Where Every Major Presidential Candidate Stands on Marijuana Legalization

Published On 11/06/2015 Published On 11/06/2015

For the better half of this decade, the ongoing debate on marijuana legalization has expanded more rapidly than the plume of smoke currently coming out of Snoop Dogg's sunroof -- in whatever corner his low-low is currently hitting.

Naturally, constituents on both sides of the fence (and even those who don't really give a shit) consider this to be one of the more pressing issues on the plates of potential POTUS candidates during the build-up to the 2016 Democracy American Classic Extravaganza Showdown, also known as the Presidential Election. But where do the candidates really stand when it comes to dank nuggets and the usage of said nuggets? Are any Republicans down? Would it be much cooler if they were? Is Bernie Sanders really the savior potheads have been pining for? Is Jeb Bush still stoned? Here's the straight dope, dope-fiends. 


Hilary Clinton

Weed-Friendliness Scale: 5/10 Afromans

The ever pragmatic, probable Democratic nominee (sorry Bernie fans), and her answers to prodding marijuana questions were as calculated as ever. "I'm a big believer in acquiring evidence, and I think we should see what kind of results we get, both from medical marijuana and from recreational marijuana, before we make any far-reaching conclusions...We need more studies. We need more evidence. And then we can proceed," she told KPCC over the summer, a statement she basically reiterated word-for-word during the first Democratic presidential debate in October. She also stated that she never tried marijuana in her life. This one could go either way. 



Jeb! Bush

Weed-Friendliness Scale: 7/10 Afromans

Jeb! was memorably called out for admitting to smoking pot in high school by Political albatross/Atlas Shrugged enthusiast Rand Paul during the first Republican Debate, and though he laughed that off as a teenage transgression, the GOP stalwart has some progressive leanings towards weed, saying that “I thought it was a bad idea, but states ought to have the right to do it,” at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which is a decidedly Republican way to approach the problem, but still good news for people who love toking and don't live in overtly conservative states. 


Donald Trump

Weed Friendliness Scale: 6/10 Afromans

The normally reliable Trump (...that was a joke) has completely flip-flopped on America's war on drugs. In the early 1990s, he called for the legalization of all drugs, claiming it was the only way to "take money from the Drug Czars." Now, as a bafflingly popular GOP candidate, he said (at the same Conservative Political Action Conference where Jeb! spoke) “I think it’s bad, and I feel strongly about that...They’ve got a lot of problems going on right now in Colorado, some big problems.” But when asked about individual state's rights to legalize it, he said “If they vote for it, they vote for it," adding a little silver lining in all that mess of hair, teeth, and hot gas. 


Ben Carson

Weed Friendliness Scale: 2/10 Afromans

Despie being a world-renown neurosurgeon, Carson has dropped some highly questionable medical advice in the past, so it's kind of hard to take anything he says seriously. For instance his claims that marijuana legalization would lead to a "hedonistic society," or that medical marijuana is OK, as long as it is run through big pharma (what could go wrong?). I guess that makes sense, considering marijuana users can have drug-related flashbacks years after smoking. Right.


Marco Rubio

Weed Friendliness Scale: 1/10 Afromans

Marco Rubio, the dude who's still in this race because most people are like "he's OK, I guess" is not a friend to the weed-smoking community. In fact, he claims "...there's no way to responsibly use recreational marijuana," going as far to say "I don’t think legalizing marijuana or even decriminalizing it is the right decision for our country." When asked if he ever tried the pot (as my Mom would call it) he refused to even answer the question. Looks like ol' Marco is as square as his vice principal-esque haircut. 


Bernie Sanders

Weed Friendliness Scale: 10/10 Afromans

For those looking to support a candidate that supports the legalization of marijuana Bernard "Don't call me Larry David" Sanders should almost certainly be your no. 1 Presidential draft pick. Just this week, Sanders introduced a bill to the Senate that would give individual States the right to choose on legalization. And during the Democratic debate, he stated that he would in fact vote in favor of a Nevada bill that would legalize weed. Also he's from Vermont, and his name is Bern -- fill in the blanks, sheeple!

Wil Fulton is a Staff Writer for Thrillist. He'll vote next year, like he always does: under his brother's name. Follow him @wilfulton

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