Half-Hearted Endorsements of Marijuana Legalization Don’t Cut It

Politics makes strange bedfellows, and in the 2014 election cycle the Republican Party has crawled under the covers with the medical marijuana community. It seems to be working- but not for everyone, and not unconditionally.

Candidates are always looking for The Bump, that rise in polling numbers or spike in votes gained by hammering away at the current hot button topic. Citizens have a sweet spot and, and like Tiger Woods using a titanium driver on a dimpled white sphere, politicians are looking to drive their acceptance down the fairway with a strong swing.

Polling numbers indicate that the issue of marijuana law reform is the sweet spot for a growing number of Americans. Even those voters that have no personal experience with the Cannabis Sativa L. plant read the headlines and they see the consequences of a failed national policy of anti-marijuana rhetoric: science says there are medicinal properties despite government denials; full legalization models are functional and operating in two states; corruption and forfeiture abuse stories punctuate the news cycle weekly; and rightsizing government is a popular election-year pastime.

Both parties recognize the value of the media-friendly issue and could use The Bump. Battleground states like Michigan have gubernatorial and Senate races that could be decided by a few percentage points. Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder is in a neck-and-neck battle with his Democratic opponent Mark Schauer, while races in the state for the Attorney General and US Congress remain too close to call. Michigan has 150,000 registered adult medical marijuana patients and caregivers, a huge voting block.

Some politicians make a very good living capitalizing on momentary swings in public opinion. Although Democrats have traditionally been a source of support for the liberal agenda, the drive to reform marijuana laws comes from a cross-section of the population that isn’t easily able to be defined as ‘liberal’ anymore. On a state level and nationally the Republicans have tried to take the popular issue and make it their own but their standard, business-before-babies approach often seems more like Richard Nixon and less like Rand Paul.

– Read the entire article at AlterNet.