When Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was campaigning in California in May 2016 for the June Democratic Primary, he repeatedly endorsed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.
The “Stoners Against Legalization” campaign, an echo chamber of cops and underground growers and dealers, tried to get around that fact. They argued that either 1) he did not really say it or 2) he was talking about another legalization initiative than the one on the ballot.
Nonsense. He did say it and he knew perfectly well that he was talking about Proposition 64, the only legalization initiative on the state ballot.
Let’s take on the second claim first.
At that time enough signatures had been turned in to qualify Prop. 64 for the ballot. AUMA was the only initiative to turn in signatures at all and the date had passed so it was too late for any other legalization ballot to make the November ballot. There is not — and there never was — any other California legalization initiative that made the 2016 ballot or even got close.
In fact, only two of the 17 cannabis initiatives filed even made a token effort to collect signatures and neither even bothered to submit them because they were hundreds of thousands of signatures short of qualifying.
The notion that Sanders was mistaken as to which initiative he was talking about is absurd on its face. He was not talking about some imaginary proposition, only one initiative had turned in signatures. Sanders was working with the California Democratic Party, which also endorsed Prop. 64. During his campaign he spoke with Gavin Newsom, who helped launch the Prop. 64 campaign, and other party leaders.
Senator Sanders first endorsed AUMA in Vallejo in the link below. At one point, when asked, he said he had not yet read the initiative but a week later he had familiarized himself with it to endorse the proposition again and in Cathedral City, the second link below, added that “having weighed the pros and the cons,” he would still vote for “that item on the November ballot.” So the clear and convincing record is that he knew what he was talking about, reviewed it, recognized that there were both “pros and cons” and still came out calling for a #Yeson64.
So that leaves the first claim, that Sanders never really said to vote yes on legalization on the November ballot. But why take our word for it? Let’s hear what Bernie Sanders had to say about it.
Now, a word from Bernie Sanders.
Here is Bernie Sanders on May 18, 2016 in Vallejo California, recorded by Mikki Norris with Karen Byars standing at her side during the rally.
Here is Bernie Sanders in Cathedral City California reiterating his stance.
Here are more links to his statements including the times at which he makes his comments about legalization and / or the California legalization ballot measure, namely Proposition 64. For most of these we highly recommend that you listen to his comments in the few minutes leading up to his endorsement of Prop. 64 to understand the progressive, compassionate social justice issues and the global impact of our vote here.
His speeches were amazing and he promised, were he elected President, to end federal marijuana prohibition. The US President has that authority through the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Agency.
These are just his recorded endorsements that we found online at YouTube. We invite you to check out these and look online for more, if you want more proof.
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Long version 33:00 to 35:56
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Mikki’s video, Vallejo
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Bernie Preaches legalization media report
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Legal Weed media report
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