Lawyers Try To ‘Well, Actually’ Bernie Sanders Over Marijuana Legalization


But it turns out he’s (mostly) right.

Bernie Sanders says a lot of stuff out there on the campaign trail to fire up his supporters.

At a recent event in Los Angeles, he hit on an issue that’s a high priority for both civil libertarians and criminal justice reform advocates alike: marijuana legalization.

The reaction from the more sanctimonious sectors of Legal Twitter started ripping Sanders for not understanding legal basics. There were a lot of cracks about how executive authority works and administrative law and even federalism. What most of these folks missed though was that Sanders is… mostly right about all of this.

While it may pain lawyers and quasi-lawyers, the first step to untangling the Sanders position is getting past semantics. Can a president legalize drugs by “Executive Order”? Not really. Can a president, through his or her executive authority, order this to happen? Yeah, pretty much. Once you’re not hung up on the Executive Order term of art this isn’t particularly controversial. The Controlled Substances Act defers authority to the Executive Branch to determine where specific drugs are scheduled and, by extension, just how much of a federal crime you’re committing when you’re using. [Read more at Above The Law]