Marijuana Reform and Politics in the United States Today:
Marijuana reform in the United States continues to evolve and 2016 could be another noteworthy year for legalization initiatives. Currently in the U.S., 23 states have approved legal medical marijuana in some form and 4 states have approved recreational marijuana. More states are expected to seek marijuana reform next year as multiple initiatives are expected to be on ballots all across the country. Voters can expect to consider their personal stance and cast their vote on the marijuana reform process in 2016.
Voters will have their say in 2016, as will presidential hopefuls. the presidential race is heating up, and marijuana reform has become a debate topic for both Democrats and Republicans. Although Republicans have historically been more conservative than Democrats on the issue of marijuana legalization, top candidates have had to voice their stance for the public. Donald Trump and Ben Carson have both recently voiced their stance on marijuana reform in the U.S.
According to a recent poll, Donald Trump and Ben Carson are two top Republican candidates. Neither potential nominee has voiced strong support for medical or recreational marijuana legalization in the United States, but both have made public statements regarding the legalization process in the U.S.
Trump, at a recent political rally in Nevada, stated that he supports medical marijuana for patients that are very sick. He also said that states should be allowed to govern themselves and decide at the state level on issues of marijuana legalization. For the most part, Trump supports an individual state’s right to govern. It should be noted that over two decades back, Trump is on record saying that the U.S. should legalize drugs to take profits away from the drug czars so the the U.S. can win the war on drugs.
Ben Carson, retired neurosurgeon and Republican presidential hopeful, recently voiced his concerns with the legalization of marijuana in the U.S. He stated that he is against legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Specifically, Carson relayed that studies show marijuana negatively affects a young person’s developing brain which can ultimately lead to decreased intelligence. He shared that the U.S. is already full of people with low IQs and more are not needed. He is however in favor of using medical marijuana for specific patients. Carson is on record saying that medical marijuana can be very beneficial if properly prescribed.
In the end, neither Republican presidential hopeful appears to be in strong favor of marijuana legalization at this time. Both have shown conservative support for medical marijuana. Donald Trump appears to be more open to the state by state legalization process. Ben Carson has flat out said that recreational marijuana is a bad idea.