Bernie Sanders panders to pot smokers.

I ALMOST used a mean pun about ‘burnouts,’ but I refrained.

So apparently the man is trying to run for President, after all: “After calling for an end to the federal prohibition of marijuana last week, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders introduced a bill Wednesday to remove marijuana from the federal government’s list of Schedule I drugs.” As the Buzzfeed article notes, this varies from previous medical marijuana Senate bills in that it would leave in-state marijuana use legality up to the individual states; you still couldn’t sell it across state lines, but it would get the feds out of the business of Colorado marijuana sales. Although ‘would’ might be the wrong word to use; I’m not sure that English has a word that can convey the utter impossibility of this legislation ever making it to Barack Obama’s desk for him to veto. Which is a shame.

Seriously: I think that the GOP should let Bernie Sanders’ bill come up for a full vote. Fast-track that sucker. Then I think that the GOP should announce that ten of our Senators will be sitting out this one, or whatever the number ends up being to have Joe Biden break the hypothetical tie*.  Seriously, let’s get the Democratic party leadership really on the record about how they feel about pot.  Honestly, it’d be a hoot and a half.

I need hardly tell you, of course, that Senator Bernie Sanders is well-aware that there’s not going to be any sort of pot legalization legislation coming out of Congress in the near future. There’s also not much of a chance that this particular legislation will blow up in Senator Sanders’ face, either – which is a shame and a blunder. I suppose that our party’s legislators have to be dignified about this sort of thing, but it’s still faintly ridiculous.  Pretty futile, too: young voters might be interested in having a hassle-free joint, but I suspect that they’re even more interested in getting a job.  Then again, Bernie Sanders wouldn’t be able to secure them that, either.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: You will note, by the way, that there is no discussion of the merits of this particular bill, largely because I see no particular reason to analyze the legislative viability of PR stunts done by the Other Side. I also know how this sort of thing goes: somebody frightfully earnest will start insisting that this bill must be taken up, and then will proceed to waste everybody’s time on the subject until either the thread peters out, or the sun expands into a red dwarf.  And, at the end of either event, that bill of Bernie Sanders’ will still be sitting around.

*Hypothetical because there’s no way that the entire Democratic caucus will vote to make pot use a state’s-right issue. Of course, there’s also no way that Joe “War on Some Drugs” Biden will vote for decriminalization, either. Which is why I want to put the Democratic party on the spot like this.

9 thoughts on “Bernie Sanders panders to pot smokers.”

  1. Yep, you’ve identified the best possible use for the #Bernout bill .. however it is an atomic blaster that points both ways.
    Put another way, I’m *not* certain just how many GOP Senators would suddenly need to be out of D.C. and unavailable but I suspect it’s more’n 10 .. party of law&order and all that.
    More’s the pity – hotboxing the opposition with blowback from their own political stunts should be more of a thing.

  2. You know cocaine isn’t a schedule 1 drug, right? BuzzFeed isn’t very specific about what Bernie’s law would actually do, but unless it does something like remove marijuana completely from the FDA’s realm, it could be a whole lot of nothing.

    1. Thing is, it makes no sense to move it “completely out of the FDA’s realm” .. they still want to – over time, of course! – regulate and tax pot growers, same way they regulate and tax any other productive entity ..
      Moving it off “schedule 1” .. assuming it doesn’t move onto “schedule 2″ – highly addictive but *some* value” .. opens up research possibilities at universities, and – probably most importantly – limits the various Fed agency objections to it.
      Leaving it to States to regulate seems .. about as reasonable as how tobacco and alcohol are managed.
      Hmm. BATFW?

      1. Schedule 2, they could at least study it, see just how good a purified form of the active ingredient is as an anti-anxiety or appetite increaser.

        Over-the-counter? Needs a prescription, like penicillin? Needs a prescription and is tracked, like Tylenol #3? Some other “Yes, it’s in theory illegal to use, but we’re withdrawing all funding from enforcing it?” I don’t know what Bernie’s suggested law would do, but given our regulatory state I can imagine a situation in which it’s legal to prescribe, but the feds regulate it so much that it doesn’t really reduce the black market.

        Whatever, not going to happen in the near future anyway.

        1. Depends on the meaning of “near”, of course.
          I expect it’ll be Schedule 2 or .. wherever antibiotics and beer are classified .. before I’m pushing up daisies.

        2. Long time lurker + pharmacist here.
          A “purified form of the active ingredient” is both legal, and not schedule II.
          The schedule III drug Marinol (dronabinol) is THC, and it approved for nausea and appetite loss tied to AIDS and chemotherapy.
          This talking point needs to die. Medical THC is in pharmacies now.

  3. I’d just love it if they would bring the bill up and attach an amendment to it legalizing tobacco smoking again – not that I want that to pass, I quite enjoy going out and not smelling like an ashtray, but it’d be hilarious.

  4. Personally, I would like to see rand Paul step forward as a cosponsor. He’s cosponsored medical marijuana legislatin before.

  5. Granted, I loathe potheads.
    That said, the federal government involving itself in the question is a flagrant violation of the 10th Amendment.
    By all means, leave the question to the states. Where it belongs.
    (And for God’s sake make an amendment to the bill to specify that very point. Then pass the sucker over the howls of outrage. They gave you the hammer to beat them with, I want to see a big red puddle.)

Comments are closed.