Tulsi Gabbard, 2020 presidential candidate: Opponents of loosening marijuana laws ‘out of touch‘

By – The Washington Times – Thursday, March 7, 2019

said Thursday she would be “surprised” if any of her rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination opposed efforts to loosen marijuana laws, saying it would “reveal how vastly out of touch they are with the American people.”

The Hawaii Democrat has teamed up with Rep. Don Young, Alaska Republican, on the first bipartisan piece of legislation that seeks to remove marijuana from the federal controlled substances list and allow states to regulate marijuana without the fear of federal intervention.

“I think it is extremely significant given the divided legislative body that we have,” said at a press conference outside the Capitol. “We see more and more people who are becoming more informed and aware of the facts, the stories and the impacts that this outdated policy has.”

The push to loosen the restrictions on pot has generated some concerns over whether the nation is moving too fast, and should take more time to study the consequences on public safety and people’s health.

The leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, though, have signaled support for a marijuana rethink, arguing prohibition hasn’t worked and that the benefits of ending the tough-on-crime approach to marijuana would lead to better criminal justice and medical outcomes.

Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California recently opened up about her pot-smoking past and said that weed prohibition has led to higher incarceration rates and gotten in the way of research into marijuana use.

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, meanwhile, is pushing legislation that would also remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act schedule and eliminate federal criminal penalties for possession, cultivation, manufacture, import and export of cannabis.

and Mr. Young also are pushing legislation that would study the impacts of legalizing weed for medical and recreational purposes in the hopes of getting a better handle on how it impacts everything from state revenues to public health and substance abuse.

told The Washington Times the public has been moving away from the tough-on-crime approach in both red and blue states, pointing out that voters in Oklahoma last year backed a ballot measure legalizing medical marijuana.

Asked whether a candidate in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination could survive if they opposed the anti-prohibition push, said, “I think someone who comes out with that position would reveal how vastly out of touch they are with the American people.”

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