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Bernie Sanders Calls For Legalization Of Marijuana

Senator Bernie Sanders has called for the legalization of marijuana at the federal level in the U.S.

On Sunday, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate said on Twitter, "We must legalize marijuana nationally, expunge past marijuana convictions and ensure revenue from marijuana is reinvested in the communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs."

Sanders also tweeted about how an audience member's father continued to languish in prison on marijuana charges as he cannot afford the cash required for bail, while in several states, marijuana is delivered to a user's home.

Sanders has released a criminal justice reform plan that says he will make the structural investments to rebuild the communities that mass incarceration continues to decimate, if he becomes president of the U.S.

"In fact, black Americans are incarcerated at five times the rate of white Americans, and even though people use drugs like marijuana at roughly the same rates across all races, black Americans are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white Americans. These disparities pervade every aspect of the criminal justice system," Sanders said on his website.

He noted that mass incarceration has not made the U.S. any safer or reduced drug use and addiction. Instead, it has cost lives and diverted resources that could be used to prevent crime through social investment.

The War on Drugs has disproportionately affected black and brown people, Sanders said.

The presidential candidate also urged the use of "therapeutic, not punitive solutions" to address drug addiction and called for change in federal laws to treat addiction as a mental health issue.

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