For Californians resolved to one day entering a dispensary and purchasing pre-rolled joints or marijuana-infused cookies — all for recreational use — a high-profile ally who lives 3,000 miles away has emerged.
As Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders darts across the state ahead of the June 7 Democratic presidential primary, he’s seamlessly woven into his pitch to voters an unyielding message of support for an effort that would legalize recreational pot in California.
“It makes sense to legalize marijuana at this particular point,” Sanders told supporters this week on a dusty softball field at a park in East Los Angeles where, like at many of his outdoor events in California, a slightly pungent pot aroma wafted through the air. “So if I were here in your state, I would vote yes on that issue.”
For Sanders, down in delegates and faced with an uphill climb against Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, his endorsement of the measure appears to be an effort to corral support. A poll released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California showed 60% of residents support legalizing pot, and referencing the issue at each of his rallies in Southern California this week often garnered Sanders the loudest applause at each event.