Democratic presidential candidate and senator Bernie Sanders introduced a bill this week that would end federal penalties for the possession and cultivation of marijuana and allow each state to establish its own marijuana laws.
The “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2015” strikes any reference to marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, but has penalties for transporting marijuana to states where the substance is still illegal.
“Senator Sanders really grabbed the nation’s attention when he became the first major-party presidential candidate to speak out in support of ending marijuana prohibition,” said Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project. “His actions today speak even louder than his words last month. Hopefully, this legislation will get his colleagues in Congress talking about the need for comprehensive marijuana policy reform.”
Sanders bill is the fourth marijuana policy reform bill to be introduced in the Senate and is the first that proposes ending marijuana prohibition at the federal level.
“The science is clear that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, and that should be reflected in our nation’s marijuana policy. Sen. Sanders is simply proposing that we treat marijuana similarly to how we treat alcohol at the federal level, leaving most of the details to the states. It is a commonsense proposal that is long overdue in the Senate,” said Tvert.