The mayor of South Bend, Indiana and presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg, recently drew on some past personal experiences with cannabis. The candidate has previously expressed his support for legalizing cannabis on a federal level. On Oct. 23, Buttigieg was speaking with reporters following a dispensary tour in Las Vegas, Nevada. When questioned on whether or not he had consumed cannabis in his past, he replied with an honest response.
“I have,” Buttigieg said. “A handful of times a long time ago.” He continued to share that he knows people whose lives have been negatively affected by the failed “War on Drugs.” Buttigieg believes that there are still a lot of outdated misconceptions and stereotypes that surround cannabis dispensaries, and he would like to see that changed through federal legalization.
“When you go into a place like this, it almost reminds you of an Apple store how tidy and carefully it’s laid out, knowledgeable employees and a legitimate business that still struggles because federal policy hasn’t caught up,” Buttigieg said.
Buttigieg also expressed how the criminalization of cannabis has disproportionately affected people of color, and he believes that the country needs to expunge cannabis convictions to help reverse some of the damage of the drug war.
As a military veteran himself, Buttigieg is aware of how effective medical cannabis has been for treating common ailments of veterans, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He believes that insurance companies should cover the costs of cannabis for any “legitimate medical use.”
The dispensary owners gave the presidential hopeful a tour of the facility, giving him the opportunity to shake hands with various dispensary employees. The mayor did not leave the dispensary with any cannabis products for himself, making light of it to reporters. “I’m on the clock, and it’s going to be a long workday for me,” he joked. Buttigieg announced his plan to decriminalize all drugs in America back in August. He also is the first openly gay man to enter the presidential race and make it to the deba