POLITICS

Marijuana Advocates Honor Bernie Sanders For His Legalization Efforts

The Democratic presidential candidate has introduced a bill to remove marijuana from the federal government's list of "most dangerous" drugs.

High Times, a magazine that advocates for legalizing marijuana, will honor Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) with an award recognzing his efforts to legalize the drug, the publication announced Monday.

The magazine plans to give the Democratic presidential candidate its inaugural "Trail Blazer Award" on Monday night during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. 

Sanders recently introduced legislation in the Senate that would end the federal ban on marijuana and remove the drug from the Drug Enforcement Administration's list of "most dangerous" substances. It would also allow individual states to legalize marijuana without oversight from the federal government.

The Democratic presidential candidate has long been an ally of legalization activists and a critic of the war on drugs and its impact on the criminal justice system.

"The time is long overdue for us to take marijuana off the federal government’s list of outlawed drugs," he said in a speech in October. "In my view, states should have the right to regulate marijuana the same way that state and local laws now govern sales of alcohol and tobacco. Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use. That’s wrong. That has got to change."

That same month, a Gallup poll found that 58 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana use.

The Marijuana Policy Project, which rates politicians based on their stances on marijuana, gave Sanders an "A" grade for his support for legalization, the highest of any of the 2016 candidates. 

Although he supports making marijuana more easily available to people, Sanders has admitted that he isn't much of a fan of using it himself.

"I smoked marijuana twice, didn't quite work for me," he told Yahoo News in an interview earlier this year. "It's not my thing, but it is the thing of a whole lot of people." 

High Times also plans to give the award to state-level marijuana legalization activists and entrepreneurs promoting innovative practices in the marijuana industry.

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