Despite claiming last year that legalizing marijuana “is perhaps one of the stupidest things anybody has ever done. We’ve got to fight that.” presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg seems to have backtracked slightly ion his stance.
Last winter, the former New York City mayor talked about opioid overdose deaths in recent years “We have a different kind of problem in America, for example,” he said. “Last year, in 2017, 72,000 Americans OD’d on drugs. In 2018, more people than that are OD-ing on drugs.” He then went on to call marijuana a highly addictive narcotic that is fueling the opioid crisis in America.
This year, however, when asked on the campaign trail if citizens of Colorado were “stupid” for legalizing marijuana, Bloomberg responded by saying that incarcerating people for possession of marijuana was ‘truly dumb‘. Bloomberg now says he still won’t support federal or state legalization of marijuana, but he will support decriminalizing possession of 25 grams or less of the drug. He continues to maintain that it is pointless to put people in jail for possession, but still supports fining those who have the drug and using police resources to target users.
Bloomberg hasn’t explained how this new policy will impact other drug policies, such as stop and frisk which disproportionately targets people of color. Bloomberg has long supported such policies and even argued that police stop white people too often, and need to stop people of color even more frequently to deter crime.