Democratic debate reveals support for marijuana

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Marijuana business owners who took in Tuesday night’s Democrat presidential debate in Las Vegas likely went to bed with high hopes after hearing what the two leading candidates said about cannabis legalization.

Responding to a question posed by a moderator, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said he would probably vote to legalize marijuana in Nevada next year if he was a resident of the state. A proposal to legalize recreational cannabis in Nevada will appear on the ballot in November 2016.

“I suspect I would vote yes,” said Sanders, who confirmed he has smoked cannabis in the past.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she is not ready to take a position on recreational marijuana but added that she supports medical cannabis and would like to see more research on it.

If either is elected president, it could spell good news for the cannabis industry.

The Marijuana Policy Project, which has graded 23 presidential candidates on their marijuana policies, gives Sanders an “A” and Clinton a “B.” The other Democratic candidates didn’t get to share their views on marijuana at the debate.

Republican candidates sparred over marijuana in their Sept. 17 debate, with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, and businesswoman Carly Fiorina all saying they would support state’s rights, although the latter two candidates said they had concerns. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie reiterated his vehement opposition to legalization.