Politics

Bernie: ‘I Nearly Coughed My Brains Out’ The Few Times I Smoked Marijuana

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Phillip Stucky Contributor

Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders discussed his experience smoking marijuana in an interview Monday with The Breakfast Club.

“A few times,” the 2020 presidential candidate answered when asked if he had ever smoked weed. “Didn’t do a whole lot for me, my recollection is that I nearly coughed my brains out, so it’s not my cup of tea.”

The interview focused on Sanders’ views on reparations to black citizens and the demographic makeup of his presidential campaign staff, but the aforementioned comments came during a discussion on the legalization of marijuana, and how members of the black community can participate in the legal pot trade.(RELATED: Shaun King Introduces Bernie Sanders At Brooklyn Campaign Kickoff)

“I believe in the legalization of marijuana,” Sanders answered. “Right now you have the Federal Controlled Substances Act in Washington that says that you’re caught with heroin, and you’re caught with marijuana, it’s the same level, it’s insane.”

“So I believe in the legalization of marijuana, which will be a major step forward in creating a less racist criminal justice system,” Sanders continued. “There are large corporations, your point, that are going to be making a whole lot of money. Suddenly, 10 years ago everyone was demonizing marijuana, but now these guys are going to make a zillion dollars off it. And you’re right, small business owners in the African-American community deserve to be a part of that process.”

Sanders’ 2020 campaign website consists of only a link that goes to a fundraising site and doesn’t include any information about the senator’s platform. His Senate website also fails to mention where he stands on the marijuana issue.

A recent poll showed that the Vermont senator led the Democratic field in New Hampshire, which is the first state to hold a primary election in the country.