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Radical Rant: If You Like Legal Marijuana, You Must Vote for Hillary (Sorry)

The Democratic and Republican Conventions are over and after long, careful consideration, I have decided that anybody who truly wants to see marijuana legalized nationwide must vote for Hillary Clinton to become President of the United States.

Hold on there, don’t go jumping to the comments section yet to put me on blast for supporting a lying, warmongering, fracking, corrupt puppet of the One Percent. I’ve already beat you to it. I’ve probably written 20,000 words on how much I despise Hillary Clinton as a candidate. I was one of the loudest “Bernie Bros” out there and I, too, am furious about the fixed primary system revealed by WikiLeaks DNC email hack.

But as I worked through my anger to write up opinion pieces about how we need to stick it to the Democrats for screwing over Bernie Sanders, I found I couldn’t find a rational pathway that leads from denying Hillary Clinton the White House to greater expansion of marijuana legalization.
First, let’s dispense with the quadrennial flight of fancy that is the running of the third-party candidates. Yes, Gov. Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party is great on the legalization issue, and Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party is even better. But you know and I know — and even they know — they are not going to amass 270 Electoral College Votes necessary to become President. I wasn’t even a year old the last time a third party won any Electoral Votes back in 1968.

So, yeah, you could cast a feel-good vote for Johnson or Stein because they agree with you on legalizing marijuana, but to what end? They’ll have zero power over legalization policy and you’ll be doing nothing to stop the candidate who would dismantle legalization, Donald Trump. And if Johnson or Stein were actually successful enough to win a state’s Electoral Votes, it increases the chances nobody gets to 270, which kicks in the 12th Amendment election tiebreakers than guarantee Donald Trump becomes president.

I know, I know, you hate the two-party system, the corrupt oligarchy that offers us two puppets of the wealthy, the choice of Giant Douche or Turd Sandwich. But throwing the election to Donald Trump by denying Hillary Clinton the votes she needs to beat him is not the way to end the duopoly. If you really want to end Republican/Democratic dominance, you can’t just change the players, you’ve got to change the game, and that will require about twenty years of ballot initiatives and constitutional amendments, not a symbolic protest vote every four years.

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You might be harboring the feeling that there’s really no difference between Clinton and Trump. If that’s really true, then what difference does it make which of them you vote for? Given the choice of two lying, corrupt multimillionaires, shouldn’t we at least pick the one whose convention audience looks more like America and who doesn’t demean women, gays, immigrants, the disabled, and religious minorities? Perhaps pick the one who has actually served as an elected official at any level?

Maybe you’re even thinking about voting for Trump, just because you hate Hillary Clinton that much or you have the delusion that he “alone” is going to “make America great again.” If so, I think you’re not putting a lot of thought into just how a Trump Administration would impact marijuana legalization.

Consider that a President Trump wouldn’t just be on your TV making “fantastic” speeches, “believe me.” He would be appointing the next Attorney General, the nation’s top cop, and the rumors are that it will be New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Do you need a refresher on exactly how shitty Christie would be for legalization? On the campaign trail, he told us to smoke up while we can in Colorado, because he would be shutting it all down and enforcing federal drug laws.

President Trump would also appoint the US Attorneys who decide whether to conduct raids on marijuana businesses and press charges against patients and growers. We have US Attorneys still today that prosecuted the so-called Kettle Falls Five, patients who were medically-legal in Washington State where recreational marijuana is legal, even under President Obama and with a memo from the Attorney General to knock that shit off. You think that gets better under Trump’s US Attorneys?

It goes even deeper than that. A President Trump would be appointing heads of EPA who decide which pesticides are approved for cannabis, heads of financial agencies that decide whether marijuana businesses are legit, heads of the IRS that decide whether to audit marijuana businesses and non-profits, and the head of the ONDCP and every other federal agency that would make a regulatory decision regarding cannabis. Imagine Chris Christie recommending Kevin Sabet as the nation’s Drug Czar.

Then there’s the biggest appointments: The Supreme Court. Right now the balance is four conservatives (Chief Justice Roberts, Justices Thomas, Alito, & Kennedy) and four liberals (Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan, & Breyer). A President Trump adds at least one more conservative and Justices Ginsburg, Kennedy, and Breyer are over 80 or will be in Trump’s term. By 2020, Donald Trump could seat a 7-2 conservative majority that would last for 20 years. Do you want that court hearing the next lawsuit from some red state that wants to overturn another state’s legalization law? Or deciding whether there is a First Amendment right to use cannabis religiously?

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Fine, fine, you might think, that’s all reasonable, but I just can’t vote for someone like Hillary who… fill in the blank. I feel you. You may even live in a non-swing state (guaranteed, like California, to go for Hillary or, like Texas, to go for Trump) and feel you can vote your conscience.

But consider what Hillary Clinton as president would be like if she only squeaks into office with an Electoral College victory, but lacks a popular vote majority (like her husband won the presidency in 1992 with just 43 percent of the vote, thanks to Ross Perot.) Or worse, if she wins the Electoral College but Trump gets more popular votes? She will tack more to the center than she already does naturally and she’ll be hesitant to champion any controversial issues like marijuana.

I know it sucks and I don’t want to do it either, but every scenario I can imagine for the future of marijuana legalization turns out better under a President Hillary Clinton than a President Donald Trump. Besides, this country needs to not just defeat a bigoted demagogue at the polls, but give him such a devastating defeat that the next demagogue knows he had no political future.
Photo: Getty Images
Last week’s Radical Rant:What Hillary Clinton Must Do

Russ Belville
Written By

"Radical" Russ Belville hosts 'The Marijuana Agenda' on YouTube, a live weekday news/talk program all about cannabis. Learn more at MJAgenda.com.

72 Comments

72 Comments

  1. Avatar

    SaInRu

    July 29, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    F_@k you. She’s been a sh1t show when it comes to cannabis. And to top it off, her VP is Kaine! Yes, Trump and Pence are sh!t too for cannabis. They all suck and are going to continue the same crap that’s been flung at us for decades.

    I recall hearing this same spiel the last two elections, that Obama would help change cannabis legislation. That sure as 5uck didn’t work, in fact, he frequently states he’s against it. And, I believe he claimed being pretty in favor of it before becoming president in his first term. So, what do you think Clinton will do? She’ll get elected, and then spray a wet fart in the face of cannabis supporters; just like Obama did.

    I’m tired of this s4it every election. If people want Trump; fine give them him. At this point the US deserves a tiny-handed, orangified, d|℃kless douchebag.

    So, rationalize it all you want, but don’t blame people that pick third party if you don’t get the person you want. It’s what happens when we keep getting bowls and bowls of the same bs. Two parties that suck, and will continue to suck.

  2. Avatar

    auntieann

    July 29, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    This is a pretty compelling argument – no flames here! I also like the argument you made elsewhere about a FEMA run by Clinton vs. a FEMA led by Trump! I will not presume to tell anyone else how to vote. I’m voting for the Democratic Party platform, and intend to keep pushing a Clinton administration to follow it.

  3. Avatar

    Jay Huff

    July 29, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    She or anyone else is going to have a Hella time getting my guns or ammo

    • Avatar

      SaInRu

      July 29, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      What a stupid, empty threat. I’m sure a standoff with you wouldn’t be a challenge if they even gave a shit about taking away your “guns or ammo”.

    • Avatar

      SaInRu

      July 29, 2016 at 2:37 pm

      Please take this topic more seriously than making flagrant attempts of machismo. It belittles the discussion.

    • Avatar

      RadicalRuss

      July 29, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      She does not want your guns and ammo. Nobody does.

      What some of us want is for fewer lunatics spraying bullets in public places.

      • Avatar

        802direct

        July 30, 2016 at 11:55 am

        Russ, Jay is right. And it is obvious that you have not been following Hillary, Obama or the democratic party very closely.

  4. Avatar

    jontomas

    July 29, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    >>>”Given the choice of two lying, corrupt multimillionaires, shouldn’t we at least pick the one whose convention audience looks more like America and who doesn’t demean women, gays, immigrants, the disabled, and religious minorities?

    So if you can fool/buy enough ‘correctly dressed’ supporters to fill a camera lens, that’s the proof of a good candidate? Sorry. but Russ #1 made incredibly good arguments for several months. – And now Russ #2 has had an “epiphany,” performed a 180 and expects everyone else to follow in this contortionist act.

    That’s not going to happen. It just looks like you’ve given in to the campaign of fear you have been railing against for so long.

    Here’s my view. – Clinton has already “won” the election. It doesn’t make any difference who anyone votes for now. – If you could first dismantle the election-stealing apparatus, it might be possible, but that’s not going to happen in three months.

    So, here’s a “Radical” idea. – Forget the presidential election. Focus on what really matters now. Passing California’s Prop 64. There is zero reservoir of trust for either Trump or Johnson, so there’s no point trying to nail either one down on a “position.” – The only thing we know for sure about them is they are both representatives and members of the one-percent.

    We now need to return to doing what marijuana reformers do. – Changing the law – period. For marijuana reformers, the election is now about successfully legalizing in California, and to a lesser degree, the legalization in the other states. – Arguing over the candidates is pointless and a possibly fatal distraction.

    • Avatar

      RadicalRuss

      July 29, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      Really, you think the blacks, gays, Latinos, Sikhs, Muslims, Asians, Natives, and disabled in the DNC audience were all planted? And the homogeneous whiteness of the RNC crowd was just a fluke?

      • Avatar

        octobersurprise

        July 30, 2016 at 11:11 am

        No, I think that those people have been fed a narrative their whole lives that says they are not allowed to be conservative or hold conservative values, and that the democrats are their only savior.

        White paternalism is still racism.

        • Avatar

          802direct

          July 30, 2016 at 12:08 pm

          Thank you!

    • Avatar

      Kathleen Chippi

      August 1, 2016 at 5:21 pm

      An AUMA shill is no better the Hil-LIAR-y voter… VOTE NO on AUMA.

  5. Avatar

    mkboater1

    July 29, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Ohh…so when the current sitting president said he would leave states Medical Marijuana alone…then promptly raids them (here in CA anyways)…how is it again that Hillary is gonna make things better?

    • Avatar

      SaInRu

      July 29, 2016 at 7:27 pm

      My sentiments exactly. It’s more of the same.

    • Avatar

      RadicalRuss

      July 29, 2016 at 8:42 pm

      Hillary will be appointing the bureaucrats, prosecutors, judges, and Justices who will decide the cases and regulations at the federal level concerning cannabis.

      Or Trump will.

      BTW, in the time Obama has been in office, we’ve legalized four states, medicalized another 13, decriminalized another 9, and gotten CBD only in 16 Southern and Midwestern states. Obama’s DoJ could have thrown all sorts of monkey wrenches into that, and didn’t.

      Sometimes it’s what a president *doesn’t* do that’s important.

      • Avatar

        802direct

        July 30, 2016 at 12:07 pm

        Yea, president Obama also hasn’t united the people of this country. I didn’t vote for him but I had high hopes that he would bring this country together. Instead, he has done and is doing the opposite. An inactive president is a bad deal. Maybe we will learn that a community organizer isn’t qualified to be president.

        • Avatar

          Chris Freethinker

          August 17, 2016 at 7:51 am

          On the contrary, he has been extremely active in DIVIDING this country!

      • Avatar

        Kathleen Chippi

        August 1, 2016 at 5:16 pm

        OMG, Russ–the 1/2 white president has acted 100% white by busting/arresting and prosecuting more than 10 times the number of medicinal patients of gwbush alone and the feds have been on 3 month rampage (over 40 raids) on A20 and A64 (the fake legalization you told people to support) grows in Pueblo alone…what he doesn’t do is admit he has caused harms to millions of Americans and their families….

      • Avatar

        Chris Freethinker

        August 17, 2016 at 7:49 am

        Do you think Obama is king?

    • Avatar

      Chris Freethinker

      August 17, 2016 at 7:48 am

      If Obama opens his mouth, it is only for lying.

  6. Avatar

    Drgreenthumb1010

    July 29, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Feel good vote? Get outta here man. We are better than that. Shes a criminal and you probably feel criminal for smoking. You have that defeatist attitude. No worries. I talk to god and am assured that the law of the universe is greater than man’s. Everything is going to be alright. We the people want better for ourselves and our children. We will make it happen with or with out you. I should write for high times (not sorry).

    • Avatar

      802direct

      July 30, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      I agree. You should write for High Times!

      • Avatar

        Kathleen Chippi

        August 1, 2016 at 5:30 pm

        damn they deleted it before I could read it

  7. Avatar

    Granger Null

    July 29, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Jill Stein is a win,win, and if you don’t think she can then you havent got your finger on the world wide pulse,of the revolution, we need change, and we need it now ! in order for the world to survive.

    • Avatar

      RadicalRuss

      July 29, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      Please, describe the scenario by which Jill Stein amasses 270 Electoral College votes.

      • Avatar

        LoneStarDead72

        July 30, 2016 at 9:33 pm

        A) Enough people man up and get her past the 15% threshold
        B) Green Party funded and in debates next cycle
        C) Stein 2020!
        Same case can be made for the Libertarians. We need more voices in the debates!

      • Avatar

        Kathleen Chippi

        August 1, 2016 at 5:27 pm

        for you to still believe ‘we the people’ have ANY say in the elections shows how out of touch you are. let me describe the way it’s been done for decades — CHEATING or Rigging by the 2 parties, so you are right–there is no way for Jill Stein to get 270 electoral votes. But if the majority voted 3rd party…perhaps THAT would stir up some long overdue conversations on our ‘election’ system as a whole…..the only thing we the people can have hope for.

  8. Avatar

    Jenss Alexandra Maria

    July 29, 2016 at 6:27 pm

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  9. Avatar

    Lynn Oster

    July 29, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Legal weed is not why I vote in a federal election. Fuck high times for taking advantage of pot smokers to further just another agenda. Our 1st and 2nd amendments might get my attention.

    • Avatar

      802direct

      July 30, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Thank you!

  10. Avatar

    LibertyAnnie

    July 29, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Democratic convention doesn’t look like liberal “lilly white” Portland, Oregon and that’s where you have resided for many years despite your praises of multiculturalism. Peter Thiel and Catlynn Jenner are gay/transgender and spoke at the Republican Convention and praised Donald Trump. Plenty of female speakers praised Trump too. I love all these “what if” scenarios. Dubya appointed Chief Justice Roberts and he upheld Obamacare. Dwight Eisenhower appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren and his court was one of the most liberal ever! Both Hillary and Trump made clear they support medical marijuana so there’s not going to be the mass raids you envision, especially in swing state Colorado. “First Amendment right to use cannabis religiously” – a republican judge is more likely to support this.

    • Avatar

      802direct

      July 30, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      Thank you LibertyAnnie!

    • Avatar

      robert hastings

      July 31, 2016 at 10:21 pm

      You’re so right all four so called liberal justices voted to keep pot illegal and Scalia the sellout sided with them -nice to know there are informed people out there 🙂

    • Avatar

      Kathleen Chippi

      August 1, 2016 at 5:49 pm

      except the feds are here in Colorado raiding more (A20 and A64) then ever once 2016 came round…first it was CA and then WA and now CO….

  11. Avatar

    Mold Resistant Strains

    July 29, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    I find it humorous that the title contains ‘(sorry)’. I’m also sorry for all the disenchanted Bernie supporters who will be voting for this felon.

    • Avatar

      802direct

      July 30, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      Same here

    • Avatar