When deciding on who's your favorite candidate for president, there are many criteria. Where do they stand on healthcare, how would they deal with immigration, what's the best foreign policy and how to fix the criminal justice system are four major areas of concern.
At CelebStoner, we want to know who will legalize marijuana and who won't. And just for fun, who have smoked pot in their lifetime and who hasn't.
This article was originally posted in September before the primaries began. Since then, candidates have dropped out of the race, leaving former Vice President Joe Biden as the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Below, you'll see who among the candidates have admitted to smoked pot or not.
Joe Biden - NO
The former VP favors the decriminalization of marijuana and not full legalization. According to The Book of Joe, "Biden has never had a beer. He has never had a drop of alcohol, not even on Spring Break. As a kid, he had noticed that his uncle drank too much and he wanted to avoid the same fate. Biden had the same policy with cigarettes and pot: 'I don’t use anything that could be a crutch,' he told a reporter in 1970. 'I use football as a crutch and motorcycle jumping and skiing – I ski like a madman. But those are crutches over which I have some control. I’m against chemical crutches.'"
OUT OF THE RUNNING
Bernie Sanders- YES
The Vermont Senator supports ending the federal prohibition of marijuana. "I smoked marijuana twice," Sanders has said. "It didn’t quite work for me. I coughed a lot... It’s not my thing, but it is the thing of a whole lot of people. And if you want to make the argument that maybe marijuana is less harmful to health than tobacco, I think you’d probably be making a correct argument."
"I smoked marijuana twice. It didn’t quite work for me. I coughed a lot."
Elizabeth Warren - NO
The Massachusetts Senator supports ending the federal prohibition of marijuana. Asked in 2018 by Rolling Stone if she's ever smoked marijuana, Warren said, "No."
Michael Bloomberg - YES
Asked in 2002, when he was mayor of New York, if he had ever used marijiuana, Bloomberg replied, "You bet I did. And I enjoyed it." Unfortunately, that proved to be a flippant comment. Bloomberg presided over the city when more then 400,000 marijuana arrests were made from 2002-2013.
In 2013, he called medical marijuana "one of the great hoaxes of all time," and earlier this year said cannabis use was "non-sensical." But since entering the race, Bloomberg has toned down his tough-on-crime rhetoric, apologizing for the millions of stops and frisks made on his mayoral watch and saying that decriminialization is the way to go, stopping short of legalization.
Pete Buttigieg - YES
The mayor of South Bend, Indiana supports ending the federal prohibition of marijuana. In his 2019 book, Shortest Way Home, Buttigieg acknowledges that he's smoked pot "not many but more then once" (times). While at Harvard from 2001-2004, he says he "didn’t smoke a lot in college.”
Amy Klobuchar - ??
The Minnesota Senator supports ending the federal prohibition of marijuana. It appears that Klobuchar has never spoken about his personal pot use or been asked about it. Her background as the Hennepin County Attorney from 1997-2007 would suggest that the answer would be no.
Tom Steyer - YES
In a interview posted at Twitter on October 28, Steyer answered the question: "Have you smoked marijuana?" "I have smoked marijuana outside the country," he said without naming which country and when this occurred. "I have never owned marijuana. I'm in favor of marijuana being legal. I'm from the state of California. If I choose not to smoke marijuana I don't want to be criticized for it. But what I'm in favor of is legalizing marijuana both for medical and recreation."
At his website, Steyer maintains, "We must reform our criminal justice system to reflect the rule of law for all, not just those powerless to defend themselves."
"I have smoked marijuana outside the country."
Andrew Yang - NO
The businessman supports ending the federal prohibition of marijuana. In April, Yang told HOT 97, “I was a pretty geeky Asian dude and, you know, my parents did a pretty good job of keeping me steering clear of certain things. I have many friends who partake.”
Kamala Harris - YES
The California Senator supports ending the federal prohibition of marijuana. In February, Harris, who's father is Jamiacan, told The Breakfast Club when asked about using marijuana: “I have. And I inhaled. I did inhale. It was a long time ago... I think it gives a lot of people joy and we need more joy in the world.”
"I did inhale. It was a long time ago... I think it gives a lot of people joy and we need more joy in the world.”
Beto O'Rourke - YES
The former Congressman from Texas supports ending the federal prohibition of marijuana. In February, he told the New York Times about when he lived in New York City in the late '90s: “Pot, yeah, there was definitely, you know. There was, uh, I don’t know how to put this, but yeah. People smoked pot, but not habitually.” The Times added, "He allowed that he was among those people." O'Rourke played in the rock band Foss in the '80s and was arrested on a DWI charge for alcohol in 1998.
Cory Booker - NO
The New Jersey Senator supports ending the federal prohibition of marijuana. In 2017, he told Vice, “I’ve never smoked marijuana. I’ve never smoked a cigarette. I’ve never eaten marijuana. I’ve never tried another drug. I’ve never drank alcohol. This, to me, is not an issue I come at through my own experimentation. I come at this as an issue of justice, as an issue of safety for our communities, as an issue of utter fairness.“
“I’ve never smoked marijuana. I’ve never smoked a cigarette. I’ve never eaten marijuana. I’ve never tried another drug. I’ve never drank alcohol."
Julian Castro - ??
The former HUD Secretary supports ending the federal prohibition of marijuana. It appears that Castro has never spoken about his personal pot use or been asked about it. In his book 2018 book, An Unlikely Journey, Castro extols the virtues of a college classmate, Jon, "who was a lesson in how you can succeed and still relax. After all, he wasn't smoking weed at the beach - he was a Stanford! He had that magical California nod that only a native acquires." He did work in the Obama adminstration, which was headed by a known cannabis user.
Tulsi Gabbard - NO
The Hawaii Congresswoman supports ending the federal prohibition of marijuana. In January, Gabbard told Forbes, “I don’t smoke marijuana. I never have. But I believe firmly in every person’s freedom to make their own choices, and that people should not be thrown in jail and incarcerated or made into criminals for choosing to smoke marijuana whether it be for medicinal and non-medicinal purposes.”
“I don’t smoke marijuana. I never have."
Check out current polling for Democratic presidential candidates at FiveThirtyEight.com.
This article was posted on Sept. 24, 2019. It has been updated several times.