Thursday, August 29, 2019

Bernie Sanders Wants to ‘End the Drug War,’ But …

By Adam Dick - August 29, 2019 at 04:30PM


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), soon after his presidential run announcement this year, proclaimed his advocacy for ending the war on drugs. Many people would take such a declaration as indicating Sanders, as president, would work to stop the United States government from arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating people for the possession, use, transfer, or production of now-illegal drugs.

However, it turns out Sanders supports a mere curtailment of such government actions, not their elimination. In a couple interviews this month, Sanders makes clear that, even if he gets his way as president, much of the US government’s war on drugs will continue.

Kyle Jaeger reported Wednesday at Marijuana Moment that Sanders said, in interviews this month at The Hill and The Joe Rogan Experience, that, while he supports some moderating of drug laws to help addicts, his support for broad legalization or decriminalization does not extend beyond marijuana to all drugs.

“You want to push heroin, sorry I’m not too tolerant to that,” and “heroin is a killer,” said Sanders in his interview with Krystal Ball at The Hill.

It would be welcome if Sanders reconsiders his opposition to truly ending the US government’s war on drugs. He could begin his reconsideration by listening to his former House of Representatives colleague Ron Paul’s explanation, in a 2011 Republican presidential primary debate, why heroin and other drugs in addition to marijuana should be legalized.

Sanders could also talk with Mike Gravel, the former US Senate member who ended his Democratic presidential primary candidacy this month. Gravel has long promoted the US legalizing all drugs.

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