- Presidential candidate and Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, supports legalizing recreational marijuana at the federal level, she said in a Friday statement.
- Support for marijuana legalization has become a more mainstream position among Democrats, with nearly all of the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders speaking out in favor legalization.
- Recreational marijuana use is currently legal in 10 states and the District of Columbia.
Presidential candidate and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, has come out in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana at the federal level.
"I support the legalization of marijuana and believe that states should have the right to determine the best approach to marijuana within their borders," she said in a Friday statement, which was first reported by The Washington Post.
Klobuchar held a D rating from marijuana advocacy organization NORML, indicating a "hard on drugs stance," while serving as a prosecutor in her home state, but she was later upgraded to a B while serving in the US Senate.
While Klobuchar previously supported the STATES Act, which would have prohibited the Department of Justice from cracking down on marijuana in states that have legalized the drug, she did not endorse the Marijuana Justice Act, that would have taken marijuana off the list of Schedule I drugs.
The senator’s announcement comes after other major presidential Democratic candidates, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, endorsed marijuana legalization.
Sen. Kamala Harris, a former prosecutor who initially didn’t support California’s 2010 push to legalize marijuana, is also on board with legalization, admitting in a recent interview that she used the drug in college.
While Klobuchar is currently considered one of the more centrist Democrats in the field, support for marijuana legalization has become a mainstream stance among most Democrats — especially those trying to win over young voters.
The question of legalization is also an issue of racial justice for many candidates, who emphasize the persistent racial disparities in marijuana arrests and convictions as a reason to reform federal law.
On the other hand, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is also weighing a 2020 presidential bid, was heavily criticized for recently calling recreational marijuana legalization, "perhaps the stupidest thing anybody has ever done."
Recreational marijuana is currently legal in 10 states and the District of Columbia.
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