Bernie Sanders’ approval rating is rising, thanks in no small part to his platforms to outlaw for-profit prisons and reform drug laws nationwide, ending the racial and judicial injustice of the decades-long War on Drugs.
At a campaign rally in Nevada Tuesday, Sanders addressed a crowd of more than 4,000 supporters about the relation between private prisons and drug law reform.
“We want to deal with minimum sentencing,” Sanders said. “Too many lives have been destroyed for non-violent issues. People that are sent to jail have police records. We have got to change that. Our job is to keep people out of jail, not in jail.”
Sanders has often spoken about how the nation’s current drug laws are skewed to disproprotionately affect and unfairly target minorities. While legalized states, individual cities, and most famously the District of Columbia have decriminalized varied amounts for possession, the issue is still rampant across the U.S.
Another major platform Sanders announced at the rally is his intention to disassemble for-profit private prisons — a major benefiter of the drug war’s ridiculously punitive marijuana policies.
“When Congress reconvenes in September, I will be introducing legislation which takes corporations out of profiteering from running jails,” Sanders said.
While this is a risky move for any candidate given that for-profit prisons are a highly lucrative part of the nation's economy, it’s refreshing to see a democratic candidate throw middle-of-the-road politics to the wind and take a firmly outspoken position to the left.
Speaking of which, in spite of all this good news, the Sanders campaign is yet to take an official stance on marijuana legalization — much like all other democratic candidates. However, it was hinted at the rally that we should expect that announcement sometime next month, and I think it’s going to be good.