During the Democratic presidential debates on Oct. 13, 2015, Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., became the second major party candidate, after Rand Paul on the Republican side, to endorse marijuana legalization. He is also now the first major party candidate on either side of the aisle, to endorse recreational reform at the federal level specifically.
The statement was immediately met with support from the major advocacy organizations. According to Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, “This marks the first time a major-party presidential candidate has clearly expressed support for ending marijuana prohibition and regulating marijuana like alcohol. The people have typically led the politicians on this issue, and finally we’re seeing a presidential candidate who appears to have caught up with them.”