A Look at Bernie Sanders’ Marijuana Legalization Plan

At 4:20 p.m. ET Thursday, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders released his proposal for legalizing cannabis nationwide. It’s a goal he plans to achieve within his first 100 days in office and it won’t be stymied by congressional inaction. Sanders plans to do it via executive order.

Sanders’ plan includes $50 billion in grants and a significant social justice component modeled after California’s. A Sanders administration would direct federal and state authorities to review marijuana-related convictions for expungement. This “will include re-sentencing for all currently incarcerated with marijuana convictions.”

Cities and states that aid in the expungement process through work with organizations like Code for America would receive federal funding.

Tax revenue from cannabis would be used to invest in those communities hardest hit by the War on Drugs. A proposed $10 billion USDA grant program would help marijuana convicts start urban and rural farms. Another $10 billion grant program would benefit companies majority owned or operated by marijuana convicts or those otherwise hurt by prohibition.

True to form, Sanders’ plan aims to prevent large-scale corporatization of cannabis. It would ban the tobacco industry from participating in the cannabis marketplace and put market share and franchise caps into place “to prevent consolidation and profiteering.”

Read the plan here