Campaigning for president in the liberal oasis of Madison, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont rose to the defense of marijuana.

Critical of the nation’s war on drugs, Sanders said the lives of millions of Americans have been "ruined" because they got a police record for possessing marijuana.

"Today, under the federal Controlled Substance Act, marijuana is listed in the same Schedule I as heroin. That is nuts," Sanders declared March 26, 2016, 10 days before he defeated Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin’s Democratic primary.

"Now people can argue -- although I suspect in this audience there may not be much of an argument -- about the pluses and minuses of marijuana," he said, drawing cheers from some of the thousands in attendance at the Alliant Energy Center. "But everybody knows marijuana is not a killer drug like heroin."

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Tom Kertscher ~ ~