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Senator Elizabeth Warren is ‘Open To’ Marijuana Legalization

elizabeth warren marijuana

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United States Senator Elizabeth Warren has been at the top of many Democrat’s list of who they would support to be the next President of the United States. Elizabeth Warren does not appear to have the desire to run, at least not this election, but there has been speculation that she would be willing to be added as a Vice President candidate. I guess only time will tell on all of that. Most marijuana consumers have been disappointed over the years with Elizabeth Warren’s stance on marijuana legalization.

In 2011 Elizabeth Warren was clearly against marijuana legalization, and even went as far as going after a Republican opponent for his support of marijuana reform. That tune has appeared to change. Late last week news broke that Elizabeth Warren stated that she is ‘open’ to marijuana legalization if it appears on the next election ballot in her home state. Tom Angell broke it down on Marijuana.Com recently:

“I’m open to it,” she said, when asked about a legalization initiative that may appear on her home state of Massachusetts’s ballot next year…on Wednesday, Warren told the Boston Globe that “we’ve learned more. A couple of states have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Frankly, I think we ought to be learning what we can from those states.”

While the senator has opposed full legalization in the past, she has cited the U.S.’s high number of marijuana arrests to criticize the fact that financial crimes are not prosecuted as much as she would like. ”A kid gets caught with a few ounces of pot and goes to jail, but a big bank launders drug money and no one gets arrested,” she said at the liberal Netroots Nation conference last year. “The game is rigged!”

In Wednesday’s interview, Warren criticized the way scientific inquiry on marijuana has been stymied and stigmatized. “It’s just kind of a crazy thing, this country, for so long has done this like, ‘Marijuana, you know, no!’ We can’t even do scientific research around it. And so I’ve been pushing to say we ought to explore it and see what the consequences of marijuana use are.

So does Elizabeth Warren support marijuana legalization? Not quite. She hasn’t gone as far as endorsing marijuana legalization, in Massachusetts or elsewhere. However, she has moved away from a staunch ‘no’ when it comes to marijuana legalization, which is a good step in the right direction. Hopefully she comes to her senses sooner than later and gets all the way on the right side of history, rather than sitting on the fence.



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Johnny Green


  1. Petitions should be submitted to the Justice Dept but you can also petition the president. However the president is not required by law to act on a petition. The AG must act on petitions — but not necessarily according to the petitioner’s wishes.

    The president can order the AG to begin the process of rescheduling cannabis via executive order. Every cabinet member (including the AG) and every person in that cabinet member’s organization is subject to Executive Orders (because these are people who work for the Executive Branch). The process requires public hearings but those hearings only have as much influence on the final decision as the AG wants them to have. (They must however be held.)

    The AG has generally delegated the decision-making powers granted to him (or her as is now the case) under the CSA to the DEA (which is part of Justice) with significant scientific and medical advice coming from the Department of Health and Human Services (which is a statutory requirement). Several petitions have already been presented to the DEA. I remember
    one in particular which was submitted in 2002 and eventually rejected in 2011.

  2. This act refers to the abilities of the Attorney General (AG) not the abilities of the President.Traditionally the president does not try to influence the Justice Department’s interpretation of law due to suspicions of executive over reach. That being said, the current AG has always been a staunch supporter of continued prohibition and criminalization. The act does however allow for the petition to the Attorney General by “any interested party” according to the the last line of your posting. Does that not suggest that petitions should be submitted to the AG and not the President?

  3. Who Really Cares? on

    In all honesty, who cares what politicians have to say about cannabis at all? Besides the only voting that we should ever be doing as citizens of this country is for the legalization of cannabis one local initiative at a time, not for the perennial politico agents of mass confusion. If Elizabeth Warren is only “open to” marijuana legalization when a super majority of Americans are demanding it then she is a fraud. Don’t trust these devils.

  4. It is 100% true. The law leaves the decision to the Attorney General, who reports directly to the President, is a senior-level member of the executive branch, and is subject therefore to Executive Orders.

    The controlled substances act of 1970 reads as follows:


    §811. Authority and criteria for classification of substances
    (a) Rules and regulations of Attorney General; hearing

    The Attorney General shall apply the provisions of this subchapter to the controlled substances listed in the schedules established by section 812 of this title and to any other drug or other substance added to such schedules under this subchapter. Except as provided in subsections (d) and (e) of this section, the Attorney General may by rule—

    (1) add to such a schedule or transfer between such schedules any drug or other substance […] or
    (2) remove any drug or other substance from the schedules if he finds that the drug or other substance does not meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule.

    Rules of the Attorney General under this subsection shall be made on the record after opportunity for a hearing pursuant to the rulemaking procedures prescribed by subchapter II of chapter 5 of title 5. Proceedings for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of such rules may be initiated by the Attorney General (1) on his own motion, (2) at the request of the Secretary, or (3) on the petition of any interested party.

  5. “Because I don’t think so.” A simple google search shows that the president could deschedule drugs. The law is different than your personal “Because I don’t think so” logic.

  6. Is that true Dusty? or you just saying that? Because I don’t think so. And if he could have, boy, am I disappointed again with him.

  7. This country needs to have a televised debate so people who oppose can see for themselves that there is no scientific reasoning supporting prohibition. How can we allow the criminalization of something that has no credibility supporting the arguement? This topic needs to be discussed openly in public for both sides to present their case based on facts, needless to say the “gateway theory” will be excluded because it is nothing more than an opinion of ignorance. No more of these idiot politicians saying,”I think legalization is a bad idea”. I don’t give a shit what you think, where’s the facts?

  8. Obama has taken a hands off approach to legalization in WA and CO. He could be doing a lot more, but he still deserves credit. Here in Seattle the recreational stores are thriving, and the Feds have let them alone.

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