Tie Goes to the Runner

I think I’ve said in the past that the Democratic candidates are all pretty close in terms of their policy positions.  So close that I don’t have a head and shoulders above favorite in the primary.  At least as far as policy positions go.  And since their policy positions are all pretty close to what I’d like to see be implemented by the next President, there’s no chance I vote for anyone but a candidate with a D after his or her name in November 2020.

I live in Tennessee, so my primary vote is unlikely to matter in the scheme of the candidates’ calculations.  And the amount of money I might consider donating in the primary is pretty small (a total of $20 so far), so it’s not like these people are on pins and needles waiting to hear what policy ideas I prefer.

Still, to the extent it matters, there are a couple of basic points that might lead me to favor one candidate over the other.  This post is about one of those – legalization of marijuana.

So, I noticed that Rolling Stone did a summary of the policy positions of the 2020 candidates.  I’m getting my info from that article, so blame them if the candidates’ positions are different that I summarize here.

The big dog, Joe Biden, hasn’t made any pronouncements in this election cycle, but appears he’s not a fan, as of 2014 at least.

The following candidates support legalization in some form or another – Warren, Harris, Sanders, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Inslee, Gabbard, Yang, DeBlasio, Delaney, Bennet, Hickenlooper, Ryan, Moulton, Messam

Booker and O’Rourke support legalization and would go a step farther to expunge the records of people who have served time for some marijuana use offenses.

Gillibrand would follow Booker and O’Rourke and also require insurance companies to cover medical marijuana.

Castro would legalize and regulate use of marijuana.

Williamson would legalize and release non-violent offenders convicted of marijuana-related offense.

With as little space as there is between these candidates, I suspect Joe will come out in favor of legalization if it becomes a primary issue.  Considering where Americans are on this issue and the trendline, I wouldn’t want to be on the other side of this issue.

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