The Hill

Marijuana Legalization In USA: Nationwide Authorization Pushed By Democratic Presidential Candidates

The nationwide legalization of marijuana has received another push from a number of Democratic presidential candidates for the 2020 elections, with one of the officials saying it is the “smart thing to do.”

Sens. Kamala Harris of California, New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders have joined fellow presidential hopeful New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker in the campaign to decriminalize marijuana across the U.S. The senators co-sponsored Booker’s recently proposed bill to end the federal prohibition on cannabis in all states. 

Harris said making marijuana legal at the federal level is the “smart thing to do,” which backs Booker’s recent claim that the ongoing war on drugs in the country has been a “war on people,” HuffPost reported Sunday

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, another 2020 Democratic candidate, also supports the legalization. She said that each state government should have the right to determine how to handle marijuana regulations. 

Democratic senators are not the only officials from Congress who recently expressed interest in allowing the nationwide recreational and medical use of marijuana. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said during his announcement speech for his 2020 presidential bid that it is “about time” to legalize the drug nationally.

As part his efforts to promote use of cannabis, Inslee recently began pardoning people with small-time marijuana convictions. 

Wider Marijuana Acceptance 

In the late 1960s, only 12 percent of Americans supported marijuana legalization, according to the Gallup poll. However, due to changes in policies and growing studies confirming the benefits of marijuana, about 66 percent of people in the U.S. said in 2018 that they approve of cannabis use. 

In the federal government, nearly 75 percent of Democrats support legalization. 

President Donald Trump also previously said he supports laws legalizing medical marijuana. However, he did not express any opinion on broader legalization. 

But some in Trump’s administration are still opposing the wider use of pot. New Attorney General William Barr said he will “not go after” marijuana companies in states where cannabis is legal, but he still believes the drug should be outlawed.

Recent polls showed that younger voters are showing the strongest support for marijuana legalization in the U.S. In California alone, millennials cover the largest generation among registered voters.