While the primary issues that will be debated in the 2020 presidential race will likely include the usual topics, jobs, infrastructure spending, national security, taxes, healthcare laws, trade, crime, immigration, and economic growth, another topic that may very well take on added prominence is the legalization of marijuana, Newsmax reports.
While it was only on the “fringes” of the 2016 presidential election, it’s moving to “center stage” Politico reported Sunday.
The Marijuana Justice Act, introduced last week by presidential prospect Senator Cory Booker, is calling for the legalization of marijuana at the federal level, with special emphasis on current laws that disproportionately target minorities.
“You see these marijuana arrests happening so much in our country, targeting certain communities, poor communities, minority communities, targeting people with an illness,” Booker said.
At the other end of the issue is Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has made no secret of his opposition to the recreational use of marijuana. However, President Donald Trump backed the medical use of marijuana when running for president and maintained the issue should be left up to the states.
Also on the Republican side is Senator Rand Paul, who campaigned for president in 2016 and has backed a repeal of the prohibition against marijuana and emphasized the importance of state’s rights to determine laws regarding it.
Earlier this year, four lawmakers formed the bipartisan Congressional Cannabis Caucus with the purpose of finding common ground between federal laws that ban marijuana and the growing number of states that have legalized it for medical or recreational purposes, Fortune magazine reported in February.
Various polls show a growing number of people in favor of legalizing cannabis as well as those who feel states should have the final say in the issue. Five states now allow recreational use of marijuana, and states are seeing the upside of tax revenues from its legalization.
“If you are against medical cannabis access, or against cannabis legalization, you’re already in the minority,” said John Malanca, co-founder of the California-based United Patients Group, a national organization that specializes in promoting cannabis education for patients, doctors and adult users.
A list of other potential presidential candidates in 2020 would include, Senator Bernie Sanders, who supports the use of medical marijuana and the decriminalization of its recreational use.
In addition, Senator Elizabeth Warren, has worked on the issue of legal and secure banking for the cannabis industry, Politico explained. And, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, has, along with Booker, signed onto separate bipartisan proposed medical marijuana legislation.