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2016: The Marijuana Election
In the past few years, the U.S. has been steadily growing support for marijuana reform. From the presidential candidates to the general public, this progressive attitude has become a hot topic for debate, and as an election year approaches, everyone—from governors to legislators to those who would be president—seems to have an opinion on the issue.
Though public opinion is shifting toward embracing cannabis reform, presidential candidates are a little more hesitant to jump on the bandwagon. Of the candidates who have expressed interest in running for the 2016 presidential nomination, only three support radical federal reform as of press time. One candidate is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is in favor of decriminalization and medical marijuana use and open to federal legalization. Alongside him is Democratic candidate Lincoln Chafee. Having already signed marijuana decriminalization laws on a state level, the former Rhode Island governor admits recreational use could be good for tax revenues. Still, both Chafee and Sanders have made it clear they will continue to monitor Colorado before making any major decisions. Finally, Donald Trump expressed interest in legalizing drugs back in 2011 but as of press time has not released further statements on the matter.
D.A.R.E. Published an Op-ed Calling for Marijuana Legalization
The war on drugs is over, and weed won? D.A.R.E., the organization designed to plant a deep-seated fear of drugs in the minds of every late-20th-century middle schooler, published an op-ed calling for marijuana legalization (which they now say was published by mistake, see the update at the bottom of this post).
Written by former deputy sheriff Carlis McDerment in response to a letter in the Columbus Dispatch, the op-ed explains that it's impossible for law enforcement to control the sale of marijuana to minors. "People like me, and other advocates of marijuana legalization, are not totally blind to the harms that drugs pose to children," McDerment writes. "We just happen to know that legalizing and regulating marijuana will actually make everyone safer."
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