By Angela Underwood
Sen. Bernie Sanders may very well make marijuana history.
If elected, the Democratic Presidential hopeful promises to move cannabis from the Schedule 1 Controlled Substance criteria and legalize it nationwide by executive order.
Should he do that and history is made and changed.
Sanders also plans to wipe out eligible, past cannabis convictions and invest $50 billion in minority-owned marijuana businesses with federal grants.
The Independent Vermont Senator’s plan is the boldest of any presidential hopeful vying for the seat of Commander in Chief post in the 2020 election. While nearly every other candidate in the Democratic race has come out as pro-legalization, Sanders is the first to release a comprehensive plan with which to do so. He said that if elected, pushing through this legislation would be one of the major goals for his first 100 days of office.
To top it off, Sanders announced the proposal at 4:20 p.m., which any dedicated weed smoker knows is a sacred moment of the day. Currently, ten states and District of Columbia have legalized marijuana, while 33 have legalized for medicinal use.
Now that he has America’s attention, Sen. Bernie Sanders Marijuana Plan is making it clear the War on Drugs not only failed but bombed in communities of color, specifically among African Americans. That is why he is dedicating $20 billion of the estimated $50 billion in marijuana tax revenue to the Minority Business Development Agency.
“With this revenue we will also create a $10 billion grant program to focus on businesses that are at least 51% owned or controlled by those in disproportionately impacted areas or individuals who have been arrested for or convicted of marijuana offenses,” Sanders proposes on his website.
Another $10 billion of cannabis tax revenue would create a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant program specifically for past convicted marijuana offenders to “ensure people impacted by the war on drugs have access to the entire marijuana industry.”
Sanders assures the public his plan will by no means allow Big Tobacco to take advantage of cannabis legalization by banning cigarette companies from competing in the new legal marijuana market. Specifically, Sanders plans to “institute market share and franchise caps to prevent consolidation and profiteering,” and “incentivize marijuana businesses to be structured like nonprofits.”
“We will provide resources for people to start cooperatives and collective nonprofits as marijuana businesses that will create jobs and economic growth in local communities,” Sanders states on his website.