Before the debate begins I want to throw in a few things I’ve been thinking about lately. In a very odd turn of events this libertarian has gone from a Rand Paul supporter to a Bernie Sanders supporter. Does this mean I support all of Sanders’ ideas? No. Actually I might not even agree with him on 50% of what he says. The extent to which I feel utterly not represented by any candidate in this race has perhaps fed into my intense interest. Of course, I’m also a lot older now than when the last serious debate (8 years ago) was underway.
One thing I think it is important for Bernie to underscore in tonight’s debate is the link between cannabis laws, the prison industrial complex, and minority populations. If you ask me, other than perhaps police militarization, cannabis needs to be the biggest concern for voters of color. Our country’s policy on the plant has single-handedly done so much damage to minority and/or lower economic class citizens that if the cause was clearer, there would be no defensible platform still supporting cannabis being illegal. Clinton has continued to trot out some line about changing scheduling of cannabis. Because very few people actually understand what the schedule system is, this might seem like she is in favor of stopping the disproportionate and entirely unnecessary imprisonment of african american males. Changing marijuana from schedule 1 to schedule 2 absolutely does not decriminalize it. Cocaine is a schedule 2 drug. Heroin is schedule 1. While adjusting the scheduling does allow more research to be done on the plant, it keeps cannabis highly illegal, and continues the unjust imprisonment of african american men, and the suffering of patients who might benefit from treatment with medical marijuana. You cannot be against the legalization of cannabis and at the same time support minorities.