Bernie Sanders is receiving good publicity for calling for marijuana legalization.
It might seem like progress. Libertarians have called for the legalization of all drugs for 50 years, and marijuana legalization is finally making headway. But it's highly doubtful that "freedom" is Sanders's reason for his position. Actually it's impossible to believe so.
Consider his opposition the Citizens United decision, Sanders would deny you even the freedom to give money to people you like.
Someone who wants to do that, wants the power to run everything in your life. The reason he might not to do in a particular instance would be pragmatic. That's Sanders's seemingly hands-off approach to marijuana. There's no moral principle at stake, just pragmatic politics and policy.
Meaning, what's best in terms of taxing and spending.
And it's easy for someone like Sanders, who wants "free" medical care for all, to support legalization.
There's the cost-benefit analysis of the drug itself. Will its supposed dangers and supposed benefits, overall, lead to rising or falling costs? The growing consensus is: probably falling
And then there's the cost-benefit analysis of legalization. Money would be saved in the police, judicial, and penal systems, and revenue would be generated from taxing legal marijuana.
What Sanders likely won't say, however, is that marijuana should be legal because your body belongs to you, and you should be free to do with it as you like.
Because saying so would go against everything he stands for.
When a Statist calls for an illegal thing to be legal, it's about the tax revenue.