After over a year of campaigning against her and another month holding out support with the result determined, Bernie Sanders is set to formally endorse Hillary Clinton at a rally in New Hampshire today.
All it took was the Democratic Party to endorse cannabis legalization — among a few other things.
The Vermont senator and darling of the progressive left’s quest to earn the Democratic Party’s nomination for president ended last month — mathematically, at least — after Clinton won the California primary.
Since then, other mainstream Democrats have called on and called out Sanders for declining to endorse Clinton… until this past weekend’s meeting of Democratic leaders in Orlando, Florida, to hash out the party’s platform.
The party platform is a mostly ceremonial, non-binding statement of goals. But thanks to Sanders and his crew of progressive supporters, key Sanders policy positions like a $15-an-hour minimum wage, a carbon tax, and — yes — marijuana legalization were all added to the platform over the weekend, as the Guardian reported.
That was about “80 percent” of what Sanders and his campaign wanted, policy director Warren Gunnels told NBC News.
Sanders himself went a little further, calling the statement of positions “the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party,” the Guardian reported.
The platform shift ends what should be — for the Democrats’ sake — a final hard-earned piece between supporters of the two candidates, who often engaged in bitter infighting (and even some bizarrely selfish threats from Bernie Bros. to vote for Trump and #NeverHillary.)
Clinton and Sanders’ positions on cannabis is a fair microcosm of their differences. Sanders has repeatedly called for the U.S. to end cannabis prohibition, either by the DEA rescheduling the drug or by states leading the way by passing legalization measures. Clinton, on the other hand, has been more cautious, calling for more research and for cannabis to be rescheduled rather than legalized.
Sanders is far from a stoner: though his adopted home state has allowed medical marijuana for several years and could vote to legalize this fall, Sanders himself says he’s “done” marijuana just twice, “when I was very young,” he said earlier this year.
“And what it did for me, is it made me cough a lot,” he said, according to The Cannabist. “[T]hat was my response, but I gather other people have had different experiences.”
He also appeared to tacitly endorse Prop. 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which will appear on California voters’ ballots this fall.
“I do not live in California,” he said during a May rally in San Jose. “But if I lived in California, I would vote ‘yes’ to legalize marijuana.”
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