In a current 13-aspect series, we reviewed the stance of each and every of the 2020 presidential candidates’ on marijuana, and we assigned each and every candidate a letter grade corresponding with our evaluation. Our grading criteria is as follows:

  • Present stance on marijuana: What have they not too long ago mentioned about marijuana legislation? When did they adopt this stance? We awarded greater grades to candidates who at the moment help legalizing marijuana and even far better grades if they have openly supported legalization for far more than just the previous couple years.
  • Internet site and social media: Did the candidate include things like marijuana on their site? How generally do they mention marijuana on social media? We applied the candidates’ internet sites and social media as a litmus test of their dedication to the legalization of marijuana. Whilst most candidates have expressed help for legalization, some only speak on the problem when prompted or have incredibly handful of statements on the matter. If a candidate does not actively advocate for marijuana, we doubt their conviction.
  • Previous legislative history: How quite a few marijuana-connected bills did this candidate introduce, sponsor or sign? Did this candidate legislate the War on Drugs? How substantially chance did this candidate have to legislate bills? We regarded as the legislative history of each and every candidate to ascertain whether or not they would be most likely to take actual action to legalize marijuana as president.
  • Previous rhetoric: What has the candidate mentioned about marijuana more than the course of their political profession? What about the War on Drugs? The views of most candidates have evolved more than time, but we gave reduced grades to candidates with a history of robust anti-marijuana remarks.

Under is a final summary of the candidates, in order of ranking.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.

Grade: A+

Conclusion: From the starting of his profession in the Senate, Booker has committed substantial work towards legislation focused on criminal justice reform, like the legalization of marijuana. He is not only an outspoken advocate of legalization but he has taken the lead on legislation to reform marijuana laws. When it comes to cannabis, there is no far better presidential candidate than Cory Booker.


Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii

Grade: A+

Conclusion: We award Gabbard an A+ grade for producing marijuana legalization central to her platform and for her comprehensive record of legislative action on marijuana. Gabbard has clearly demonstrated her commitment to legalizing marijuana and we think that she would see the job by means of if elected president.


Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas

Grade: A+

Conclusion: O’Rourke receives an “A+” grade simply because he has been committed to legalizing marijuana and ending the War on Drugs considering the fact that lengthy just before he ran for president. His get in touch with for a discussion of marijuana in 2009 clearly shows O’Rourke is not merely pro-legalization to win more than voters.

O’Rourke genuinely believes in legalizing marijuana simply because he saw the consequences of its prohibition in his hometown of El Paso. We are confident that a President O’Rourke would fight really hard to legalize cannabis and for that we give him an A+.


Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. (Edited from initial post)

Grade: A

Conclusion: Sanders receives an “A” grade primarily based on his almost flawless help for cannabis for the final 20 years. His record of pro-legalization legislation is exceptional and cannabis legalization is a central aspect of his platform as a presidential candidate. Although Sanders supported a couple bills early in his profession that have been inconsistent with his criminal justice platform, his two decades of pro-legalization legislation and rhetoric demonstrate his dedication to cannabis legalization and convince us that a Sanders presidency would be wonderful for cannabis. His incredibly current release of a progressive and detailed national legalization strategy (which occurred immediately after we initially assessed his views), must most likely vault him into A+ status.


Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

Grade: A- (Edited from initial post)

Conclusion: Warren receives an “A-” grade on cannabis. She of course desires to come across as a longtime advocate for marijuana reform. In spite of her claims, nevertheless, Warren did not regularly help legalization of marijuana just before 2016. Thankfully, Warren’s current legislative action surrounding marijuana is promising and Warren intends to legalize marijuana by executive order if elected president.


Mayor Pete Buttigieg, South Bend, Indiana

Grade: B+

Conclusion: Buttigieg receives a “B+” grade. More than the course of his brief and mainly innocuous political profession, Buttigieg has not accumulated adequate of a record on marijuana to ascertain the depth of his convictions concerning cannabis, but he has regularly stood for legalization considering the fact that announcing his presidential candidacy. We do downgrade him for not actively addressing legalization on social media, which appears to indicate that this problem is not a higher priority for him. In his favor, Buttigieg has openly supported legalization and his strategy to address the War on Drugs and its aftermath is really extensive.


Andrew Yang, entrepreneur and lawyer

Grade: B+

Conclusion: Yang receives a “B+” grade. Yang’s rhetoric is promising, but he lacks a legislative record on marijuana reform and criminal justice reform is not one particular of his “Three Large Policies.” His views on cannabis are excellent, but it is not clear how vital they are to him. As president, Yang would most likely be an advocate for legalizing marijuana, but it is unclear whether or not he is committed adequate to make it occur.


Julian Castro, former Mayor of San Antonio and former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Improvement

Grade: B-

Conclusion: Julián Castro receives a “B-” grade simply because his help for the legalization of marijuana is not an vital aspect of his platform and simply because he has no legislative record on the problem. Castro has openly supported legalizing marijuana on his social media, but he does not mention marijuana on his site and only not too long ago did he wholeheartedly express help for legalization at the federal level. He also omits essential elements of criminal justice reform from his platform. General, as president we feel Castro would help legalizing marijuana, but we query his enthusiasm on this problem.


Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.

Grade: B- (Edited from initial post)

Conclusion: Harris receives a “B-” grade. As a presidential candidate, Harris is now outspoken in her help of legalizing marijuana as aspect of her criminal justice reform platform. Moreover, her current sponsorship of the Marijuana Justice Act of 2019 demonstrates her willingness to take legislative action.

Nonetheless, Harris’ much less-than-stellar history on cannabis must make folks wonder whether or not she genuinely believes in legalization and how deeply. To place it bluntly, she may perhaps be fine on cannabis appropriate now, but her history is lead to for concern. Her previous opposition to legalization as an lawyer followed by inaction throughout the early aspect of her profession as senator does not and must not inspire self-confidence in Harris as an advocate for legalization.


Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

Grade: C+

Conclusion: Conclusion: Klobuchar receives a “C+” grade simply because of her much less-than-stellar history on cannabis and for her silence on legalization. Although Klobuchar stated help for legalizing marijuana, she of course desires to distance herself from the problem by excluding any mention of marijuana from her social media and site.

Klobuchar’s legislative history is also disappointing. Just before 2018, the senator did not sponsor any bills connected to marijuana. She has not too long ago signed on to marijuana-connected bills, but she is the only Democratic presidential candidate in the senate who chose not to co-sponsor The Marijuana Justice Act.

Her pro-legalization stance, communicated in a single “statement” sent to The Washington Post, is not convincing. She comes across as possessing softened on legalization far more for political motives than out of any correct commitment and she has performed incredibly small to demonstrate that she genuinely desires to legalize marijuana.


Tom Steyer, former hedge fund manager and founder of NextGen

Grade: C-

Conclusion: We give Steyer a “C-” simply because he has only straight addressed his views on marijuana when. He also does not address criminal justice reform on his site or in his rhetoric.


Former Vice President Joe Biden

Grade: D

Conclusion: Biden receives a “D” grade for his views on cannabis simply because he each fails to recognize or acknowledge its medicinal utilizes and simply because he is the only prominent Democratic Celebration presidential candidate who does not help cannabis legalization. The only factor Biden has going for him is a stated need for criminal justice reform, which saves him from a failing grade.


President Donald Trump

Grade: D

Conclusion: Donald Trump receives a “D” grade simply because his administration rescinded the Cole memo and known as for a crackdown on legalization states and simply because he broke his campaign guarantee to let states choose whether or not or not to legalize. Additional frequently, his guarantee to let states select whether or not to legalize would nonetheless leave marijuana illegal at the federal level. His inconsistency on cannabis is the most significant problem. He will say one particular factor and then do some thing totally various. His actions generally do not match his words.