Ten Democratic presidential candidates will face off for the third debate of the year on Thursday, and for voters who care about marijuana policy, it represents yet another chance to hear precisely how each and every contender plans to tackle the challenge if elected.
The final two rounds of debates saw some speak of drug policy—from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) taking a jab at Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) more than her prosecutorial record to former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) slamming the pharmaceutical sector. But regardless of the prevalent part marijuana reform has played in most campaigns, the challenge hasn’t been tackled head-on on the debate stage so far.
That could adjust through Thursday’s debate, which will function:
—Former Vice President Joe Biden
—Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
—Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
—Sen. Kamala Harris of California
—Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey
—Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
—South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg
—Former Housing and Urban Improvement Secretary Julián Castro
—Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke
—Entrepreneur Andrew Yang
Marijuana Moment reached out to representatives of six prime cannabis advocacy groups to hear what they’d ask the candidates about the challenge if they had been in the moderator’s chair. Here’s what they stated.
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)
“While marijuana getting descheduled federally would be an historic step forward, that would nonetheless leave the majority of states operating beneath prohibition laws, what would you do as president to encourage state lawmakers to adopt rational marijuana policies and finish the more than 600,000 arrests for marijuana possession annually?”
“Beyond ending federal prohibition, what, if any, actions would you take towards restorative justice for all of these who currently had their lives ruined and disrupted by our failed war on marijuana?”
—Erik Altieri, NORML executive director
Americans for Protected Access (ASA)
“As you debate the greatest strategy for healthcare (Medicare for all, public solution and so forth), does your proposal include things like coverage of health-related marijuana?”
“Criminal justice reform is a vital element of your campaign. Will you commit to pardon all federal prisoners convicted of non-violent cannabis offenses, and urge states to stick to suit?
—David Mangone, ASA’s director of government affairs and counsel.
Cannabis Trade Federation (CTF)
“Thirty-3 states have opted out of federal marijuana prohibition, legalizing cannabis for health-related or adult use. As a outcome, there are now extra than 200,000 men and women functioning in state-regulated cannabis companies across the U.S. Due to the conflict among state and federal cannabis laws, these workers are beneath continual threat of federal prosecution, and a lack of access to banking solutions puts their security and the security of other folks at danger. What would you do as president to shield these workers and resolve the conflict among state and federal cannabis laws as quickly as doable?”
—Neal Levine, CEO of CTF.
National Cannabis Sector Association (NCIA)
“What will you do to assist repair the harms brought on by marijuana prohibition?”
“Will you commit to removing the unfair economic burdens placed on the state-legal cannabis sector, which curb its capacity to disrupt the illicit industry and make it tougher for marginalized communities to participate in the legal industry?”
—Morgan Fox, media relations director at NCIA.
Drug Policy Alliance (DPA)
I assume Biden missed possibilities to completely apologize and personal his location in exactly where we are with mass criminalization and mass incarceration. I assume his rollout of his marijuana and criminal justice strategy falls brief and is not imaginative at all. If I was a moderator, I’d ask him:
“What would you do differently as Biden in the 90s?”
It is challenging to actually assume of queries to get him to grapple with the substantial harm that he’s designed that will stick to him and his legacy.
—Queen Adesuyi, policy coordinator at DPA.
Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)
“What part are you playing in the marijuana policy reform debate in your state and/or federal level, and how has your position evolved more than time?”
—Don Murphy, MPP’s director of federal policies.
The debate, moderated by ABC News and Univision, will take location at eight p.m. ET.
Stick to Marijuana Moment for coverage of the occasion and evaluation of all points drug policy that come up.
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This post was updated to include things like query recommendations from NORML.
Photo courtesy of Philip Steffan.