Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic firebrand and freshman congresswoman from New York – affectionately known as “AOC”, just voiced her support for the decriminalization of marijuana and psychedelics.
Yesterday, in a personal video message played during the International Drug Policy Reform Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, AOC said, “We are fighting shoulder to shoulder to not only decriminalize marijuana, to not only legalize marijuana, but to do so in a way that is just, that is humane, that doesn’t exacerbate so many of the injustices from the war on drugs.”
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Referencing her recent work with the Drug Policy Alliance, AOC went on to say she’s been “examining some of the ways that we can also decriminalize the use and study of psychedelic compounds for medicinal applications and future policy.”
In the video, AOC said “policy” needs to make sure “working families across the country are no longer criminalized, and that we’re not treating marijuana and other drug issues as criminal justice issues. But that we’re treating them as public health issues.”
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This public stance is aligned with her endorsement of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who recently released his own plan for the decriminalization of marijuana. Both Sanders and AOC believe the war on drugs has been a failure that’s led to the mass incarceration of non-violent offenders, that has unjustly impacted communities of color.
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Ryan Baesemann is a freelance journalist and Editorial Contributor to Mixmag. Follow him on Twitter.