SAN FRANCISCO — Marijuana legalization just moved from the fringes of the last presidential campaign to center stage in 2020.
Between a sweeping new package of legislation introduced last week by one of the top Democratic presidential prospects and, on the other end of the spectrum, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vigorous opposition to recreational use of marijuana, the debate over legalization of cannabis is about to receive a full airing on the presidential campaign trail.
While Bernie Sanders also supported medicinal use of marijuana and the decriminalization of recreational marijuana, drug policy stayed on the outskirts of the 2016 presidential debate, and growing action at the state level was barely acknowledged.
Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, a bipartisan nonprofit advocacy group, said New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s introduction of “the farthest-reaching bill ever proposed” will have a catalytic effect on the politics of legalized marijuana and the myriad criminal justice issues related to it.
“Booker is getting a ton of fantastic press about this,’’ he said. “And other candidates will notice that and will want to say, ‘I agree — and I want to introduce a bill of my own.’” [Read more at Politico]