Criminal justice is expected to be a top issue in the 2016 Presidential election. Talking points include death penalty changes, law enforcement practices, and marijuana legalization.
That’s right. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently told reporters that if he were President, all of the gains seen in marijuana legalization in the US would be reversed. On the other hand, Rand Paul has co-sponsored legislation that would allow for medical research and changes to the classification of marijuana as medication.
Is marijuana legalization against family values? Jeb Bush, another GOP hopeful, came out against medical marijuana legalization in Florida because it could give off the impression the state wasn’t family friendly.
Is marijuana use irresponsible? It is in the eyes of Marco Rubio. He has stated on record that there is no responsible way to recreationally use marijuana. Legalization in his eyes would be bad for the United States. Governor Scott Walker, who is the frontrunner for the GOP in many circles, told a Phoenix luncheon that he opposes legalization.
There are some positives, however, that could at least keep the status quo alive if the GOP takes the White House in 2016. 4 out of 10 Republicans support marijuana legalization. Colorado, which has legalized recreational marijuana, is considered to be a key swing state in the upcoming election cycle. Washington, which also allows recreational use, will be guaranteed to be a blue state if the GOP makes legalization rollbacks an issue.
Could the GOP kill marijuana legalization in 2016? Anything is possible. That is why this election cycle might be the one where the legalized marijuana industry will want to motivate its supporters to vote.
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