and urge him to support ending marijuana prohibition and replacing it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

 


Carly Fiorina (R)

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina announced she is running for president on May 4, 2015.

Where does she stand?

Fiorina does not support the legalization of marijuana for any purpose, including medical use. She recently expressed support for decriminalization.

She has expressed support for the rights of voters to establish their own state marijuana policies.

What has she said?

“I remember when I had cancer and my doctor said, ‘Do you have any interest in medicinal marijuana?’ I did not. And they said, good, because marijuana today is such a complex compound, we don’t really know what’s in it, we don’t really know how it interacts with other substances or other medicines.” Slate, February 2015

“I’m opposed to Prop 19 and the legalization of marijuana. Sending billions of dollars in new tax revenues to Sacramento is exactly the problem … because Sacramento has a spending problem and will continue to spend the money we send them.” 10 Questions, October 2010

“Drug addiction shouldn’t be criminalized. We need to treat it appropriately.” The Washington Post, May 4, 2015

“I don’t support legalized marijuana for a whole host of reasons, including the fact that this is a very complex chemical substance, and when we tell young people it is just like drinking a beer, we are not telling them the truth. But I think Colorado voters made a choice. I don’t support their choice, but I do support their right to make that choice.” The Hill, June 9, 2015

Grade: C+

What you can do:

Contact Carly Fiorina’s campaign and urge her to support regulating and taxing marijuana, not just states’ rights.

 


Lindsey Graham (R)

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina announced he is running for president on June 1, 2015.

Where does he stand?

Sen. Graham supports legal access to medical marijuana, but he is opposed to legalizing marijuana for adult use.

He has not taken a strong position on states’ rights to establish their own marijuana policies. He voted against legislation intended to prevent the Justice Department from interfering in state medical marijuana laws, but he attempted (unsuccessfully) to switch his vote afterward.

What has he said?

When asked whether he supports letting states decide or keeping marijuana illegal federally: “I don’t see a real need to change the law up here [in DC]. If marijuana is half as bad as alcohol, that’s probably enough reason to keep it illegal.” Just Say Now, August 10, 2010

“I’m against legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. But when it comes to medical marijuana and this [CBD] oil, I think politicians should embrace what makes sense. When it comes to issues like this, I don’t want to be academic in thought. This is about people. This is about families with sick children. Why should someone in my position get in the way of helping a child, if you can reasonably and logically do it?” WBTV, February 24, 2014

Grade: C-

What you can do:

Contact Sen. Lindsey Graham’s campaign and urge him to support the CARERS Act, as well as the legalization and regulation of marijuana for adult use.

 


Mike Huckabee (R)

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee announced he is running for president on May 5, 2015.

Where does he stand?

Former Gov. Huckabee is opposed the legalization of marijuana for any purpose, including medical use.

What has he said?

“You know, I don’t support the idea of legalizing marijuana, so I want to be honest about that. I don’t think that there are as many wonderful things to come from it as there are some dangers to come from it. You know, if they’re targeting people [who use marijuana for medical purposes], I don’t know if that makes good sense. But I wouldn’t go and say, ‘You shouldn’t follow the law.’” He is then asked whether he would stop the federal government’s raids on medical marijuana dispensaries, to which he responds:“Probably not.”  C-SPAN, January 2008

“I think the question is would I favor the legalization [of medical marijuana]at a federal level. And until there’s some stronger scientific evidence I’m unlikely to do that. I don’t support the idea of legalizing marijuana.” NH Marijuana Policy Initiative, October 2007

“Those who argued that legalizing marijuana would result in a boom in tax revenues have some preliminary proof. … But at what cost? The money is earmarked for youth prevention services, substance abuse treatment and public health. But what is a young person supposed to think when the state says, ‘Don’t do drugs…even though everyone around you is…and the same authority figures who tell you it’s bad not only condone it, but are also making a big profit off it’?” Facebook post, March 13, 2014

Grade: D

What you can do:

Contact Mike Huckabee’s campaign and tell him that marijuana laws should be based on science and facts, not “reefer madness.”

 


Bobby Jindal (R)

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced he is running for president on June 24, 2015. 

Where does he stand?

Gov. Jindal has expressed support for limited medical marijuana programs, but he opposes the legalization of marijuana for adult use and does not support states’ rights to establish their own marijuana policies.

As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he voted against a measure intended to prevent the Justice Department from interfering in state medical marijuana laws in 2005, 2006, and 2007.

What has he said?

“I don’t think anyone should be legalizing marijuana, I think that’s a mistake. When it comes to the issue of medical marijuana, I’ve said as long as it’s done under tight restrictions, I can be okay with that.” ABC News, February 26, 2015

When asked if he would “bring down the hammer” on pot stores in states with legalization laws: “I don’t think you can ignore federal law. Federal Law is still the law of the land. It still needs to be enforced.” The Washington Times, April 1, 2015

Grade: C-

What you can do:

Contact Gov. Bobby Jindal’s campaign and urge him to support ending marijuana prohibition and replacing it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

 


John Kasich (R)

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is widely rumored to be considering a run for president in 2016.

Where does he stand?

Gov. Kasich is “totally opposed” to marijuana legalization, including the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

He believes states should have the right to establish their own marijuana policies and would not challenge state laws regulating marijuana for medical or adult use.

What has he said?

“In my state and across this country, if I happened to be president, I would lead a significant campaign down at the grassroots level to stomp these drugs out of our country.” HughHewitt.com, April 21, 2015

“[The] answer is, no, I am not in favor of [medical marijuana].” WLWT, March 19, 2014

“On medical marijuana, doctors that I know tell me we don’t need that, there are other ways to [treat pain].” OhioCapitalBlog, March 30, 2012

Grade: C-

What you can do:

Contact Gov. Kasich and tell him that marijuana laws should be based on facts and science, not “reefer madness.”

 


Martin O’Malley (D)

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley announced he is running for president on May 30, 2015.

Where doe he stand?

As governor of Maryland, O’Malley repeatedly spoke out against the use of marijuana for any purpose, including medical marijuana.

Despite his personal opposition, he signed bills into law in 2014 that decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana and established a workable medical marijuana program.

What has he said?

“As a young prosecutor, I once thought that decriminalizing the possession of marijuana might undermine the public will necessary to combat drug violence and improve public safety. I now think that [it]is an acknowledgment of the low priority that our courts, our prosecutors, our police and the vast majority of citizens already attach to this transgression of public order and public health.” The Washington Post, April 7, 2014

“I’m not much in favor of it. We’ve seen what drug addiction has done to the people of our state, to the people of our city. This drug, its use and its abuse can be a gateway.” Mark Steiner Radio Show, January 7, 2014

Grade: C-

What you can do:

Contact Martin O’Malley’s campaign and tell him to support ending marijuana prohibition and replacing it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

 


George Pataki (R)

Former New York Gov. George Pataki announced he is running for president on May 28, 2015.

Where does he stand?

Former Gov. Pataki is not in favor of legalizing marijuana for any purpose, including medical use. He has said that he supports states’ rights to set their own marijuana policies without interference from the federal government.

What has he said?

“I am not in favor of legalizing marijuana, but having said that I am a great believer that states are the laboratory of democracy.” Bloomberg, January 14, 2014

“So I would be very strongly inclined to change the federal law to give states, when they’ve had a referenda, the opportunity with respect to marijuana to decriminalize it, except for two factors. One is we have to know that neighboring states or the rest of the country are not being subjected to illegal marijuana because of the free selling of it and marketing in those states, and second with respect to young people.” HughHewitt.com, April 23, 2015

Grade: C

What you can do:

Contact George Pataki’s campaign and urge him to support legalizing and regulating marijuana, not just states’ rights.

 


Rand Paul (R)

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky announced he is running for president on April 7, 2015.

Where does he stand?

Sen. Paul has consistently supported states’ rights to establish their own marijuana policies, and he has been a vocal supporter of decriminalizing or reducing criminal penalties for those arrested for marijuana possession.

He is a sponsor of the CARERS Act, a bipartisan bill that would allow states to set their own policies regarding the legalization of medical marijuana without interference from the federal government.

He is also the co-sponsor of a bill that would allow marijuana-related businesses to access the banking system. In addition, Sen. Paul has been vocal on decriminalization or reducing criminal penalties for those arrested for the use of marijuana.

What has he said?

“I’m not for having the federal government get involved. I really haven’t taken a stand on … the actual legalization. I haven’t really taken a stand on that, but I’m against the federal government telling them they can’t.” Roll Call, November 4, 2014

“If your kid was caught selling marijuana or growing enough that it’s a felony conviction, they could be in jail for an extended period of time, they also lose their ability to be employable. So I want to change all of that. I want to lessen the criminal penalties on it.” WHAS 11, December 8, 2014

Grade: A-

What you can do:

Contact Sen. Rand Paul and urge him to introduce legislation that would protect all state marijuana laws from federal interference, not just medical marijuana laws.

 


Rick Perry (R)

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced he is running for president on June 4, 2015.

Where does he stand?

Gov. Perry opposes the legalization of marijuana, but he has voiced support for reducing penalties for marijuana possession. He has repeatedly expressed support for states’ rights to establish their own marijuana policies.

What has he said?

“After 40 years of the war on drugs, I can’t change what happened in the past. What I can do as the governor of the second largest state in the nation is to implement policies that start us toward a decriminalization and keeps people from going to prison and destroying their lives, and that’s what we’ve done over the last decade.” The Washington Post, January 23, 2014

“I am a staunch promoter of the 10th Amendment. States should be able to set their own policies on abortion, same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization, then people will decide where they want to live.” … [S]tates should be allowed [to decide whether to legalize marijuana].” U.S. News & World Report, January 23, 2014

Grade: B

What you can do:

Contact Rick Perry’s campaign and urge him to support ending prohibition and regulating marijuana, not just decriminalization and federalism.

 


Marco Rubio (R)

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida announced he is running for president on April 13, 2015.

Where does he stand?

Sen. Rubio has expressed some support for allowing the use of non-psychoactive forms of medical marijuana, but he is staunchly opposed to the legalization of marijuana for adult use.

He has equivocated in his support for letting states establish their own marijuana. In April 2015, he said he believes federal prohibition laws should be enforced in states that have repealed state prohibition laws.

What has he said?

“If there are medicinal uses of marijuana that don’t have the elements that are mind-altering or create the high but do alleviate whatever condition it may be they are trying to alleviate, that is something I would be open to.” Tampa Bay Times, July 30, 2014

“Marijuana is illegal under federal law. That should be enforced.” ABC News, May 15, 2014

 

“The bottom line is, I believe that adding yet another mind-altering substance to something that’s legal is not good for the country, I understand there are people that have different views on it, but I feel strongly about that.” Yahoo! News, May 19, 2014

Spokesman: “Senator Rubio believes legalization of marijuana for recreational use is a bad idea, and that the states that are doing it may well come to regret it. Of course, states can make decisions about what laws they wish to apply within their own borders.” Politico, January 31, 2015

“I’m against the legalization of marijuana.” C-SPAN, February 27, 2015

When asked if he would enforce federal law and shut down regulation in Colorado: “Yes. Yes, I think, well, I think we need to enforce our federal laws. Now do states have a right to do what they want? They don’t agree with it, but they have their rights. But they don’t have a right to write federal policy as well. It is, I don’t believe we should be in the business of legalizing additional intoxicants in this country for the primary reason that when you legalize something, what you’re sending a message to young people is it can’t be that bad, because if it was that bad, it wouldn’t be legal.” Hugh Hewitt Radio Show, April 14, 2015

Grade: D

What you can do:

Contact Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaign and urge him to support ending marijuana prohibition and regulating marijuana, not just states’ rights.

 


Bernie Sanders (D)

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont announced he is running for president on April 30, 2015.

Where does he stand?

Sen. Sanders supports the legalization of medical marijuana and he has been critical of the war on drugs, particularly with regard to how it has been enforced.

He has stated he has concerns about regulating marijuana for adult use, which stem from his concerns about other illegal drugs.

What has he said?

“I have real concerns about implications of the war on drugs. We have been engaged in it for decades now with a huge cost and the destruction of a whole lot of lives of people who were never involved in any violent activities.” …

“I’m going to look at the issue. It’s not that I support it or don’t support it. To me it is not one of the major issues facing this country. I’ll look at it. I think it has a lot of support and I’ll be talking to young people and others about the issues. But there are two sides to a story.” TIME, March 4, 2015

“The state of Vermont voted to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana and I support that. I have supported the use of medical marijuana. And when I was mayor of Burlington, in a city with a large population, I can tell you very few people were arrested for smoking marijuana. Our police had more important things to do. Colorado has led the effort toward legalizing marijuana and I’m going to watch very closely to see the pluses and minuses of what they have done. I will have more to say about this issue within the coming months.” Reddit AMA, May 19, 2015

Grade: B

What you can do:

Contact Sen. Bernie Sanders’s campaign and urge him to support the CARERS Act, as well as the legalization and regulation of marijuana for adult use.

 


Rick Santorum (R)

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania announced he is running for president on May 27, 2015. 

Where does he stand?

Former Sen. Santorum is opposed to the legalization of marijuana for any purpose, including medical use. He does not believe states have the right to set their own marijuana policies and supports enforcing federal prohibition laws in states that have rejected them.

What has he said?

“I think Colorado is violating the federal law. And if we have controlled substances, they’re controlled substances for a reason. The federal law is there for a reason, and the states shouldn’t have the option to violate federal law. As Abraham Lincoln said, you know, states don’t have the right to wrong.” HughHewitt.com, April 16, 2015

“The federal government does have a role in making sure that drug use- that states don’t go out and legalize drugs. That there are drugs that are hazardous to people, that do cause great harm to the individual as well as society to the whole. And the federal government has a role in making sure those drugs are not in this country and not available and that people who use them illegally are held accountable. Ideally states should enforce these laws but the federal government has a role because it is a public health issue for the country.” Santorum campaign event, January 9, 2012

Grade: F

What you can do:

Contact Rick Santorum’s campaign and tell him that marijuana laws should be based on science and facts, not “reefer madness.”

 


Donald Trump (R)

Businessman and television personality Donald Trump announced he is running for president on June 16, 2015.

Where does he stand?

In 1990, Trump said he favored legalizing all drugs, but more recently he has said he opposes legalizing and regulating marijuana for adult use.

He supports legal access to medical marijuana, and he has indicated support for letting states set their own marijuana policies.

What has he said?

“I’d say [regulating marijuana]is bad. Medical marijuana is another thing, but I think it’s bad and I feel strongly about that. [In response to states’ rights argument] If they vote for it, they vote for it. But, you know, they’ve got a lot of problems going on in Colorado right now. Big problems. But I think, medical marijuana, 100%.” C-SPAN, February 27, 2015

“We’re losing badly the War on Drugs. You have to legalize drugs to win that war. You have to take the profit away from these drug czars.” Miami Herald, April 14, 1990

Grade: C

What you can do:

 Contact Donald Trump’s campaign and urge him to support the legalization and regulation of marijuana for adult use.

 


Scott Walker (R)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said he will announce whether he will run for president the week of July 13, 2015. 

Where does he stand?

Gov. Walker is opposed to legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana because he thinks it is a “gateway” drug.

He signed a very limited medical marijuana bill into law that allows children to use certain non-psychoactive forms of marijuana.

He has met with Gov. Hickenlooper of Colorado to discuss the effects of that state’s law allowing the use of marijuana by adults.

What has he said?

“Now there are people who abuse (alcohol), no doubt about it, but I think it’s a big jump between someone having a beer and smoking marijuana.” The Huffington Post, February 13, 2014

“From my standpoint, I still have concerns about making it legal. I understand from the libertarian standpoint, the argument out there. I still have concerns. I’m not, unlike the President, I still have difficulty visualizing marijuana and alcohol in the same vein.” CNN, January 30, 2014

Discussing a Wisconsin county sheriff’ who shares his position on marijuana legalization: “Even there, the Democrat sheriff said to me last year when this issue came up, ‘Whatever you do, please do not sign the legalization of marijuana.’ This was a guy who spent his whole career in law enforcement. He was liberal on a whole lot of other issues. But he said it’s a gateway drug.” Wisconsin State Journal, March 31, 2015

Grade: D

What you can do:

Contact Gov. Walker and urge him to support legalizing and regulating marijuana.

 


Jim Webb (D)

Former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia launched a Presidential Exploratory Committee in November 2014 and is widely expected to run for president. 

Where does he stand?

Former Sen. Webb introduced legislation to overhaul the criminal justice system, and he has been an outspoken opponent of the war on drugs. He has expressed support for the decriminalization of marijuana.

What has he said?

In response to a question about whether marijuana legalization would be part of his criminal justice reform efforts: “I think everything should be on the table, and we specifically say that we want recommendations on how to deal with drug policy in our country. And we’ll get it to the people who have the credibility and the expertise and see what they come up with. [Asked specifically about regulating marijuana:] I think they should do a very careful examination of all aspects of drug policy. I’ve done a couple of very extensive hearings on this, so we’ll wait to see what they say about that.” Huffington Post, April 27, 2009

The Washington Post: “He also shied away from supporting or opposing marijuana legalization, calling state laws ‘an interesting national experiment’ that should be allowed to play out further.” The Washington Post, March 10, 2015

Grade: B+

What you can do:

Contact Jim Webb and urge him to support legalizing and regulating marijuana in addition to decriminalization and broader criminal justice reform.

 

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