Yesterday the marijuana community was shocked to learn that John McCain has been talking about marijuana legalization. I know I was certainly shocked. Arizona Daily Star columnist Tim Steller, McCain stated the following comments at a town hall meeting in Arizona, "Maybe we should legalize. We're certainly moving that way as far as marijuana is concerned. I respect the will of the people."
The comments were so simple, so rational, and so, well, so something I wouldn't expect a veteran politician like John McCain to say. I read the comments while I was at work yesterday, and almost fell out of my cubicle chair. Whether you like John McCain or hate him, you have to admit that his comments are significant. I don't think that John McCain will become a crusader for marijuana reform anytime soon, but he has a huge following among senior citizens, and hopefully it sways some voters in that demographic. But then again who knows, maybe as John McCain sees that he is on the right side of history, maybe he will decide to backup his words with some action.
It's my hope that John McCain's words on marijuana legalization will encourage more Republicans to follow suit. After all, there are numerous reasons that Republicans should support marijuana reform. Republicans support state's rights, Republicans support smaller government, Republicans do not support wasteful spending, and Republicans support good economic policies and practices. Marijuana legalization fits in nicely with all of those positions. And if that wasn't enough, Republicans don't like Barack Obama, and President Obama obviously hates marijuana reform, so that's all the more reason they should support marijuana reform.
What do readers think? Why do you think John McCain made these comments? Does it change/re-affirm your opinion of him? Do you think that he will follow up on his comments, or do you think it's just rhetoric? Do you think that John McCain's GOP peers will embrace his stance, or bash him for it?
Maybe John McCain's daughter played a roll in influencing his stance on marijuana legalization. From the Huffington Post:
"McCain isn't the first one in his family to show signs of support for marijuana legalization. His daughter Meghan McCain came out in favor of pot legalization -- and admitted she'd smoked a joint -- in June 2012."
Maybe it was John McCain's constituents that influenced his comments. After all, a recent Arizona poll from May 2013 found:
"On the subject of marijuana law reform, Arizonans have repeatedly affirmed their support at the ballot box for legalizing the distribution of marijuana to individuals who have first obtained a prescription provided by a physician. Now it appears that a majority (56%) also favor legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use"