“I’ve done marijuana twice in my life, when I was very young,” Bernie Sanders said to the crowd’s applause. “And what it did for me, is it made me cough a lot — that was my response, but I gather other people have had different experiences.”
Sanders called heroin “a killer drug” and pointedly took aim at the Controlled Substances Act, which ranks cannabis alongside heroin in terms of the drugs having high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use in the U.S. and a lack of safe use.
“We also know, and people can argue this ’til the cows come home and scientists dispute it, marijuana is not heroin,” Sanders said Monday. “I’m not here advocating for marijuana. Marijuana is listed as a Schedule I drug alongside of heroin. (The audience booed.) I agree, and that is why I believe we should take marijuana out of the federal Controlled Substances Act.”
Video: Bernie Sanders talks on marijuana and heroin
Many legalization activists have attached themselves to Sanders in part because of his cannabis platform, which would involve the drug being completely removed from the federal government’s list of the most dangerous drugs.
“Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use,” Sanders said in October 2015. “That’s wrong. That has got to change.”