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'Too Many Lives Were Ruined': Bernie Sanders Releases Plan for Federal Legalization of Marijuana

"We will legalize marijuana and vacate and expunge past marijuana convictions."

Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) during the event dubbed "Bernie's Back Rally" comes as Sanders returns to campaigning after suffering a heart attack earlier this month. An estimated 26,000 people attended. (Photo: Michael Nigro/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) during the event dubbed "Bernie's Back Rally" comes as Sanders returns to campaigning after suffering a heart attack earlier this month. An estimated 26,000 people attended. Sanders on Thursday released a plan to legalize marijuana at the federal level. (Photo: Michael Nigro/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Sen. Bernie Sanders released an expansive plan on Thursday to as president legalize marijuana and ensure the benefits of legalization are felt across all communities, especially those affected by the war on drugs.

"We will legalize marijuana and vacate and expunge past marijuana convictions," the Vermont senator, who is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nominaion, said in a statement announcing the policy.

Sanders tweeted out the plan at 4:20pm. 

"Too many lives were ruined due to the disastrous criminalization of marijuana," Sanders said.

The proposal would legalize marijuana in the first 100 days of a Sanders administration, vacate and expunge all past marijuana convictions, and "ensure that revenue from legal marijuana is reinvested in communities hit hardest by the War on Drugs, especially African-American and other communities of color."

The plan would also aim to stop marijuana from turning into a business like tobacco by structuring the industry like a non-profit, prohibiting advertising targeting youth, and preventing "consolidation and profiteering."

Reaction on social media was largely positive. 

"Nice," tweeted a number of users.

"Blaze it," said Canadian journalist Rob Rousseau.

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