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Here’s Why Some Marijuana Activists Are Skeptical About Pro-Legalization Democrats Running in 2020

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Several of the high profile candidates running for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential election have pledged their support for marijuana legalization. And yet some cannabis advocates aren’t necessarily sure they’re all on their side.

Marijuana advocates are hesitant to back some of the Democrats running for president in 2020. They note that many of the people running were not supporters of legalization until recently, when they also began considering running for president. They believe they’re simply saying they approve of legalization as a way to appeal to voters, with no plans to actually follow through.

I think they put their fingers in the wind … but which of them were talking about if before it became acceptable in the last few years? Not many,” said Douglas Hiatt, a marijuana activist from Washington.

Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris are two of the candidates marijuana activists are concerned about. Both previously worked as attorneys, and Harris in particular built her reputation on being hard on drugs. Their recent statements in support of legalization are contrary to years of evidence.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is another controversial choice for marijuana advocates. Biden helped usher in some of the harshest laws related to the War on Drugs during the 1980’s while in the Senate, and then did nothing to help the legalization cause during his eight years as vice-president during the Obama administration. Although technically Biden hasn’t announced whether he’s running.

Some of the other candidates are more palatable. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker have backed legalization efforts for years, as has Representative Tulsi Gabbard. And Senator Elizabeth Warren is the co-writer of a major bill to protect states that have legalized marijuana. And then of course there’s Bernie Sanders, who has supported legalization nearly his entire political career.

So it may be difficult for marijuana advocates to simply select one candidate who best represents their views.

(h/​t Washington Examiner)

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