Posts tagged weed
As potential 2016 candidates gather their policy advisors and begin to isolate their views on key issues, they may want to consider one above the rest — weed. 

You can make stoner jokes all you want, but marijuana policy stands to affect just as many Americans as immigration policy does in the coming years. And while Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have made their views on border control clear, the fast-changing weed landscape (a full 54 percent of Americans now favor legalization) has left Republicans and Democrats all over the map when it comes to toking. 

Some have been altogether mum on the topic — the last time Hillary Clinton spoke publicly about weed policy was during the 2008 campaign. In 2012, it was laughable to think that Colorado would legalize recreational weed. 

Less than two years later, 75 percent of Americans think legalization nationwide is inevitable. Even President Obama has deemed pot no more dangerous than alcohol. 

Suddenly, a majority of Americans are comfortable with their neighbors smoking pot, and politicians will have to decide whether or not they should embrace that or take a more cautious position. 

Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer tells The Wall Street Journal, “All of a sudden the ground is shifting, and it’s uncomfortable and complicated. Marijuana has become an issue that candidates have got to pay attention to.” 

Back in October, The New Republic’s Nate Cohn imagined how candidates could use the issue against each other in the primaries: “Many candidates will have incentives to use the issue, whether it’s a cultural conservative using marijuana to hurt Rand Paul among evangelicals in Iowa, or a liberal trying to stoke a progressive revolt against Clinton’s candidacy.” 

So will presidential hopefuls come out joints blazing in 2016? That remains to be seen. Here’s where the candidates stand now: 

Weed Is the Sleeper Issue of 2016 - The Wire

As potential 2016 candidates gather their policy advisors and begin to isolate their views on key issues, they may want to consider one above the rest — weed.

You can make stoner jokes all you want, but marijuana policy stands to affect just as many Americans as immigration policy does in the coming years. And while Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have made their views on border control clear, the fast-changing weed landscape (a full 54 percent of Americans now favor legalization) has left Republicans and Democrats all over the map when it comes to toking.

Some have been altogether mum on the topic — the last time Hillary Clinton spoke publicly about weed policy was during the 2008 campaign. In 2012, it was laughable to think that Colorado would legalize recreational weed.

Less than two years later, 75 percent of Americans think legalization nationwide is inevitable. Even President Obama has deemed pot no more dangerous than alcohol.

Suddenly, a majority of Americans are comfortable with their neighbors smoking pot, and politicians will have to decide whether or not they should embrace that or take a more cautious position.

Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer tells The Wall Street Journal, “All of a sudden the ground is shifting, and it’s uncomfortable and complicated. Marijuana has become an issue that candidates have got to pay attention to.”

Back in October, The New Republic’s Nate Cohn imagined how candidates could use the issue against each other in the primaries: “Many candidates will have incentives to use the issue, whether it’s a cultural conservative using marijuana to hurt Rand Paul among evangelicals in Iowa, or a liberal trying to stoke a progressive revolt against Clinton’s candidacy.”

So will presidential hopefuls come out joints blazing in 2016? That remains to be seen. Here’s where the candidates stand now:

Weed Is the Sleeper Issue of 2016 - The Wire

The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will. This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don’t break out the Cheetos or gold fish too quickly.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper warns against running out and firing up them spliffs before officials sort out the whole weed-still-being-a-drug thing.
The number of regular pot users is up by 3 million in the past five years, and the rate of high-school experimentation is at a 30-year high. When a kid first lights up at about age 16, it’s usually not with a cigarette. Twelve states now treat a personal stash like a minor traffic offense, 17 allow medical marijuana, and this Election Day, if current polls hold, voters in Washington State and Colorado will vote to legalize marijuana—not for medical purposes but, as Rolling Stone recently enthused, “for getting-high purposes.”
From our cover story on the new pot barons.
High Times magazine confirms it, Snoop smokes the most weed out of all the celebrities (they’ve ever met, at least).

High Times magazine confirms it, Snoop smokes the most weed out of all the celebrities (they’ve ever met, at least).

What’s infuriating is this administration’s refusal to have a serious debate about this, to actually engage the salient arguments of legalizers. We just have a defensive crouch, and an insult to large numbers of Obama voters and supporters, who, unlike this nicotine-addicted president, do not take the question of prohibition as a joke.
Andrew Sullivan on the Obama administration’s public stance on marijuana legalization, er, their “regurgitat[ing] the standard prohibitionist crap.”