Bernie Sanders’ Position On Cannabis Could Tip Colorado Caucus

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Super Tuesday is quickly approaching and the turnout should be rousing. New poll data indicates Bernie Sanders has overtaken Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in Colorado. Bernie Sanders’ progressive stance on cannabis could be just what he needs to defeat Hillary Clinton in the Colorado Caucus March 1.

Clinton now faces a new and authentic threat from an insurrection of young radical voters.

Clinton’s 28 point lead in Colorado vanished, according to a new poll released by the Washington Free Beacon. Sanders now dominates over Clinton with a margin of 49 to 43 percent. Nine percent are undecided. Sanders strongest lead is with young voters. The new poll indicates that Sanders is leading Clinton by 46 points.

In Clinton’s own words, Colorado is a “laboratory of democracy.” Sander’s progressive cannabis policy, however, appears to be sitting very well with Colorado voters. Regarding the issue of legalization, 63 percent say it’s been either “somewhat good” or “very good”. Only 9 percent said it’s been “somewhat bad” or “very bad”. Predictably, Sanders was labeled “the progressive” candidate over Clinton by a margin of 57 to 25 percent.

Recently Sanders gave a speech in South Carolina. Sanders was backed by three black activists including Danny Glover and NAACP leader Benjamin Jealous. According to the Washington Post, Sanders received the loudest round of applause whenever he mentioned decriminalized marijuana. Both candidates have been battling over the Black and Hispanic voters in Colorado.

What a change we’ve seen since the last two elections. In 2008 for instance, not a single candidate endorsed the decriminalization of marijuana. Eight years later, every major candidate has said he or she will not interfere with state marijuana laws. Aaron Smith is executive director of Denver-based National Cannabis Industry Association. “Despite differing specifics on marijuana policy, nearly every presidential candidate — Democrat and Republican — has now offered support for the continuation of state policy reforms, Smith said. Given that the 2016 election is likely to result in several new states with legal medical or adult-use marijuana programs, that’s a critical piece of progress.”

Bernie Sanders has partaken exactly two times. “I smoked marijuana twice and it didn’t quite work for me,” he told Katie Couric in an interview last summer, “It’s not my thing, but it is the thing of a whole lot of people. And if you want to make the argument that marijuana is less harmful to health than tobacco, I think you’d probably be making a correct argument.”

Clinton, on the other hand, has taken a far less progressive view on marijuana. “I do think on the federal level we need to move marijuana from the Schedule I of drugs, move it to Schedule II, which will permit it to be the basis for medical research… A lot of experts in the field are telling me we’ve got to learn a lot more,” Clinton told WBZ NewsRadio’s Joe Mathieu. In later interviews, Clinton has been asked the same question and she’s responded with virtually the same answer. True, Clinton won’t be known as a prohibitionist, but that may not be enough for Colorado. Clinton was defeated by Obama in 2008 thanks to a huge turnout of young voters. “2016 could spell ‘déjà vu’ for Hillary Clinton,” reported 9News in Denver.

Caucuses tend to be dominated by long-time regular voters. To participate in the Colorado caucus, you must be registered to vote 30 days in advance and you must choose an affiliation with a party 60 days in advance. If you’re already affiliated, find your Democratic Caucus location in Colorado here.

How important is a candidate’s stance on marijuana in terms of earning your vote?

Benjamin M. Adams is a contributor for Cannabis Now Magazine, MerryJane.com, Cannabusiness.com and DirectCannabisNetwork.com. His work has been seen in Culture Magazine, Treating Yourself Magazine, SKUNK Magazine, and several other cannabis-related publications. He studied Art at the University of Utah and has traveled around the world from the open hash markets in Copenhagen to Jamaica. He's focused on the efficacy of medical marijuana for HIV and other serious illnesses. Ben lives in Southern California. You can follow him on Twitter @benbot11.

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