Sanders, a longtime proponent of marijuana legalization, will also ban tobacco companies from engaging in increasingly lucrative businesses while creating a $ 20 billion grant program – use of tax revenue from sales of marijuana – to provide new capital to minority entrepreneurs.
Decades of harsh laws and punishment requirements "disproportionately targeted people of color and ruined the lives of millions of Americans," Sanders said in a statement. "When we are in the White House, we will put an end to the greed and corruption of big corporations and make sure that the Americans most affected by the war on drugs are the first to benefit from legalization."
As part of the plan, Sanders will create a federal pardon council to deal with past marijuana convictions, similar to a panel created in California. This authority would have instructed state and federal authorities to review all applicable cases to determine whether a new or released sentence was needed. He will also give the prosecutor's office one year to appeal any decision, after which those sentences will be immediately vacated or quashed.
Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren said they would effectively legalize marijuana through enforcement action, with Sanders promising to do so during his first 1
At a Sanders rally last weekend in Queens, the first since returning to the campaign after a heart attack, he irritated a plan to release prisoners convicted of certain drug offenses.
"We will end the horribly destructive war on drugs and legalize marijuana," Sanders said, linking the cause to a broader message of criminal and racial justice. "And we will end the disgrace of 400,000 people currently imprisoned because they are too poor to afford a cash guarantee."
In an effort to prevent large corporations from seizing larger-scale legalization, Sanders plans to incentivize marijuana growers. and distributors who decide to start non-profit or cooperative businesses in the community that would benefit the local economy. Existing companies that sell tobacco and cigarettes, along with those who have created products that cause cancer or are guilty of fraudulent marketing, will be excluded from the market, according to the Sanders plan.
At an event in Iowa in September, the Vermont-Independent promised to transfer the wealth of marijuana sales from large corporations to people most affected by current or just recently reversed drug laws.  "I'm going to Nevada. There are these big billboards. I don't know if you saw and it says that you buy this or that marijuana brand, did you see that? They advertise hemp," Sanders said, "And I think there are the prison people who do exactly what these big corporations do by selling marijuana. "