A new survey from the Public Policy Polling conducted in New Hampshire and Iowa showed that around 70 percent of respondents, both Republican and Democrats alike, agree that “states should be able to carry out their own marijuana laws without federal interference.”
This certainly bodes well for Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Jeb Bush, who have taken up positions that are in line with the respondents’ sentiments. On the other hand, the federal plan to shut down states’ marijuana legalization efforts being advocated by fellow Republicans Chris Christie and Marco Rubio does not sit well with many voters.
“Our poll shows that across party lines, and regardless of personal support for legalization, the vast majority of voters simply want the feds to get out of the way and let states implement their own reforms without harassment,” said Tom Angell, Marijuana Majority chairman, in an interview with Rolling Stone.
Democrats appear to be less polarized on the issue, as many of them are taking the safe wait-and-see approach, claiming that legalization is an experiment that is still waiting to be completed.
“On recreational, you know, states are the laboratories of democracy,” said Democrat presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton. “We have at least two states that are experimenting with that right now. I want to wait and see what the evidence is.”
Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders also shared the same sentiments. “Colorado has led the effort toward legalizing marijuana and I’m going to watch very closely to see the pluses and minuses of what they have done. I will have more to say about this issue within the coming months,” he said.
Many Democratic candidates echo Sanders’ and Clinton’s statements. According to Angell, “These results clearly show that it’s just bad politics for presidential candidates to go around saying they’d send in the DEA to arrest growers, sellers, and users in states where marijuana is legal. Whereas supporting legalization used to be seen as a dangerous third rail of politics, it’s now mainstream and in many cases is much more popular with voters than most elected officials are.
“Blocking legalization is the big political loser these days.”
Would a politician’s stand on marijuana legalization affect your vote? Voice your opinions in the comments section below – your opinion matters to the nation.