Presidential Scorecard

Republican

President Donald Trump

Supports:

State Autonomy

President Trump's stance on marijuana is slightly unclear, though he seems to support states' decisions to set their own policies. During the 2016 campaign, he stated his support for states to be able to set their own cannabis policies. Then, in February 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer stated during a White House press conference that the United States Department of Justice may seek greater enforcement of marijuana legislation at the federal level against states who sponsor and distribute recreational marijuana. Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions later rescinded the Cole Memo in early 2018. More recently, in August 2019, President Trump said, "It’s [marijuana legalization] a very big subject and right now we are allowing states to make that decision. A lot of states are making that decision, but we’re allowing states to make that decision.”

Democrat

Vice President Joe Biden

Supports:

Medical Cannabis

State Autonomy

Decriminalization

A campaign spokesperson told the Washington Post “Biden believes no one should be in jail because of cannabis use. As president, he will decriminalize cannabis use and automatically expunge prior cannabis convictions. And, he will support the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes, leave decisions regarding legalization for recreational use up to the states and reschedule cannabis as a schedule II drug so researchers can study its positive and negative impacts.”

Democrat

Sen. Bernie Sanders

Supports:

Federal Regulation

Medical Cannabis

A campaign spokesperson told The Washington Post that Sen. Sanders "will take executive action to legalize marijuana by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act, expunge past convictions of marijuana-related offenses and ensure that victims of the War on Drugs are not passed over by the burgeoning marijuana industry. The criminalization of marijuana was a disaster, especially for African Americans and communities of color. We will ensure that revenue from marijuana is reinvested in communities hit hardest by the War on Drugs.” The Senator has also pledged to legalize cannabis within his first 50 days in office, if elected.

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