While presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is in favor of decriminalizing cannabis, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had promised, as part of his platform for president, an executive order to federally legalize cannabis within his first 100 days of office. 

In a presidential election year unlike any other, might a full throated endorsement of cannabis legalization be the ticket to the White House?

As Joe Biden extends his charm offensive to disaffected Bernie Sanders supporters – promising more progressie stances on health and economic issues – an open question is if and to what degree he may alter his stance on legal cannabis.

As it stands, Biden is in favor of decriminalizing cannabis and expunging criminal records of those previously arrested for consuming and trafficking the plant. This, by any measure, would be a giant step forward.

However, is that position enough to excite and sway supporters of Bernie Sanders? Sanders promised to not only legalize pot through executive order in his first 100 days of office, but also allocate $20 billion in cannabis tax revenue to fund reparation payments to those most acutely impacted by the war on drugs.

In this day and age, it’s hard to trust anyone who claims to predict the future. However, with 33 states now legalizing cannabis sales (including 11 for purely recreational use) and increasing evidence that the substance does not contribute to societal “reefer madness”, why not win some political points with the Bernie bros and others and go all in on ganges?

Who’s to say the incumbent occupant of the White House won’t do the same thing one day on a hunch?

Is it far-fetched to believe that a presidential candidate’s embrace of the societal and economic benefits of cannabis is an electoral asset in 2020 rather than a liability? 

What do voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio think? Get ready for anything…

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Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.