With another memorable 420 in the books the bigger question that is being asked is what our 2016 future presidential candidates’ standpoint is on the issue of legalizing marijuana.
This past year, President Barack Obama created a bit of excitement for marijuana supporters when he said he thought cannabis is no more dangerous than alcohol. “As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life,” Obama told the New Yorker after Colorado’s historic legalization of recreational marijuana, “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”
So how do our future presidential canidates weigh in on the situation?
Jeb Bush, who is former governor of Florida says he has smoked marijuana but he does oppose both medicinal and recreational marijuana; he even made efforts to sway voters to reject a ballot initiative that would have legalized medical marijuanan in Florida. “Allowing large-scale, marijuana operations to take root across Florida, under the guise of using it for medicinal purposes, runs counter to efforts to make Florida “a world-class location to start or run a business, a family-friendly destination for tourism and a desirable place to raise a family or retire,” Bush stated.
Senator of Kentucky, Rand Paul confirms he has smoked pot before and does support decriminalization.
Sen. Rand Paul seems to be the man speaking up more than the other 2016 candidates when it comes to cannabis. This past month Paul has teamed up with Democratic Sens. Cory Booker and Kristen Gillibrand in inroducing an historic bipartisan bill that would stop the federal ban of medical marijuana, giving “patients, doctors and businesses in states that have already passed medical marijuana laws to participate in those programs without fear of federal prosecution.”
Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, when asked if he had ever smoked marijuana replied “no.”
Gov. Walker’s stance on leagalizing marijuana is “let the states decide.” This past year Walker signed a bill that would legalize cannabidiol, or CBD as an anti-seizure medication. However Walker is till convinced that pot is a “gateway drug” and believes cannabis should stay illegal in Wisconsin at leat for the time being. “I don’t think you’re going to see anything serious anytime soon here, but if other states did, maybe in the next legislative session there’d be more talk about it,” Walker told Fox 6 News last year, “It may be something that resonates in the future, but I just don’t see any movement for it right now.“
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio stated when asked if he smoked marijuana that if he told you “no” you wouldn’t belive him. Acorrding to an interview in 2014 with the Tampa Bay Times, Rubio says he is for medical cannabis as long as it doesn’t get you high, “If there are medicinal uses of marijuana that don’t have the elements that are mind-altering or create the high but do alleviate whatever condition it may be they are trying to alleviate, that is something I would be open to,” he stated.
Ted Cruz Senator of Texas has gone on record stating he has tried pot but feels each individual state should be able to decide the outcome of legalizing medicla marijuana. But in 2014 Cruz changed his stance on the issue and blasted the Obama adminastration for not stepping in with states like Washington and Colorado. “The Obama administration’s approach to drug policy is to simply announce that across the country, it is going to stop enforcing certain drug laws,” Cruz told Reason magazine, “Now, that may or may not be a good policy, but I would suggest that should concern anyone — it should even concern libertarians who support that policy outcome — because the idea that the president simply says criminal laws that are on the books, we’re going to ignore [them]. That is a very dangerous precedent.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, when he was asked if he ever smoked weed, he quotes, “The answer is no,” and certainly opposes legalization of marijuana. “I believe that this is a gateway drug into other more serious drugs,” Christie said on his radio show last year, “I think it sends a wrong message to our kids, and I don’t think it makes anybody a better or more productive person.”
For former Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, when he was asked if he has ever indulged in cannabis he has quoted “No, thank God!” but the former governor does support decriminalization as he stated on a 2014 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, “You don’t want to ruin a kid’s life for having a joint,” the then-governor said.
Martin O’Malley the former Governor of Maryland has not yey given a clear answer to whether he has or has not tried marijuanan once before but the former Governor of Maryland does, in fact, support decriminalization. This past year O’Malley intorduced a bill into law that would decriminalize possession of a little less than a half ounce for the marijuanan users in Maryland. “As a young prosecutor, I once thought that decriminalizing the possession of marijuana might undermine the public will necessary to combat drug violence and improve public safety,” O’Malley anounced in a statement, “I now think that [it] is an acknowledgment of the low priority that our courts, our prosecutors, our police and the vast majority of citizens already attach to this transgression of public order and public health.”
Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, replied “no” when she was asked if she had ever tried marijuanan and Mrs. Clinton does support medical marijuana as she quotes “under appropriate circumstances.”
As her husband former President Bill Clinton is infamous for his reply on if he has ever tried marijuana which was “I didn’t inhale” and Hillary backs his claim to never fully trying marijuana. “I didn’t do it when I was young; I’m not going to start now,” Clinton stated to CNN last year. With the matter of medical marijuana, the former Secretary states it “should be available under appropriate circumstances,” but more research is needed.
With more than half of our future Presidential candidates in support of some form of legalization or decriminalizing marijuana, its clear the movement is starting to impact the people who could possibly be responsible for a brand new tomorrow with medical and recreational marijuana in the near future.
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