We need politicians talking about weed
Marijuana legalization is growing in popularity nationwide. Thirty-eight states have legalized its medical use, and 19 of those states have legalized cannabis for adult recreational use. While it’s no surprise that there has been no federal action regarding marijuana until recently, with President Joe Biden vocally opposing the initiative on the 2020 campaign trail but reversing his narrative 33 days before the midterm elections, it’s odd that politicians running to represent We the People in Congress are largely ignoring cannabis reform altogether.
Now, if you’re running for Congress as a Republican, it may be wise for you to ignore cannabis reform altogether on the campaign trail. Legalization is a popular initiative, and House Republicans are currently opposing legalization on the basis that marijuana is a gateway drug and negatively impacts mental health. As a Democrat candidate, however, legalizing marijuana should be at the top of your talking points… but it’s not.
According to a recent study, 81.4% of 2,360 Republican and Democrat congressional candidates are not mentioning marijuana on their campaign websites or social media platforms. More so, 86.4% of candidates either make no mention, take an unclear position, or outright oppose reform.
Of the candidates mentioning marijuana legalization on the campaign trail, the majority of them are Democrats. Only two percent of Republicans in the study positively mention cannabis reform, while more than four percent openly oppose legalization or decriminalization at the federal level. This, however, shouldn’t come as a surprise as Democrat voters support marijuana reform while Republican voters either don’t care or are opposed altogether.
With the economy heading in the wrong direction, one would think that the Democrats would find a key issue – where they differ from their Republican counterparts – that is popular enough to secure their victory on Tuesday, November 8th. However, many candidates do not view marijuana as an important enough topic to campaign on, and that’s largely why cannabis reform is being ignored this election cycle.