This year’s presidential race has brought out some of the most contentious, divisive and volatile responses and reactions among American voters. Thankfully, there is one issue almost all of us agree upon—legalizing medical marijuana.
Just how united are voters on MMJ? According to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, nearly 90 percent of Americans—81 percent of Republicans and 94 percent of Democrats—support medical marijuana legalization.
We don’t come anywhere near agreeing with each other on such hot-button issues as gun control, abortion, immigration, taxes, etc., but MMJ seems to bring us all together. And now, with Ohio having gone legal, more than half of our states have decided in favor of legal medical marijuana.
Despite these amazing polling number, one wonders why medical cannabis is so rarely, if ever, seriously discussed among our now narrow list of presidential candidates? Will they give more serious consideration to this issue at their upcoming conventions and the national presidential debates this fall?
At least we know where they stand, right? Well, sort of.
Hillary Clinton has not moved away from her position that more research is needed to justify further legalization. Although, she has not clarified how a Democratic administration would commit to this important research. We know that Bernie Sanders supports legalization, thinks the War on Drugs is immoral and has criticized mass incarceration. Donald Trump is still waffling on his position toward legalization, although he has implied that he is in favor of medical cannabis.
However, when Sheldon Adelson recently endorsed Trump, many MMJ supporters and pot enthusiasts groaned.
Why? Because Sheldon Adelson, billionaire casino mogul and Republican mega-donor, bankrolled 85 percent of Florida’s anti-pot campaign to the tune of $5 million last year… just a drop in the bucket for the 15th richest person in the U.S., according to Forbes. Last December, Adelson bought the Las Vegas Review-Journal for a cool $140 million, then proceeded to pressure its editorial writers to reverse their position on pot legalization in Nevada. Not good.
The major candidates, Clinton and Trump, however, may be forced to talk about marijuana—whether they like it or not—if Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson makes it into the presidential debates.
How does that work?
For a third party candidate, like Johnson, to be included in the general election debates, he would need to reach 15 percent in the polls by around Labor Day, and it seems he is on his way to meeting that goal. A poll conducted recently by Monmouth University, has put Gary Johnson at 11 percent in a three-way race with Trump and Clinton.
So, the former CEO of Cannabis Sativa, Inc. just might get to discuss his favorite subject at the national presidential debates of 2016.