In The 2012 Election Marijuana Is A Big Issue For Many Voters
Marijuana reform is the most important issue to me in this election. It was in the 2010 election and the 2008 election as well. Ever since I have been able to vote, marijuana reform has been the leading issue that determines where many of my votes go. I'm sure there will be many people out there that will try to point out that the economy is a huge issue, and/or that healthcare reform should be what's driving my vote.
To these people I would point out that marijuana reform is intertwined with both of those issues, and many, many more. Like all Americans, I'm concerned that there are not enough jobs. I graduated college in 2009 as a non-traditional student, so I know first hand how ruthless the job market has been. Marijuana reform would help fix that problem by creating jobs faster than any other sector in the nation. There are cannabis jobs in retail, horticulture, technology, etc. We need to fix marijuana laws to help fix the job market; it's that simple.
The greater economy, beyond the job market, would benefit greatly from marijuana reform as well. A lot of revenue that is currently going out of the country and into the hands of drug cartels would make it's way to main street America. You don't have to be an economist to realize the benefits of keeping those dollars local. I would offer up Northern California as an example. During harvest time, since so much of the money stays in the area, the local economy's backbone is built on the local marijuana industry. There are many other areas around the nation that could do the same.
As for healthcare, I agree that it's one of, if not the issue of this election. Healthcare costs are skyrocketing. Prescription medications are expensive and harmful. Addiction to pharmaceuticals is at an alarming level. Something drastic needs to be done or this very issue could be what dooms America. Medical marijuana is a very effective and affordable form of healthcare. I won't go as far as saying it can cure everything, for everyone, every time, but I don't see why every state doesn't have a medical marijuana program. It would cut down on doctor visits, it would cut down on the cost of prescriptions, and it would help heal a population of addicts that could get off the pharm and start consuming a safe substance that often provides better relief.
If you are a voter that believes in a smaller, efficient government, and state's rights, than marijuana reform fits in easily at the top of your election issues list. Resources are scarce in government, and the situation looks worse with every tax revenue report that comes out. Those resources should be directed to where they are needed most, such as schools and investigating REAL crime. And that's not even considering the tax revenue that marijuana reform would generate. Marijuana reform wouldn't fix all of our government funding issues, but it would certainly help a lot.
For a long time, the 'marijuana voter' was discarded as insignificant, because after all, how many marijuana consumers actually vote on Election Day? If everyone that supported marijuana reform actually followed through in the political process, marijuana reform would have been achieved a long time ago. For a long time the marijuana voting bloc resembled a middle school dance where no one wanted to be the first to make a move. Those days are gone now. It's a new era where the marijuana voter will be recognized by politicians and strategists, and more and more people will realize that with each election cycle.
As an example, I would offer up the Attorney General Race in Oregon. Despite what mainstream media wants to say, and what some political strategists are trying to spin in the news, Ellen Rosenblum won because she courted the marijuana community in Oregon, period. 57 days before the election Dwight Holton was winning in every poll. Dwight Holton had every major media endorsement in the state, and was outspending Ellen almost 2 to 1. Zoom forward 57 days and Ellen Rosenblum wins by a landslide. What changed in those 57 days?
Political strategists will say that it was the campaign that Dwight ran, that it wasn't strong enough. Really? Every media endorsement, more money, son of a former Governor on the East Coast, brother-in-law to another former Governor in Tim Kaine, and a resume that should be a certain victory in almost any statewide race anywhere, and that wasn't a strong campaign? Don't get me wrong, I despise Dwight Holton, but on paper he certainly looks the part.
Other political strategists will say that it was because Ellen is a woman, and that's a significant factor in this election. While I agree that there has been a lot of focus on the women vote this election, I would point out that 57 days before the election, everyone knew the gender of both candidates. That didn't change towards Election Day, so how that can be the determining factor is beyond me. Ellen the same gender when she was down in every poll 57 days before the election.
So what was it? If you want to see just how hard the media is trying to create confusion in the aftermath of this race, read the article in this link. The article literally states, "there is an amazing schism, and the first person to figure out what that is will be somebody able to figure out – if they are on the Republican side – how to finally win an election in this state." I would like to check the credentials of all of these 'political experts' because if they can't see the obvious, I'm pretty sure they shouldn't be allowed to claim they are 'experts' anymore. The marijuana vote won this race. Period. This race was a deadlock at best, and after the marijuana community mobilized, the race went from leaning Holton to a 30 point victory for Rosenblum. I dare any 'expert' to try to debate these facts with me.
The marijuana vote is obviously stronger in Oregon than it is in most other states, but there are still marijuana voting blocs in those states nonetheless. State elections will be largely affected by the marijuana voting bloc this year. I predict that at state legislature level, we will see a lot of influence on the West Coast in this upcoming election. After the Dwight Holton knockout, the marijuana community has been actively seeking other candidates to put on blast. If any readers know of a close race where one candidate supports marijuana reform while the other despises it, please shoot me an e-mail!
At the federal level, I'm very curious to see how things play out. Romney and Obama are both horrible when it comes to the issue of marijuana reform. Romney has always hated it, and Obama, well I'm sure you know the flip flops he has pulled on the issue. We are kind of stuck choosing between two piles of poo, unless you vote third party. What are TWB reader's plans for the election? Are you a marijuana voter? Do you plan on voting for a certain candidate? If so, who? Do you plan on not voting in the federal election because you feel there's not good choice? Do you feel that's a wasted vote, or an act of protest? I look forward to the comments.