Monday, April 7, 2014

Marijuana Legalization Scrambles Political Compasses of Republicans, Democrats

By David Downs
Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Republicans and Democrats don't stand for anything other than keeping their jobs — and if you're looking for the clearest example of that, look toward cannabis legalization where you'll find Democrats supporting the prison-industrial complex and modern Jim Crow; and you'll also find "small government" Republicans ready to analyze your urine for marijuana metabolites. (That's small!)

The Wall Street Journal today takes a national look at how cannabis law reform has scrambled the political compasses of Republicans and Democrats alike.

Prohibition’s most ardent defenders are old, white, middle-class Republicans, and they are dying off, polls show. So you've got Texas Governor Rick Perry tacking toward weed reform, meanwhile Democrats Senator Dianne Feinstein and Governor Jerry Brown are acting like, well — old Republicans.

“As the 2016 presidential field shapes up, pot is becoming 'a sleeper issue,'" said Ari Fleischer, a White House press secretary for President George W. Bush. "'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.'"

Governor Martin O'Malley of heavily Democratic Maryland, for example, is opposed to legalizing pot. But GOP Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky opposes jailing pot smokers. And Republican Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is ready for medical marijuana.

But Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner for 2016, hasn’t said anything about weed in years. In the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, she said, “I don't think we should decriminalize.”

Keep in mind, using the state to enforce the immorality of cannabis use was a “progressive” idea from the 1930s, before it became part of the Republican bedrock.

And former Reagan advisor Ed Rollins thinks talking about a smaller weed war is still a non-starter for true Republicans. "I don't think arguing about rehabilitation-versus-prison will be a winning issue in a Republican primary."

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