How Should Marijuana Legalizers Vote For President? Pragmatically

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Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party Candidate for President

Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party Candidate for President

I attempted to make this point in a previous post, but I didn't convey it very well. Today I received a tweet from a listener who suggested I consider Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate who won the nomination of her party recently, fending off a challenge from Roseanne Barr. (You may not have taken her seriously, but I never thought the guy from Hercules in New York would be governor of California, so I didn't count her out.)

So I'm considering it. And I'm considering just who we in the marijuana nation should vote for in the presidential race, especially since LZ Granderson thinks we're all "idiots". I think it's quite rational to factor in whether the man who wants your vote for president would continue to allow body-armored law enforcers with automatic weapons and grenades to break down your door, shoot your dog, terrify your kid, seize your assets, end your scholarship, ruin your career, imprison your family, murder your grandma, and stuff you in a cage for decades for the flower they think you're growing in the basement.

Whether legalization should be your only consideration, however, is what LZ was critiquing, and I tend to agree that it is simplistic to base one's vote on just one issue. I'll say that to one-issue reproductive-rights, gun-rights, and Evangelical voters, too. It's a big complex world out there and you have to consider how issues are networked. For instance, if I voted for a candidate who'd legalize weed but end net neutrality, I'd be worse off, overall. If I voted for a guy, say, a long-time representative from Texas who'd let Oregon legalize pot farming but also would have no qualms with my home state of Idaho re-criminalizing abortion, my nieces would be worse off. See what I mean?

MITT-ROMNEY-RMONEY

As rap names go, R-Money ain't bad.

So let's start with who not to vote for, and that's Mitt "R-Money" Romney. Besides his recently admitting marijuana isn't "an issue of significance" to him, and turning his back on wheelchair-bound patients who use cannabis, I just can't fathom a vote for a guy who bullies the gay kids and ties his dog to the roof of the car on 12-hour trips. That's enough for me, but I'm willing to listen to arguments for him. I just don't see how R-Money helps our cause at all, and if you think Obama's gone hogwild with the medical marijuana crackdown, consider that's US Attorneys acting with a wink and a nod from the president; imagine them with an outright go-ahead.

There still stands Rep. Ron Paul, raising money and campaigning when his chance of winning the Republican nomination is worse than the chance of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signing a law tomorrow to legalize mescaline. Oh, how the RevoLutionaries are going to crash my comments section, telling me how much he supports marijuana legalization. He doesn't - he supports states rights to do such things and that the federal government has no jurisdiction in drug policy. I guess a President Paul would work out well for me in Oregon. but I would weep for my friends in the Red States.."

Ron Paul

Ron Paul

Sorry, Paulbots, he's another guy I have to put in the not to vote for column. If you can explain to me why I want to live in a country with no federal minimum wage, no occupational safety and health standards, no labor unions, no anti-trust enforcement, no estate tax, no tax credits for elderly or child care, no birth citizenship, no funding of family planning, no flag burning, and support of state abortion bans, gay marriage bans, offshore drilling, weakened Social Security, school prayer, teaching creationism, guns everywhere and anywhere, and zygotes defined as citizens in exchange for my state and a few others having the opportunity to legalize weed, I'll listen.

So then we're left with President Obama and the major third-party challengers, Libertarian Gov. Gary Johnson and Green Dr. Jill Stein. Given that you can't vote for Romney, Obama's been terrible for the marijuana nation, and a third party candidate is not going to win, what do you do?

My friend Cheyanne helping Gov. Gary Johnson get from the hotel parking lot to the event we were both appearing at in Austin, as I take the photo from her car.

My friend Cheyanne helping Gov. Gary Johnson get from the hotel parking lot to the event we were both appearing at in Austin, as I take the photo from her car.

Yes, Libertarians and Greens, you must face up to the fact that your candidate is not going to become president. All the fervent wishing and desperate hoping will not change the electoral and financial math. That does not diminish the importance of these parties and their candidates running for president. We desperately need more voices than just Republicans and Democrats. (Full disclosure: I've appeared at a number of events with Governor Johnson, including moderating a panel including him and former Alaska Senator and presidential candidate, Mike Gravel.)

The fact they are called "third parties" should tell you something. If we lived in a parliamentary system, like Canada or England, multiple parties would exist and coalitions would form and our politics would look very different. But we have a "winner takes all" system and when you research game theory, you'll find such a system guarantees the kind of duopoly we find in Republicans and Democrats, or an outright monopoly, like we find in Republicans and Democrats on quite a few issues.

Learn how the math of our electoral process demands that we adopt "range voting" and where it's completely safe to vote third party for president in 2012 by continuing the rant at RadicalRuss.com...

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