Each Saturday, we have now been operating a sequence of weblog posts that take an in depth take a look at the Democratic Get together candidates for President in 2020. We look at every candidate’s historic method to marijuana legislation and coverage, and we additionally canvas their present respective stances on marijuana.

Over the previous seven weeks, we coated Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Corey Booker and Beto O’Rourke.  At the moment, we flip to entrepreneur and legal professional Andrew Yang.

Grade: B+

Stance on marijuana: Andrew Yang helps legalizing marijuana as a part of his prison justice platform. As acknowledged on his web site, Yang believes legalizing marijuana “would enhance security, social fairness, and generate tens of billions of {dollars} in new income based mostly on authorized cannabis companies.” Yang has additionally promised to pardon all who’re imprisoned on non-violent marijuana convictions. He has criticized the Conflict on Medication and plans to decriminalize illicit drug use usually.

Historical past: Yang has no file of marijuana laws as his political profession started along with his 2020 presidential marketing campaign. He has additionally not voiced help for any marijuana reform laws. Moreover, prison justice reform shouldn’t be one in all Yang’s “three Large Insurance policies” (Common primary earnings, Medicare for all, and “human-centered capitalism”), indicating that it isn’t his prime precedence.

To his credit score, Yang’s web site particulars a complete prison justice reform platform which, amongst different issues, contains reviewing obligatory minimums and harsh felony legal guidelines. Particularly addressing the Conflict on Medication, Yang’s web site requires decriminalizing the possession and use of small quantities of opioids. He hopes to offer therapy reasonably than punishment for victims of habit.

Although marijuana shouldn’t be a foremost focus of his marketing campaign, Yang has advocated for the legalization of marijuana in interviews, in addition to on social media and his web site. This previous December, Yang clearly established his views on legalization in a post on Twitter:

Our criminalization of marijuana is silly and racist, notably now that it’s authorized in some states. We must always proceed with full legalization and pardon of these in jail for non-violent marijuana-related offenses.

Yang’s assertion references the disproportionate variety of individuals of colour arrested on marijuana prices. He once more talked concerning the criminalization of marijuana and racial inequity throughout interviews in February and March. In July, he shared an interview on Twitter the place he supported legalizing marijuana, equating it to cigarettes and alcohol.

Although Yang’s final objective is to legalize marijuana, he suspects the method will take time. Throughout this time, Yang needs to offer veterans with waivers so they might obtain their marijuana prescriptions via the VA, whatever the authorized standing of marijuana of their state. Veterans might probably use the waivers for different unlawful substances if they’re confirmed to be therapeutic.

Conclusion: Yang receives a “B+” grade. Yang’s rhetoric is promising, however he lacks a legislative file on marijuana reform and prison justice reform shouldn’t be one in all his “three Large Insurance policies.” His views on cannabis are good, however it isn’t clear how essential they’re to him. As president, Yang would seemingly be an advocate for legalizing marijuana, however it’s unclear whether or not he’s devoted sufficient to make it occur.