Bernie Sanders Wants to Legalize Marijuana

On Sunday, Bernie Sanders unveiled his proposal to overhaul the criminal justice system. Cannabis legalization is central to his plan. "We must legalize marijuana nationally, expunge past marijuana convictions and ensure revenue from legal marijuana is reinvested in the communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs," he wrote on Twitter. 

Sanders' plan also aims to mitigate the opioid epidemic: If elected president, Sanders says he would provide those suffering from addiction with the medical resources they need by guaranteeing health care for all, "including inpatient and outpatient substance abuse and mental health services with no copayments or deductibles.” 

His plan would also include decriminalizing the possession of buprenorphine, an opioid used in the treatment of heroin addition, as well as legalizing safe injection sites, where people can use drugs like heroin in a safe, clean, supervised setting with medical professionals present. 

Other staples of Sanders' proposal include banning cash bail, solitary confinement, and civil asset forfeiture; abolishing the death penalty; working with states to innovate new overdose prevention initiatives; reviewing current sentencing guidelines; ending the sentencing disparity between crack and cocaine; raising the threshold for when drug violations carry federal charges; and promising that the attorney general will investigate each incidence where a person is killed in police custody.  

Sanders says he would funnel more funding toward public defenders, create a "Prisoner Bill of Rights," and establish a "civilian corps of unarmed first responders" to address mental health emergencies. 

In a campaign email , Sanders wrote that his proposal aims to "reform every aspect of America's racist, dysfunctional criminal justice system, [which] includes ending mass incarceration, changing the way we police our communities, providing resources for victims of crime, ending cycles of violence, and more." 

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