Pubdate: Thu, 05 Nov 2015
Source: Spectrum, The (SUNY At Buffalo, NY Edu)
Copyright: 2015 The Spectrum Student Periodical, Inc
Author: Michael Perlman


Likely increase in supporters after Sanders' recent marijuana bill

When The Spectrum asked UB students who they're voting for in the 
2016 presidential election, many of them said Bernie Sanders.

Although Sanders is 74 years old, a large number of his supporters 
are between the ages of 18 and 29, also known as Millennials.

Sanders' platform includes everything from climate change to racial 
justice. He is also a supporter of LGBT and women's rights. Sanders 
is very ambitious, but knows he is telling the people what they want 
to hear. Although Sanders' plan to get rid of college tuition may 
seem like a far reach, it's music to people's ears and it's what the 
"generation of debt"  is looking for.

And on Wednesday, Sanders filed the "Ending Federal Marijuana 
Prohibition Act of 2015"  Senate bill. According to CNN, his bill 
suggests that states decide whether or not to legalize recreational 
use of marijuana. The bill would also decriminalize the drug at a 
federal level.

Immediately after Sanders announced his bill, people took to social 
media to show their overwhelming support.

The Spectrum feels that Sanders isn't all about false promises. He 
has found a reason, aside from social progression, to introduce this bill.

War on drugs has cost the United States billions of dollar each year. 
Police are less focused on the dangerous drugs such as cocaine and 
heroin when they still have to worry about marijuana. It has also 
created unmanageable incarceration rates.

According to the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition group, 82 
percent of drug arrests are for possession only.

The pros clearly outweigh the cons.

Colorado has seen the benefits of marijuana legalization.

According to MintPress News, Colorado has brought in more than $50 
million in cannabis sales in June 2015 and the state has earned over 
$60 million in marijuana tax revenue as of August 2015.

This revenue has been a huge benefit to schools, but more importantly 
there has been a significant drop in crimes.

Twenty-three states, including New York, have allowed access of 
medical marijuana. The only three states that have legalized 
marijuana for recreational use are Washington, Oregon and Alaska, and 
if Sanders' bill is passed, we expect to see more.

Buffalo has already put its foot in the door of the legalization of marijuana.

Last week, Assembly member Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Senator Liz 
Krueger had a public forum on the taxation of marijuana. They 
discussed the possibility of a bill that would legalize the 
production, distribution and use of marijuana for people 21 and older.

A system would be put in place to tax marijuana similar to the 
taxation of alcohol. According to Peoples-Stokes, the drug market in 
New York has cost the state $675 million.

So it's more than lighting a joint during your down time. It's the 
first of many steps to ending the war on drugs and helping to pull 
the United States out of its economic crisis and as of right now, it 
seems that Sanders is the one that could make this happen.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom