American Presidential Elect, Bernie Sanders, is using his voice to call for police reform, starting with the legalisation of cannabis. Bernie may not be the next president of the US, but he is one of the most outspoken and progressive voices un American politics. One of these outspoken and progerssive moments came recently when speaking on the Senate floor.
Here he called for drastic federal police reform which he believes it should start with cannabis. His speech was made amidst the ongoing protests against police brutality and violence. The death of George Floyd in the hands of police has opened up protests in support of civil rights and the defunding of American police departments. Sanders has also called for the end of police immunity and a new concept for first responders amongst his call for legal cannabis.
He was quoted saying: “In the midst of the many crises we face as a country, it is absurd that, under the federal Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is at Schedule I, along with killer drugs like heroin.”, which is a fact that the cannabis community has pondered over for some years now.
Bernie Sanders believes that changing the legality of cannabis will have a positive impact in lessening racial inequality when it comes to drug arrests. Numerous states have accepted cannabis, but it’s time for the federal government to follow suit. This would allow for a nationwide police reform that will prevent police officers from searching, arresting or jailing people for what commonly end up being minor cannabis related offences. This is particularly true for people of colour who bear the brunt of this racial prejudice.
Sanders makes a fair point in his debate, and it is fairly straightforward to understand his concept. Making cannabis federally legal will put a lot more pressure on police departments to make fair arrests where necessary, and prevent them from making unlawful arrests.