Election 2020: Elizabeth Warren’s Stance on Cannabis


Amongst the cannabis-friendly candidates at present vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, couple of have sophisticated the lead to in a higher range of approaches than Elizabeth Warren.

Though initially lukewarm on her house state of Massachusetts’s cannabis reform agenda, she has created into 1 of the Senate’s greatest champions of state’s rights in cannabis law. Her initiatives have encompassed a broad sweep of cannabis advocacy issues, like criminal justice, racial disparities, cannabis sector banking challenges, and continued investigation on cannabis’s healthcare effects. She has also demonstrated an openness to cross-aisle collaboration on these challenges.

In June, she posted a tweet emblematic of her platform: “Our federal marijuana laws perpetuate our broken criminal justice technique, impede investigation, restrict veterans’ access and hinder financial improvement. Marijuana must be legalized, and I’ll perform with any person — GOP, Dem, Independent, Libertarian, vegetarian — to push for these reforms.”

A month just before, Warren published an essay by way of the NYU College of Law’s Brennan Center of Justice that addressed the network of injustices that she believes are a outcome of cannabis prohibition.

“We must legalize marijuana and wipe clean the records of these who have been unjustly jailed for minor marijuana crimes finish private prison and the profit incentives that pervert the aim of our justice technique supply much more assistance for people today struggling with domestic abuse, substance use problems and mental illness and finish the practice of branding the formerly incarcerated with a scarlet letter that closes doors to education, employment and chance,” she wrote.

Warren’s site, even so, does not particularly quantity cannabis legalization amongst her targets, rather listing an aim of “rewriting our laws to decriminalize marijuana.”

What Has Warren Mentioned About Cannabis in the Previous?

Warren’s cannabis position has undergone a radical evolution because Massachusetts legalized recreational cannabis in 2016, which she’s because attempted to gloss more than.

In 2011, throughout her 1st Senate campaign, she expressed an “openness” toward healthcare cannabis legalization but opposed legalization in basic — a stance she’s attempted to revise in retrospect. In 2013, she pointed derisively to the pro-legalization stance of a Republican operating for the state’s other Senate seat, saying, “I advise everybody to spend pretty close interest to Dan Winslow’s platform. He has a 100 % ranking from the gun lobby and he’s for the legalization of marijuana. He desires us armed and stoned,” as reported by the cannabis advocacy organization NORML.

She’s also exaggerated her help for Massachusetts’s effective cannabis legalization ballot measure in 2016, saying that she’d endorsed the initiative when all she had stated prior to the vote was that she “would be open to the possibility of legalizing.” 

Because that turning point, she’s created a outstanding contribution to the pro-cannabis lead to, sufficient to earn her an “A” rating from NORML. Most notable is a piece of legislation she has authored referred to as the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment By means of Entrusting States (STATES) Act, at present beneath consideration in the Senate. The bill would update the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to recognize state law on cannabis and codify the prevailing attitude on federal non-interference. It would also address banking access challenges in the cannabis sector, an additional ramification of federal cannabis prohibition.

She’s co-sponsored bills taking broad aim at cannabis prohibition such as the Marijuana Justice Act, as properly as bills aimed at much more particular challenges such as the CARERS Act, which is made to guard healthcare cannabis sufferers and spark much more investigation into cannabis’s therapeutic effects. 

Even though no cannabis-associated bills or amendments have created it to the voting stage throughout her time in the Senate, she has represented a pro-cannabis voice in opposing Trump administration rumblings of federal action against legalized cannabis states. She has also urged the federal government to think about legalizing cannabis as a indicates of combating the opioid epidemic, a bipartisan concern that the present administration has addressed on numerous occasions.


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