A few blogs ago, we discussed the different 2016 presidential candidates’ positions on marijuana legalization. Since then, many more individuals have jumped into the race for the White House and expressed their opinions- some of them quite controversial- on the legalization of marijuana nationwide. So what is the latest news regarding this big-time issue? Read on to find out.
In the eyes of many presidential candidates, the issue of marijuana legalization is an important one. Very recently, Republican governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, expressed strong views opposing the legalization of marijuana and his intention to shut down the decriminalization of the drug wherever possible. This stands in sharp contrast with the views of some other candidates, including the Republican field’s Carly Fiorina who spoke in support of letting state governments decide their own laws regarding decriminalization and marijuana legalization. Her view seems to be the majority view of the Republican party as a whole: approximately 65 percent of Republicans, according to the results of a 2012 CBS News survery, were in favor of letting individual states determine their approach to this issue.
If an anti-legalization candidate makes it into the White House in 2016, what would this mean for the future of marijuana legalization in the country? While it might slow down or cause problems for decriminalization efforts in other states, one thing it could not do is to automatically reverse the decisions made in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon to legalize marijuana. Those state laws, voted on by the residents of the states themselves, would be able to stand. While this is certainly good news for those legalization supporters who worked hard to establish their state’s new laws, it may prohibit progress elsewhere. Many states that have been looking to those pioneering few as an experimental view into the consequences of legalization might find their own efforts pushed back by years.
Decriminalization of marijuana is the first step, in many people’s eyes, to its eventual legalization. In several states already, small amounts of marijuana have been decriminalized, as well as medical marijuana with in still more states. In the coming months, we will no doubt learn more about the 2016 candidate’s views on marijuana legalization, decriminalization, and drug policy in general that may make or break a voter’s decision regarding the candidate they choose to support.
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