Bernie Sanders, one of the Democratic candidates in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, has been pretty open about his stance on the decriminalization of smoking marijuana—he’s all for it. Medical marijuana aside, Sanders believes that possessing a small amount shouldn’t be deemed a criminal offense, but rather a civil one that comes with perhaps just a fine instead of jail time.

In his opinion, the attention should be focused on a different group of individuals—CEOs on Wall Street. Sanders summed up his opinion in one very telling post on Twitter: “It is obscene that people are getting arrested at near record rates for smoking marijuana, but not one Wall Street CEO has been prosecuted.”

The politician is referring to the issue of jailing young marijuana smokers, but then not cracking down on financial bosses who participate in illegal activity that result in millions of dollars lost. Sanders’ stand comes in response to a recent pledge from the Department of Justice to focus more vigorously on prosecuting white-collar crime, particularly on Wall Street. According to Sanders, the change is much needed.


His post on the matter was retweeted 2,000 times in an hour, which shows that many agree with his sentiment. Much of the commenting is in favor of Sanders, although some people are interpreting his comment in a slightly different way—a few commenters think the real issue is that although plenty of marijuana smokers get prosecuted every day, the law turns a blind eye to Wall Street CEOs who get caught smoking pot. Although that’s probably not what Bernie Sanders was talking about, it does raise another interesting argument.

Bernie Sanders, Twitter post, October 8, 2015, 12:18 p.m.
Carter, Z., “Bernie Sanders: ‘Not Acceptable’ To Jail Young Pot Smokers And Let Big Bank CEOs Walk,” Huffington Post web site, September 10, 2015.

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