The legalization of marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes has crossed political lines. ‘Republican voters’ (among many other individuals) are now making it very clear that they have had enough of the Feds tinkering with state marijuana laws.
Overwhelming evidence shows that any presidential candidate, running as a Republican or Democratic, who thinks they will dismantle the laws which have allowed marijuana to be dispensed legally, is sadly mistaken. Voters on both sides of the political divide are making it clear that legal marijuana use is here to stay.
The evidence became clear when Republican voters in the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire indicated strong opposition to federal interference in state marijuana laws. A recent Public Policy Poll, which was commissioned by the Marijuana Majority, found that 71% of the GOP in Iowa and 73% in New Hampshire want Uncle Sam to keep his slimy paws out of state marijuana business — pulling in the reins of the DEA, in particular.
Marijuana is expected to be a key platform for presidential candidates in the upcoming election, and voters are making their wishes very clear.
Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, said in a statement:
“We put these polls into the field because we want presidential candidates to understand that the voters in these key states — who they need support from to win — overwhelmingly want the next occupant of the Oval Office to scale back federal marijuana prohibition. Candidates who say they would send in the DEA to shut down legal, taxpaying marijuana businesses are effectively announcing that they’re out of the mainstream and out of touch with the voters they need support from in order to get elected. That type of rhetoric is just not going to score any points in 2016.”
What’s more, Obama has previously said (repeatedly) that the federal government would use minimal resources to strike at marijuana dispensaries. The Obama Administration has unofficially made it part of their policy to neither indict nor raid medical marijuana dispensaries and growers. Though we know this promise hasn’t come to total fruition.
“What you’re seeing now is Colorado, Washington through state referenda, they’re experimenting with legal marijuana,” the president said in response to a question from YouTube host Hank Green. “The position of my administration has been that we still have federal laws that classify marijuana as an illegal substance, but we’re not going to spend a lot of resources trying to turn back decisions that have been made at the state level on this issue. My suspicion is that you’re gonna see other states start looking at this.”
Thus far, presidential candidates running on a Republican ticket, including Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and Rick Perry, have said that while they do not support the legalization of marijuana, states should should be allowed to pass their own laws (though as history tells us, you never know if what they say is actually true).
Featured image credit: (Rainer Jensen/European Pressphoto Agency)