Bernie Sanders — the U.S. senator and Democratic presidential hopeful from Vermont — hasn’t been all that vocal on his stance regarding recreational marijuana legalization.
But Sanders, the former four-term mayor of Burlington, Vermont, gave onlookers a hint at what’s to come in his Reddit AMA today.
“Let me just say this,” Sanders started in reponse to a question about his position on the drug war. “The state of Vermont voted to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, and I support that. I have supported the use of medical marijuana. And when I was mayor of Burlington, in a city with a large population, I can tell you very few people were arrested for smoking marijuana.
“Our police had more important things to do.”
Sanders then said he’s continuing to watch Colorado, Washington and other states that have already moved forward with full recreational legalization.
“Colorado has led the effort toward legalizing marijuana, and I’m going to watch very closely to see the pluses and minuses of what they have done,” Sanders said. “I will have more to say about this issue within the coming months.”
In the coming months? What is Sanders sitting on? It’s impossible to say, though he certainly has our attention.
Reform advocate Tom Angell thinks, and hopes, the candidate is working his way toward a major announcement of sorts.
“While I’d prefer if Sen. Sanders just endorsed legalization today — or years ago — it seems to me that he’s moving towards announcing his support sooner or later,” Angell, chairman of pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority, told The Cannabist. “He says he’ll take a close look at the effects of ending prohibition in Colorado, and any reasonable person who does that can only come to the conclusion that it’s working very well.”