Sen. Bernie Sanders is picking up support in some pretty high places these days. The Democratic presidential candidate has been appealing to marijuana advocacy groups lately as he tours the country, hoping to drum up support and taking on the war on drugs as he does it.
"We want to deal with minimum sentencing," Sanders said on Tuesday in Nevada, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "Too many lives have been destroyed for nonviolent issues. People that are sent to jail have police records. We have got to change that. Our job is to keep people out of jail, not in jail." During that rally he also promised to introduce legislation that would remove the profit incentive for corporations to run private jails
That stance, and policies that call on the legalization of medical marijuana and treatment for drug offenders, has been winning over pro-weed voters and groups. Sanders has become a heavily talked about point of interest in some online forums for marijuana users, like Reddit, according to the Inquisitr. An informal High Times poll posted in May shows that, of those who have voted so far, Sanders is the candidate of choice for readers of the marijuana magazine. He's followed by his Senate colleague Rand Paul, a Republican. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in third place.
Clinton, in response to the increasingly influential Black Lives Matter movement, has been growing critical of the prison system in the United States. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, facing dramatically higher crime rates than today, signed into law a 1994 crime bill that established mandatory minimums for even nonviolent crimes like drug possession. In this campaign season, he has called that law and the results a mistake. Hillary Clinton has supported reforming drug laws.
"We have too many people in jail and in prison who committed low-level, nonviolent offenses, and we have too many people who haven’t been convicted of anything but can’t afford bail and sometimes are there for months, if not years," she said Tuesday, also at a campaign event in Nevada.