Bernie Sanders, a candidate who not shy about declaring his support for legalizing cannabis, was declared winner of Wisconsin’s April 5 Democratic primary by Fox News moments after polls closed at 8pm and later by the Associated Press. Wisconsin has an open primary but voters needed to choose to vote in either the GOP or Democratic primaries. The final tally had Sanders with 56% of the vote to Clinton’s 43%.
It was not that long ago when Hillary Clinton was the favorite to win the Badger state, but Sanders continued to build momentum right up to election day surging to victory.
Hillary Clinton, who tops 2016 field in drug industry donations has continued to cling to her position that medical cannabis needs more research, which dates to long before the 2008 elections. Bill Clinton promised Jacki Rickert during an August 7, 1992 campaign stop in Osseo Wisconsin that she’d get her medicine if he was elected president. (She had been approved for federal medical pot, but not supplied.) As president, Bill not only failed to deliver on his promise to Jacki but also tried to prohibit doctors from even discussing medical cannabis after California passed Prop 215, legalizing medical cannabis in 1996, leading to him being on the losing end of a federal lawsuit, Conant v. McCaffrey.
Sanders’ strong support of cannabis legalization including descheduling of cannabis marks a major shift in modern presidential politics. It is a major step forward to have one of the leading candidates for president who has a real path to victory so enlightened on cannabis at this stage of the game. This makes the Sanders candidacy a kind of referendum on legalization and helps generate a lot urgently needed of enthusiasm for voting in a system where ID cards are demanded and long lines not uncommon. It’s felt like a long campaign leading up to this day, and there is 7 months more yet to come, but Wisconsin has given Bernie Sanders a big victory tonight.
Updated: 2016-04-06 8:05:05 PM