Bernie versus Joe: Who Has a Better Marijuana Campaign?

Sushree Mohanty - Author

Aug. 23 2019, Updated 12:51 p.m. ET

Bernie Sanders versus Joe Biden! Who do you think has a better marijuana campaign? The 2020 presidential election is heating up. Everyone whats to know presidential candidates’ views on marijuana legalization. Let’s see what Bernie and Joe have said in their campaigns.

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Bernie Sanders’ marijuana campaign

For his presidential campaign, Bernie Sanders intends to talk about legalizing marijuana. A statement on Sanders’ website says that he plans to “legalize marijuana and vacate and expunge past marijuana convictions.” The website also says that “he would ensure that revenue from legal marijuana is reinvested in communities hit hardest by the War on Drugs.”

Marijuana is already gaining support from states. Many cannabis companies, like MedMen, are taking initiatives to legalize it in Arizona and Texas. Read MedMen Fires Up to Make Marijuana Legal in Florida to learn more.

On Sunday, Bernie Sanders tweeted, “We must legalize marijuana nationally, expunge past marijuana convictions.” He also said that it’s important to “ensure revenue from legal marijuana is reinvested in the communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs.”

Joe Biden’s marijuana campaign

All of the other Democratic candidates support legalizing marijuana nationwide. Joe Biden is the only Democrat who opposes full-scale legalization. A Growth Op article last month said that Biden supports decriminalizing cannabis. Biden helped pass the SAFE Justice Act.

In Biden’s campaign, he has spoken about a criminal justice plan that includes the expungement of all past marijuana use convictions. Notably, the plan would remove cannabis from the Schedule I classification. Biden’s plan includes making marijuana a Schedule II drug. The federal government would be able to research cannabis freely.

That said, Biden certainly doesn’t want to stand in the way of cannabis legalization in states. A Growth Op article said, “He very much believes that we need more research and study the positive and negative impact of cannabis use.”

Biden wants to leave the decision about adult-use cannabis to individual states. To learn more, read Joe Biden Wants to Reform Cannabis Laws.

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Why Biden’s approach might not be a good idea 

Biden’s approach might disrupt the cannabis industry. In a Vice article, Jonathan Caulkins, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College, expressed his views about Biden’s approach. He said, “If the federal government actually enforced the CSA [Controlled Substances Act] Schedule II [on cannabis in a Biden administration], then almost all current state-legal activities would be banned and could be shut down.”

Sanders and Biden aren’t alone

However, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden aren’t the only candidates who support marijuana legalization. Some other candidates support state and full legalization. Meanwhile, President Trump hasn’t expressed his views yet. Read President Trump: Is Marijuana Legalization a Key Weapon? to learn more.

Currently, marijuana is allowed for medicinal use in 33 states. Meanwhile, 14 states have decriminalized marijuana. Cannabis is legal in ten states and Washington, DC.

Andrew Yang and Beto O’Rourke also support cannabis legalization. Read Andrew Yang Says Cannabis Laws Are ‘Deeply Racist’ and Can Marijuana Legalization Spark Beto O’Rourke’s Bid? to learn more.

Cannabis industry’s performance

As of Thursday, Canopy Growth (CGC) (WEED) and HEXO (HEXO) have fallen 23.0% and 6.5% in August. Cronos Group (CRON), Aurora Cannabis (ACB), and Tilray (TLRY) have fallen 16.1%, 7.3%, and 28.9% in August. In contrast, Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR) and Aphria (APHA) have gained 0.63% and 21.0% in August.

Canopy Growth has fallen 6.4% YTD (year-to-date). Aurora Cannabis, Aphria, Cronos Group, and Innovative Industrial Properties have gained 16.7%, 14.4%, 11.4%, 134.2% YTD. In contrast, Tilray (TLRY) has fallen 58.8% YTD.

Cannabis stocks including Tilray, Canopy Growth, Cronos, Innovative Industrial Properties, Cresco Labs, and Acreage Holdings have reported earnings in August.

Cronos Group reported impressive second-quarter results. As a result, the company’s results drove its stock price higher. Jim Cramer, the host of CNBC’s Mad Money, favored Cronos Group over other cannabis stocks. Read Why Jim Cramer Favors CRON and CGC to learn more.

Innovative Industrial Properties reported excellent second-quarter results on August 8. The stock has been investors’ favorite lately. The company has returned 134.2% YTD.

Read Which Are the Best Cannabis Stocks in August? for more industry updates in August.

Stay tuned with us to learn more on election candidates’ views on marijuana legalization.


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