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Bernie Sanders proposed Wednesday that marijuana be cut completely from the list of the ‘most dangerous drugs’ banned by the Federal government.

Doing so would allow states to legalize cannabis without fear of federal repercussions.

Sanders laid out his support for the proposal in a two-hour long meeting with students at George Mason University in Virginia. The meeting was broadcast online to some 300 other campuses around the country.

“Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use. That’s wrong. That has got to change,” Sanders told the audience of 1,700.

Sanders is the first candidate to call for cannabis’s removal from the Federal government’s schedule of controlled substances. Another Democratic candidate, Martin O’Malley, argued that marijuana should be moved to Schedule 2. Hillary Clinton has said she wants to take a wait-and-see approach regarding legalization experiments at the state level before committing to any sort of federal changes in the law.

Sander’s proposal would give the power to regulate marijuana — like alcohol and tobacco — to the states. It would also give marijuana businesses access to banking services and certain tax deductions.


Photo Credit: Michael Vadon

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