By Steve Elliott
Campaigning for President in liberal Madison, Wisconsin, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) defended marijuana, saying it should not be a federal crime.
Sanders criticized the American War On Drugs, saying that millions of lives have been "ruined" because they got a police record, and sometimes prison sentences, for possessing marijuana, reports Tom Kertscher at Politifact.
"Today, under the federal Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is listed in the same Schedule I as heroin," Sanders said. "That is nuts."
"Now people can argue -- although I suspect in this audience, there may not be much of an argument -- about the pluses and minuses of marijuana," Sanders said, drawing cheers from the crowd of thousands at the Alliant Energy Center. "But everybody knows marijuana is not a killer drug like heroin."
Sanders then pointed out he's introduced legislation which would remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act -- as in DEscheduling cannabis, not REscheduling it. (Merely moving marijuana to Schedule II would effectively hand over its control to Big Pharma.)