Bernie Sanders explains his views on marijuana and slams the War on Drugs

Sanders linked the issues to his broader focus on inequality and injustice.


Patrick Howell O'Neill


Published Oct 22, 2015   Updated May 27, 2021, 6:40 pm CDT

Marijuana gets laughs, even on the presidential campaign trail.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was asked about weed and the War on Drugs on last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live

After a chuckle, things turned serious, and for good reason: Millions of Americans have gone to jail in the last decade for smoking small amounts of marijuana, most of them low-income minorities.

Sanders then turned to his signature issues of wealth inequality and campaign finance.

“This campaign is about trying to bring people together, young people and working people,” Sanders said. “To say, this is a radical idea, maybe the United States government should represent the middle class and working families rather than just the billionaire class.”

Sanders’ 2016 message has resonated more than most predicted, but Democratic rival Hillary Clinton has retained a commanding lead in the primary race.

Clinton significantly leads Sanders in most polls; one poll showed Clinton with 68 percent to Sanders’ 20 percent.

The next Democratic debate is scheduled for Nov. 6 at 8pm ET on MSNBC.

Illustration by Tiffany Pai

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*First Published: Oct 22, 2015, 9:05 am CDT