The 2020 Presidential Candidates and Their Views on Marijuana Legalization

Your one-stop-shop to read about marijuana policy backings, quotes, or just some facts from our 2020 presidential candidates.

Information will be added to this list as the 2020 presidential field develops.

 

Who’s running

Joe Biden
Cory Booker
Pete Buttigieg
Julián Castro
John Delaney
Tulsi Gabbard
Kirsten Gillibrand
Kamala Harris
John Hickenlooper
Jay Inslee
Amy Klobuchar
Wayne Messam
Beto O’Rourke
Tim Ryan
Bernie Sanders
Eric Swalwell
Donald J. Trump
Elizabeth Warren
William F. Weld
Marianne Williamson
Andrew Yang

Courtesy WikiCommons User

Joe Biden, 76

Former U.S. vice president

Decriminalization: Against; Legalization: Against

  • Notorious and long-running drug-warrior
  • Tough on crime” bills have been a centerpiece for his political career.
  • “There’s a difference between sending (someone) to jail for a few ounces and legalizing it. The punishment should fit the crime. But I think legalization is a mistake. I still believe it’s a gateway drug. I’ve spent a lot of my life as chairman of the Judiciary Committee dealing with this. I think it would be a mistake to legalize.” —Joe Biden to ABC

Courtesy WikiCommons user

Cory Booker, 49

Democratic Senator of New Jersey and former mayor of Newark

Decriminalization: For; Legalization: For


Courtesy WikiCommons user

Pete Buttigieg, 37

Democratic Mayor of South Bend, Ind. and military veteran

Decriminalization: For; Legalization: For

    • If elected, he would be the youngest and first openly gay president of the United States.
    • He hasn’t addressed the issue a ton yet… until:
    • “A lot of people had probably the exact same experience and would not have been believed, and would have been worse than yelled at, and would not have slept in their own beds that night, and maybe would have been derailed in their college career because of it, and that is one of the many reasons why I think we’ve got to end the war on drugs and move to legalization of marijuana.” —Pete Buttigieg at SXSW 2019

Earlier today, in @TexasTribune discussion at @sxsw, @anamariecox asked me about when I first started to become aware of my white male privilege. I told a quick story about getting caught with a joint in college. #SXSW pic.twitter.com/RKX81jdJoM

— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) March 10, 2019


Courtesy WikiCommons user

Julián Castro, 44

Former housing secretary and former mayor of San Antonio

Decriminalization: For; Legalization: For


Courtesy WikiCommons user

John Delaney, 55

Former congressman from Maryland

Decriminalization: For; Legalization: Hard to tell


Courtesy WikiCommons user

Tulsi Gabbard, 37

Congresswoman from Hawaii and Army National Guard veteran

Decriminalization: For; Legalization: For


Courtesy WikiCommons user

Kirsten Gillibrand, 52

Senator from New York and former congresswoman

Decriminalization: For; Legalization: For


Courtesy WikiCommons user

Kamala Harris, 54

Senator from California, former attorney general of California, and former San Francisco district attorney

Decriminalization: For; Legalization: For

It’s time to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. It’s time to stop repeating the same mistakes of the past.

— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) April 20, 2018


Courtesy WikiCommons user

John Hickenlooper, 67

Former governor of Colorado and former mayor of Denver

Decriminalization: For?; Legalization: Not particularly

  • Signed a number of reform bills into law for Colorado, with reluctance, so a Hickenlooper administration wouldn’t result in a backslide for legalization but it might not be one of his priorities
  • His main issue with legalization is children–he stood firmly against marijuana products meant to entice kids when he signed off on a bill to ban marijuana gummy bears and edibles in the shape of animals, fruits, or people
  • “We [the State of Colorado] take seriously our duty to create a robust marijuana regulatory and enforcement system. Colorado’s system has become a model for other states and nations.” —John Hickenlooper in an open letter to Jeff Sessions

Courtesy WikiCommons user

Jay Inslee, 68

Governor of Washington State and former congressman

Decriminalization: For; Legalization: For

  • Announced his candidacy shortly before announcing that Washington State would expunge the records of those previously convicted for non-violent drug-related crimes
  • Co-sponsored: the States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act; and various reform bills as governor including one that limits the amount of plants a person can cultivate and inflicts penalties for consumption n a moving vehicle
  • “Welcome @Canada to marijuana legalization. It’s time for Congress to acknowledge that marijuana legalization is working in states like Washington, Colorado, and others and legalize marijuana as well.” —Jay Inslee on Twitter

Welcome @Canada to marijuana legalization. It’s time for Congress to acknowledge that marijuana legalization is working in states like Washington, Colorado, and others and legalize marijuana as well. https://t.co/p1sKJ50BFu

— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) October 17, 2018


Courtesy WikiCommons user

Amy Klobuchar, 58

Senator from Minnesota and former Hennepin County, Minn., attorney

Decriminalization: For; Legalization: For

UPDATE from @amyklobuchar: “I support the legalization of marijuana and believe that states should have the right to determine the best approach to marijuana within their borders.” https://t.co/MxAi9XOUwz

— Jackie Alemany (@JaxAlemany) February 22, 2019


Courtesy WikiCommons user

Wayne Messam, 44

Mayor of Miramar, Fla.,

Decriminalization: Unclear; Legalization: Unclear

  • He was a former Florida State University football star and was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1997
  • Hasn’t mentioned cannabis reform as one of his priorities at all

Courtesy WikiCommons user

Beto O’Rourke, 46

Former congressman from Texas and 2018 Senate candidate

Decriminalization: For; Legalization: For


Courtesy WikiCommons user

Tim Ryan, 45

Congressman from Ohio and former congressional staffer

Decriminalization: For; Legalization: For


Courtesy WikiCommons user

Bernie Sanders, 77

Senator from Vermont and former congressman

Decriminalization: For; Legalization: For

“I am running for President because we need to invest in jobs and education for our kids, not more jails and incarceration. We need to end the destructive war on drugs private prisons, and cash bail, and bring about major police department reform.” @BernieSanders #Bernie2020 pic.twitter.com/9Gk96hS3dt

— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) February 19, 2019


Courtesy WikiCommons user

Eric Swalwell, 38

Congressman from California

Decriminalization: For; Legalization: For


Courtesy WikiCommons user

Donald J. Trump, 72

U.S. president, real estate developer, and reality television star

Decriminalization: For?; Legalization: Hard to tell


Courtesy WikiCommons user

Elizabeth Warren, 69

Senator from Massachusetts

Decriminalization: For; Legalization: For


Courtesy WikiCommons user

William F. Weld, 73

Former governor of Massachusetts and former federal prosecutor

Decriminalization: For; Legalization: For

  • Said he’s backed medical marijuana since 1992 when he was the governor of Massachusetts
  • On the advisory board of medical marijuana company Acreage Holdings since last year
  • “I think [national legalization] is inevitable. I don’t think any politician is going to be able to stop it.” —William F. Weld to the Boston Globe

Courtesy WikiCommons user

Marianne Williamson, 66

Self-help author, lecturer, and activist

Decriminalization: For; Legalization: For

  • Ran for Congress for Los Angeles’ 34th District as an Independent in 2014 but came in fourth, losing to Ted Lieu
  • Famously linked to Oprah Winfrey as her spiritual adviser
  • “The repeal of the prohibition is long overdue and I support it wholeheartedly.” —Marianne WIlliamson to the Boston Globe

Courtesy WikiCommons user

Andrew Yang, 44

Entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder of an economic development nonprofit

Decriminalization: For; Legalization: For

  • Said he also wants to decriminalize “small quantities of opioid use and possession (anything under five-10 days of personal use) including heroin,” but not cocaine at CNN’s Town Hall
  • “Our criminalization of marijuana is stupid and racist, particularly now that it’s legal in some states. We should proceed with full legalization and pardon of those in jail for non-violent marijuana-related offenses.” —Andrew Yang on Twitter

Our criminalization of marijuana is stupid and racist, particularly now that it’s legal in some states. We should proceed with full legalization and pardon of those in jail for non-violent marijuana-related offenses. pic.twitter.com/sjrYq3P6cW

— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) December 3, 2018

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