Where do the Republicans stand when it comes to marijuana? The war on marijuana was lost a long time ago and the fact remains that pot is widely used and easily accessible to just about everyone. Those who smoke it, grow it, or take it medically care very little about legalization, except that it will mean they will no longer be persecuted if it does get legalized. Growers make their money, sellers make their money and recreational users will continue to smoke it. There are bigger issues at stake, one would think.
A huge percentage of Americans have tried marijuana and the number of people supporting legalization is increasing. Presidential hopefuls have had to be true politicians in walking the line between their commitment to states’ rights and a GOP base that’s generally anti-drugs and pro-enforcement of federal drug laws.
Candidates and their position on marijuana
Trump’s position has changed over the years from saying that drugs should be legalized to opposing legalization. He is in favor of medical marijuana.
Dr. Ben Carson
Carson is set to intensify the war on drugs. He supports medical marijuana in compassionate cases but he opposes legalization of recreational marijuana. He believes marijuana is a gateway drug and he made the comment that regular exposure to marijuana in the developing brain has been proven to result in a decreased IQ. “ The last thing we need is a bunch of people running around with decreased IQ.” Therefore, he would enforce federal drug laws in which the use of marijuana is considered a crime.
Senator Marco Rubio
Rubio does not oppose the use of medical marijuana, provided the substance has been through an FDA vetting process, but he opposes legalization in all other cases. He feels that when you legalize something like marijuana, it sends a message to young people that it is not so bad, because if it was that bad, it wouldn’t be legal. He will enforce federal drug laws but said that states can make decisions about what laws they wish to apply within their own borders.
The Ohio governor is outspokenly opposed to all marijuana, whether for recreational use or not, but also considers that it is a states’ rights issue. He make the statement a few months ago that if he happened to become president, he would lead a significant campaign down at the grassroots level to stomp these drugs out of the country.
Senator Ted Cruz
Cruz is a Republican candidate who has been consistently opposed to recreational marijuana but who believes that legalization is up to the states. He does not support the legalization of marijuana.
All of the Republican Presidential candidates who have spoken up on the issue advocated for a greater use of rehabilitation and treatment networks to handle the perceived problems of marijuana/drug use.