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Why Do Democrats Scorn Legal Pot?
Posted by CN Staff on April 10, 2014 at 18:52:39 PT
By Steve Chapman
Source: Chicago Tribune
USA -- Legalizing marijuana is an issue made to order for the Democratic Party. A majority of Americans now support the idea, and so do two out of three Democrats. Two states have done it, and several more may vote on it in 2016.The party could put the issue to use against Republicans, who have no desire to be the party of weed. Can you imagine Rick Santorum or Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan endorsing legalization? Even libertarian Rand Paul declines to go that far.
He is not misreading his party. Chris Christie will lose no votes in the primaries for saying, as he did last month, "I don't favor legalization. I don't favor recreational use. I don't favor decriminalization. And I don't favor the use of marijuana as a medicine."So the GOP is locked into a position that is steadily losing appeal with the public. Worse yet, support for legalization is highest among young people and lowest among seniors. Rejecting it is a great way to worsen the Republicans' ominous demographic problem.There's only one thing standing in the way of the Democratic Party using the pot issue to win elections, curtail arrests of minorities, free money for social programs and cement the allegiance of young voters: Democratic politicians.Start with Hillary Rodham Clinton. Her husband may have tried weed, but she has never attested to such youthful indiscretions, probably because she never committed them. As secretary of state, she spoke out against legalization of cannabis, and in 2008 she rejected even decriminalization.That stance is no accident. Clinton got involved in politics in the 1970s, when Democrats were tarred as hippies and draft-dodgers  embracing "acid, amnesty and abortion," Republicans alleged. If Democrats of that era learned anything, they learned to look and sound like they couldn't find Woodstock on a map.Shedding an ingrained persona at her age does not come easy. My bet is you'll see Dick Cheney on a skateboard before you'll see Clinton go after the stoner vote. If she's the 2016 presidential nominee, legalizers will have to look elsewhere.Democratic governors also blanch at the sight of a pipe. New York's Andrew Cuomo, who only recently accepted medical marijuana, rejects legalization. Connecticut's Dannel Malloy says, "I don't think we are ready, or want to go down that road."Don't look for a live-and-let-live approach in California, where Gov. Jerry Brown recently went off on the sort of addled tangent that could be excused only if he were high. "All of a sudden, if there's advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation?" he asked scornfully. "The world's pretty dangerous, very competitive."Brown apparently is unaware that cannabis use is far more common in the United States than in the Netherlands, which has one of the most permissive regimes in the world. Banning pot doesn't actually prevent people from getting baked.Of course, if you truly wanted to worry about a mind-altering toxin that damages productivity and ruins lives, you wouldn't focus on marijuana; you'd focus on alcohol. But Brown doesn't worry that the Golden State's many wineries and craft breweries put it at a competitive disadvantage.Even Democratic governors presiding over legalization are not wearing "Bong Hits for Jesus" T-shirts. When Washington voters voted on legalization in 2012, Jay Inslee was running for governor and unsuccessfully opposed it. Colorado's John Hickenlooper came out against the Colorado initiative, which also passed. Neither has gotten giddy about the idea since then.But it's hard for Democrats to justify treating mere possession as a crime, if only because that policy has so many corrosive effects they should care about. It squanders revenue that could be used for more useful government programs. It causes blacks to be arrested four times more often than whites, even though they smoke weed at roughly the same rate.It encourages police to stop and frisk  a practice that in New York City, a federal judge ruled last year, led to violations of the Constitution and unjustified racial profiling.Democratic politicians could be making the case for change at a time when the public is increasingly receptive to a new policy. Instead, they are clinging blindly to the status quo. They undoubtedly are smarter than the average rodent. But even rats know enough to leave a sinking ship.Steve Chapman, a member of the Tribune Editorial Board, blogs at: chicagotribune.com/chapman Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)Author: Steve ChapmanPublished: April 10, 2014Copyright: 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLCWebsite: http://www.chicagotribune.com/URL: http://drugsense.org/url/gkQtNHIgContact: http://drugsense.org/url/DKtD0QMfCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/cannabis.shtml 
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Comment #5 posted by MikeEEEEE on April 12, 2014 at 04:28:30 PT
Richard Z
I've always said that big pharma does not want their profit entities (customers), to grow their own medicine. Plastic companies do not want organics, such as hemp.
Alcohol companies do not want competition, etc. 
Unless they, the corporation, can mobilize their proganda machine, but then, these pesky little human beings are not buying the bs anymore. 
For those of you who have had common sense, and did not consider the business model, well, just know, common sense is not as common as it should be.
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Comment #4 posted by Richard Zuckerman on April 11, 2014 at 16:14:41 PT:
Because of Pharmaceutical industry profits!!! 
New Jersey is big with pharmaceutical companies. The City Of New Brunswick, New Jersey, is the world headquarters of Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company. Right across the street from their world headquarters is the local legislative office of Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr., the person who wrote Obamacare. He has been voted in for the past 20 years. The illegals want their immigration, too. Congressman Pallone has been a Congressman there for far far too long!! He had been the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. Now he is a ranking member of same Subcommittee. To my knowledge, he has NEVER supported Cannabis "Marijuana", not even for medical use! He may be one of those old-world, close-minded, Italians, too. I believe he is loyal to organized medicine. Naturopathic medicine is not his interest. I want you to visit the website of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, www.naturopathic.org, and notice their event in the Hilton Arlington, on or around April 26th through April 28th, 2014, for their DC Legislative Initiative, and to attend same event and/or contact your Federal and State lawmakers and ask them to phase in naturopathic medicine into the V.A. Health Care System, Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid! Their Annual Conference is scheduled in August of this year and will be held in Phoenix, Arizona. WE REALLY SHOULD TELL LAWMAKERS TO EMPHASIZE NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE, BECAUSE THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY IS TOO EXPENSIVE AND USUALLY IS NOT AS EFFECTIVE!! Supporting Naturopathic medicine is not a snake-oil sales pitch! As an example, Naturopathic physicians can cure arthritis with chicken cartilage, rather than prescribe allopathic pharmaceutical drugs which do not work!
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on April 11, 2014 at 09:07:28 PT
Good riddance
http://news.yahoo.com/obama-announces-sebelius-resignation-successor-150600769.htmlShe promoted corporate brand names of junk-food for our children in schools.She helped the fed hide their patent on cannabis, it could have been being used all these years.Instead of going to jail she will live on easy street on our dollar for the rest of her miserable life!
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Comment #2 posted by Swazi-X on April 10, 2014 at 20:22:53 PT
Democrats are Politicians, that's why.
They might pose as the good guys - some of them do good things in office now and again even, but at their core Democrats are the same as Republicans.Most Dems and Repubs in Congress are millionaires and their first priority is to get reelected. To do that they need money, and to get that they pander to deep pocketed corporations - we the people don't have the kind of cash the system is rigged to need in order for any Congressional candidate to have a chance at getting elected. The system was rigged over decades by big money influencing politicians to pass laws that favor their bottom lines - you and I don't figure into it at all except as hapless consumers.Big money owns the news outlets, so the "news" we get is crafted to keep us squabbling between ourselves and/or to keep us sedated and apathetic instead of reporting on the rot at the core of our once functioning Democracy that has rendered it sterile and unable to respond to majority concerns.Dems and Repubs are birds of a feather - and the feather is green, green, green. That's why Democrats vote and act like Republicans sometimes - Republicans have been known to do a similar about-face when the money's right, or they think it'll bring them an extra helping of Heavenly Reward in the next life.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 10, 2014 at 19:18:48 PT
Good Article
I like Steve Chapman.
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