How Marijuana May Influence The 2016 Election
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How Marijuana May Influence The 2016 Election
Posted by CN Staff on January 23, 2014 at 07:37:24 PT
By Matt Sledge
Source: Huffington Post
USA -- President Barack Obama made waves on Sunday when he admitted what for millions of Americans counts as the obvious: That marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol. Obama's remarks were step in his apparent "evolution" on marijuana. In the meantime, the public is leading the way, with a majority of Americans already favoring full legalization. That means pro-pot campaigners are looking ahead to 2016, shaping up to be the next big year for recreational pot.Activists will be pushing legalization ballot measures in Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine, Montana and Nevada. Already, they are making an offer to political candidates: Embrace legalized pot and win over a chunk of the youth vote, or else. Some Democrats, meanwhile, are taking another lesson from Colorado and Washington: In 2012, marijuana got a greater percentage of the vote in both states than Obama.
"It appears having marijuana-related initiatives on the ballot produce a greater turnout among younger voters," Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in an email. "If a candidate takes a position against marijuana policy reform, or if they choose to ignore it, they shouldn't be surprised when those younger voters choose not to vote for them."If a candidate comes out against legalization in 2016, said Colorado Democratic consultant Jill Hanauer, "it will be to their peril, because millennials will be such huge segment of the voting public in 2016 … they're going to lose a huge segment of the voting public for good if they try to stop what's happening in American culture."The data around marijuana and the youth vote is murky, but there is some to support the point made by Hanauer and Tvert. Exit polls conducted in all three states with 2012 legalization referendums -- Colorado, Oregon, and Washington -- found 5 percent to 12 percent increases in voting by people ages 18 to 29.People ages 18 to 34 favor legalization by as much as 64 percent, compared with 31 percent for the 65-and-up crowd. Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to support legalization. That means the issue will likely be far more significant in Democratic primaries than in Republican primaries.But Democratic operatives are also mulling a more radical prospect: Could pot in 2016 essentially be gay marriage in 2004, in reverse -- a wedge issue Democrats put on the ballot to drive up their presidential turnout?Democratic turnout declined less in Colorado and Washington, the states where legalization passed, than it did nationally from 2008 to 2012. In Florida, a close adviser to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist is a driving force behind placing a medical marijuana initiative on the 2014 ballot -- a move seen by many as an attempt to boost the Democratic vote.But there are wrinkles in the narrative. Of the states likely to vote on legalization in the 2016 general election, only Arizona and Nevada could reasonably be considered possible presidential swing states. And Republican communications consultant Kurt Bardella said he is skeptical that the issue will spill into the presidential election."The thing with gay marriage was that there was a real intensity from the conservative base, who saw it as a fundamental attack on one of an institution," Bardella wrote in an email. "I think on some level, it’s harder to make the case that the left feels legalization of marijuana is a birthright that would get them to mobilize with more intensity than they normally would, since I think they’ll be pretty motivated with Clinton at the top of the ticket."Peter Levine, director of the youth voting research center CIRCLE, also threw cold water on the notion that pot could drive major changes in turnout. "The big picture is that it's not anywhere near the top of young people's issue priorities. Their issue priorities are always jobs and education and other issues … drug legalization hardly polls at all."Even the 2012 youth turnout evidence, Levine said, is "mixed." Exit polls suggest it went up in all of the legalization states. But the separate Census Current Population survey of voting found that the youth vote went down from 2008 to 2012 in Washington."No one knows for sure whether the exit polls or the census are absolutely correct. They are both surveys, after all," Levine said in an email.Should Rand Paul, or Hillary Clinton, proudly announce pro-pot positions? Neither has shown much willingness to do so. Clinton cast doubt on drug legalization in Latin America in 2012, and Paul, despite his libertarian leanings, has only called for less draconian punishments for pot.Much can change between now and 2016. Kevin Sabet of Project SAM, an anti-legalization advocacy group, warned that the trend toward greater social acceptance of marijuana is not "inevitable," pointing to near-misses in the 1970s. He even warned of a pot backlash."Do I really want to have a marijuana store around the corner from my kid's school? Because that's what this is about," Sabet said.But so far, poll after poll finds more and more Americans in support of legalization, even after Colorado opened its recreational dispensaries.Hanauer, who said she sometimes feels "personally ambivalent" about pot as a mother of high school kids, said she would encourage candidates to "be authentic about whatever their personal opinion is, and simultaneously be respectful about whatever this group of voters cares about.""If I were a Democratic candidate in a primary or general, I would embrace this issue, as this is something that's important to respect the will of the voters," Hanauer said.Source: Huffington Post (NY)	Author: Matt SledgePublished: January 23, 2014Copyright: 2014, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite:   -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on January 23, 2014 at 08:26:10 PT
Here is a useful idiot.
Chief Circuit Judge Ann Aiken-Klonosky's head is the size of a boxcar. She is so full of herself her ego alone fills the court chamber. I cannot help but despise someone who does so much harm in the name of good and gets to stand on that grand pedestal meant for real heroes. This person has damaged so many people, separated families, in the name of her favorite law, prohibition. There is nothing on earth more galling than an individual with power doing harm in the name of good! I steam at that notion! They are rewarded for their acts of personal aggrandizement while mindlessly destroying the life and welfare of innocent folks! Those close to Ann say she is extra hard, tough in order to prove she can put 'em away with the best of them. This is how she made it from Federal Circuit Court Judge to Chief Federal Circuit Court Judge. The system is set up thus. In the DoJ judges are monitored and steered from the AG's office. Those judges that send the right amount of people to prison and for the right reasons [prop up the PIC for instance and send in the pot people, they do good time real easy and always good workers on the inside. Plus it helps industry with their war on hemp]. I could have saved myself a lot of typing here if I would have simply said that Ann and her ilk are tools of industry.
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on January 23, 2014 at 08:03:49 PT
Sabet needs a porcelain research room!
"Do I really want to have a marijuana store around the corner from my kid's school? Because that's what this is about," Sabet said.He already has a marijuana dealer around the corner from his kid's school. He is called a drug dealer and he sells more than just pot and you do not need an ID to buy from him.When I had my step-son at home and in high school, he and many of his friends were growing and selling pot in the school bathrooms. I kid you not, his best friends were the scolarship winners and valladictorians. The rich and popular kids who are today college grads and professionals.Sabot is so worried about his job he is grasping at straws. Desperate people make desperate descisions. Ken is desperate. Bye bye Kenny, you are social disease, good riddance! 
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