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May-12-2016 01:01TweetFollow @OregonNews
Bernie Sanders Brings Down the House in Oregon's Capitol CityBonnie King and Michael Bachara, Salem-News.com
Anxious supporters welcomed Bernie Sanders back to Oregon.
(SALEM, Ore.) - Salem really knows how to throw a rally.
Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders supporters were in line at 6:00 Tuesday morning, for the event that began over 12 hours later. That's dedication. Doors at the Salem Armory opened at 4:00 and Sanders took the podium at 7:00.
From all corners of the state of Oregon, and beyond our borders, came thousands upon thousands of people excited to hear independent U.S. senator Bernie Sanders speak, and to see him in person.
The energy in the building was electric. Several bands warmed up the crowd.
He entered with a big smile on his face, “It sure sounds like Salem, Oregon is ready for the political revolution!” The crowd responded with roaring applause.
The building was filled to capacity, about 4,500. Many more supporters were outside, listening in overflow, and cheering along without hesitation.
This is Sanders’ fourth campaign visit to Oregon, coming in time to encourage voters to cast their ballot for him in the May 17 primary election. Kentucky votes the same day.
"Let the great state of Oregon, the progressive state of Oregon, go on record: yes, we want a political revolution," Sanders said.
He believes he will win in Oregon next week. If so, that will help boost him up in preparation for California, coming up June 7.
Though many media outlets continue to predict former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton winning the Democratic nomination, Sanders told the crowds that he will not to drop out of the race. He was thrilled to share with the crowd the news of his big win in West Virginia that same day.
“We have now won primaries and caucuses in 19 states, and let me be as clear as I can be: We are in this campaign to win the Democratic nomination.”
He promised to “fight for every last vote in Oregon, Kentucky, California, the Dakotas.”
If he wins a majority of pledged delegates, he says he'll talk superdelegates into leaving Clinton for him.
Hillary Clinton has still not made it to Oregon this campaign season, though her husband has been here twice in the last few weeks.
Highly anticipated was Mr. Sanders’ statement on cannabis/marijuana. In our state, where adult use is legal and we are working to remove the stigma as well as the jail terms, his position on the subject is making many Oregonians happy. And hopeful.
Complete removal from the Federal Controlled Substance Act is the goal of most cannabis activists. “De-Schedule, not Re-Schedule” is their rally cry.
Sanders proclaimed, "We have got to re-think the so called 'War on Drugs'. In the last thirty years, millions of Americans have received police records for possession of marijuana. And, if you're a young person trying to get a job, having that police record is a real serious issue.
“And that is why I believe that right now the Federal Controlled Substance Act lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug right alongside of heroin. That is crazy! That is why, if elected President, we will take marijuana out of the Federal Controlled Substance Act."
The audience showed their approval with a thundering applause and cheers.
“A Future to Believe in” is Bernie Sanders’ slogan. That’s exactly what his supporters are looking for, and they believe he’s the man for the job.
Ballots in Oregon must be received by election day, May 17th. Oregon’s choice will soon be known.
Photos by Michael Bachara, for Salem-News.com
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