Joe Rogan

Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) recently appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience — the #4 most popular podcast in America — and promised to sign an executive order that could lead to the release of potentially thousands of currently incarcerated Americans.

According to Apple Podcasts Top Charts, the Joe Rogan experience is the fourth-most listened to podcast in the U.S., is played more than 1.5 billion times in a year, and has an audience of approximately 100 million people globally, according to founder Pieter Levels. This would make the Joe Rogan Experience possibly the first major media outlet to allow Sanders to explain his 2020 policy vision in a more long-form, in-depth format, as opposed to the soundbite-size responses he was limited to in the Democratic debates on NBC and CNN.

In the interview itself, Sanders fleshed out how his “Medicare for All” healthcare plan would cover all Americans (gradually lowering the Medicare eligibility age to eventually include all Americans over a four-year period), and the vast array of moneyed special interests preparing to spend large amounts of money to stonewall his agenda.

However, Bernie Sanders’ most surprising admission came approximately 47 minutes into the interview, when he told Joe Rogan about his plan to sign an executive order removing marijuana from the list of scheduled drugs. Sanders pointed out that according to the federal government, marijuana and heroin are both equally harmful, even though heroin overdoses kill roughly 15,000 people per year, and marijuana kills zero.

“Right now, you have a federal law. It’s called the Controlled Substances Act. Here’s heroin, here’s marijuana, they’re at the same level. That is insane. Heroin is a killer drug. You can argue the pluses and minuses of marijuana, but marijuana ain’t heroin. So we have to end that, and that’s what I will do as President of the United States. I believe we can do that through executive order, and I will do that.”

Rogan — who is known to occasionally smoke marijuana on the air with his guests, as he did with Tesla CEO Elon Musk — was somewhat dismayed that Sanders wasn’t in favor of across the board decriminalization of all drugs. He also was surprised that Sanders hadn’t had a positive marijuana experience, despite trying it a few times in Vermont.

“We can argue about the pluses and minuses. I’m not a great fan of drugs,” said the Vermont senator. “Other people, you know, I’ve smoked marijuana a couple of times, didn’t do much for me.”

“Just a couple of times?” Rogan responded. “It didn’t do much for you?”

“Yeah, it made me cough,” Sanders said.

“Where are you getting it?” asked Rogan, prompting a chuckle from Sanders.

“I was in Vermont. Northern Vermont,” Sanders said.

“That’s the problem. Maybe get it from [California]. It’ll do somethin’ for you,” Rogan said.

An executive order from President Bernie Sanders to end federal marijuana prohibition would free thousands of Americans who have been imprisoned for marijuana-related offenses. In 2017, more than 659,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana-related offenses, according to the Drug Policy Alliance.

(Featured image: The Joe Rogan Experience/YouTube)


Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.

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