Will legalization become a winning issue for Republicans? Bill Maher thinks so
Will marijuana legalization be an issue that the Republicans “steal” from the Democrats in the near future? “Real Time” host and comedian Bill Maher seems to think so. During a segment on his show with former Attorney General Eric Holder, the two discussed President Joe Biden’s hesitancy to advance marijuana legalization and how the Democrat’s persistence to pack legislation with social equity is preventing any progress on the matter.
According to Maher, Republicans oppose marijuana legalization not because they don’t enjoy smoking pot themselves, but because legalization legislation is always packed with new taxes and business structures designed to benefit those most impacted from the war on drugs. Only three Republicans voted in a favor of a bill that would have legalized cannabis nationwide, with two Democrats siding with the Republicans.
Maher and Holder agree that it’s important the pass legalization, even if that means sacrificing social equity at the forefront, suggesting that these are obstacles that can be addressed once the federal prohibition on marijuana is lifted. The goal, according to Maher, should be to legalize first, regulate later.
Maher, who has been a outspoken advocate for marijuana for his entire career, fears that Republicans can steal the issue from Democrats. Noting that legalization is consistent with the party’s platform of individual liberty and constitutional freedoms, the comedian explains to Holder how easy it would be for the GOP to capitalize on the issue that was once a winning platform for the Democrat Party.
The Real Time host points out that former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner joined the board of the cannabis company Acreage Holdings in 2018 and later became the chair of the pro-cannabis lobbying group National Cannabis Roundtable. During Speaker Boehner’s time in the House, it would be unimaginable to think he would later commit his time to the cannabis industry.
Marijuana has always been an issue of freedom, and the GOP’s opposition has always seemed inconsistent with their platform of getting the government off of people’s backs. An end to the police state starts with repealing unnecessary laws, and the ban on a plant may be the most absurd of them all.