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Culture > News

#DemDebate on the Legalization of Marijuana

As Tuesday’s Democratic Presidential Debate progressed, the 2016 candidates went over issues ranging from gun control to Hillary’s e-mails. One issue in particular that was highly anticipated but hardly touched on was the legalization of marijuana.

In fact, not even all of the candidates were able to discuss their opinions on the matter.

Sanders was asked if he would vote for legalization at the state level, and it was pointed out that he has said in the past he’s smoked pot twice.

“I suspect I would vote yes,” Sanders responded. “We have a criminal justice system that lets CEOs walk away, and yet we are giving prison sentences to young people who smoke marijuana.”

The audience then turned to Clinton, although she has stated previously that she didn’t smoke pot when she was young and that she wouldn’t start now. Rather than taking a stance on full recreational legalization, Clinton stated her support for medicinal marijuana. She mentioned that she also believes that drug sentences are too heavy. “We have got to stop imprisoning people who use marijuana,” Clinton responded. 

Clinton’s response to this issue differed greatly from Jeb Bush’s response at the GOP Debate a few weeks ago. “Forty years ago, I smoked marijuana, and I admit it,” Bush said back in September. “I’m sure that other people might have done it and may not want to say it in front of 25 million people. My mom’s not happy that I just did.” 

Though none of the Democratic candidates’ responses matched this one, we are interested in hearing more about their opinions on this hot button issue at the next Democratic Debate in November. 

Follow Allison on Twitter @AllisonMCrist.