In a wide-ranging interview that touched on disclosing government secrets about UFOs and taking executive action to finish marijuana prohibition, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) stated on Tuesday that he’s not at present open to legalizing or decriminalizing drugs other than cannabis.
The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate appeared on the Joe Rogan Practical experience, exactly where he talked about his help for cannabis reform and was pressed on how to combat the illicit drug industry. Rogan created the case that legalizing all drugs could mitigate the public wellness and security dangers linked with illicit sales.
When asked irrespective of whether he’d look at pushing for broader legalization, Sanders stated “no.”
“Not at this point, no I wouldn’t,” he stated. “But you are touching on a true tragedy.”
Rogan pushed back, stating that the “uncomfortable reality about drugs is that when drugs are illegal, criminals sell them.”
“There’s a demand for drugs in this nation that is completely fueling Mexican cartels and illegal drug runners inside this nation,” he stated. “There’s a lot of that. How do you curb that if drugs are illegal?”
Sanders stated it was a “very, really deep query that we do not speak about terribly considerably,” but he went on to say that the query we must be asking is why Americans are increasingly turning to drugs and alcohol, which he argued is a aspect contributing to declining life expectancy in the nation. The senator stated that a lack of wellness care, living wages and sense of neighborhood is causing people today to turn to drugs as “a way out.”
The host asked irrespective of whether Sanders felt giving people today with extra educational and workplace possibilities would “stop some of the demand for these illegal drugs.”
“I think that is the case,” he stated. “If I’m optimistic, if I’m excited about going to operate tomorrow and I’m seeing my kid undertaking excellent in college and when I get sick I can go to the doctor’s workplace, I have a sense of neighborhood, my downtown is not all boarded up companies, but we have a community—yeah, the sturdy likelihood is there will be much less illnesses of despair and drugs than we at present see.”
A number of other presidential candidates have addressed broader drug decriminalization proposals, with varying positions.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) didn’t rule out decriminalizing all illicit drugs and similarly talked about the want “to address that reality [of addiction] and support resolve some of the root causes of why people today are turning to distinct substances in the initial spot.”
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg released a criminal justice reform program final month that referred to as for marijuana legalization and ending the practice of incarcerating folks for easy drug possession—a move that advocates refer to as decriminalization.
And former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) stated the federal government shouldn’t interfere if states select to decriminalize drugs beyond cannabis.
Earlier in the Rogan interview, Sanders touted his contact for legalization when he was operating in for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, describing it as a “very radical idea” at the time. Now, he stated, legalization is “is spreading all more than the nation.”
“By the way, it blows my thoughts to drive via Nevada and I assume California, you see signs—corporations [with billboards saying] ‘buy our marijuana,’” Sanders stated. “Four years ago, people today had been finding arrested for undertaking that, ideal? Their lives had been becoming destroyed.”
Rogan pointed out that folks could be sentenced to life for cannabis in the 1970s.
“Can you think that? And now you have corporations promoting the damn solution that people today went to jail for,” Sanders stated. “I assume eventually we have got to legalize marijuana, and what’s superior news is some communities, some cities, are expunging the records, so if you had been arrested, have a criminal record for promoting marijuana, that is becoming expunged and that is the ideal issue to do.”
“We can argue about the pluses and minuses,” he stated. “I’m not a excellent fan of drugs. I smoked marijuana a couple of occasions, didn’t do considerably for me. Other people today I guess have distinct experiences.”
“I surely have,” Rogan replied.
Throughout the interview, Sanders pledged to do at least two points if elected president: see about legalizing cannabis via executive order and, upon Rogan’s request, disclose any information and facts he runs into about aliens or UFOs.
Sanders stated his wife would be adamant about the alien disclosures and he promised to come back on Rogan’s podcast with any updated.
“We’ll announce it on this show,” he stated.
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Photo courtesy of YouTube/The Joe Rogan Practical experience.