During Bernie Sanders' appearance on "Meet The Press" over the weekend, the issue of cigarettes came up. In the interview with host Chuck Todd, Sanders questioned why cigarettes are still legal in the United States.
Chuck Todd: "Why are you against the consumption tax in Philadelphia that would pay for Pre-K? Hillary Clinton is for it."Bernie Sanders: "I'll tell you why. Because it's a totally regressive tax. At a time of massive wealth inequality, many pay an effective tax rate lower than working class people. You have large corporations not paying a nickel. That's where you get the money. Somebody making $20,000 a year and buys a bottle of soda, I don't think you charge them 30 cents more for that soda. The goal of universal health care, child care, something I agree on and applaud the mayor there for coming forward, but raise the money in a way that is progressive, not on the backs of low-income working people."Todd: "You must be against cigarette taxes, too?"Sanders: "Cigarette taxes, there's a difference between cigarettes and soda. I'm aware of the obesity problem in the country."Todd: "I don't think Michael Bloomberg would agree with you."BS: "That's fine. He can have his point of view. But cigarettes are causing cancer, obviously, and other diseases, and you know, there's almost a question as to why it remains a legal product in this country."
Bernie Sanders supports decriminalizing marijuana, and also believes using small amounts of cannabis should be a civil offense, not a criminal one.
Smoking marijuana has shown to be harmful to the lungs. Cannabis smoke also contains many of the same carcinogens found in cigarette smoke. While there is not as much research on marijuana as there is on tobacco, it is safe to say there are many negative health effects from marijuana use.
Sanders did not explain why he favors marijuana decriminalization, but may support a ban on cigarettes.
Watch the segment here: