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Will The Medical Marijuana Community Vote Republican?

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republican marijuanaWill Medical Marijuana Supporters Vote For Anyone Other Than Obama In 2012?

As a long time member of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, I can tell you first hand that most of the medical marijuana community in Oregon is not happy with Barack Obama. In fact I would go as far as saying that most of the OMMP hate Obama for flip flopping on medical marijuana enforcement policy, and that to truly capture how they feel would require to many curse words for an opening paragraph. From all the e-mails I get, comments we receive on TWB, and what I read on the blogosphere, it sounds like the disdain for President Obama extends to most of the medical marijuana communities nationwide, and rightfully so.

I have heard countless members of the medical marijuana community state emphatically that they will not vote for President Obama again, no matter what. Being the political scientist nerd that I am, I always ask them who they plan on voting for instead? I’m not asking that question to ruffle feathers, as I do not like Barack Obama either. However, I dislike all but one of the other options even worse. On the Republican side of the ticket, Ron Paul is the only guy that I would ever vote for. I personally feel that Mitt Romney would be the most anti-marijuana President we have ever had, which is why I gave Mitt Romney an F- for his ‘marijuana report card.’ Click the link and see the videos if you need any justification.

The other current ‘top GOP frontrunner of the week’ is Rick Santorum. According to a post on Talking Points Memo, Rick Santorum admits he doesn’t know much about marijuana policy, yet he still opposes it…I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Rick Santorum is a tool, and that the definition of his name on the internet is fitting. If you don’t know what I mean, just Google his name and look at the number two return…That only leaves Newt Gingrich, since Rick Perry and John Huntsman’s campaigns are on life support. If you think Newt is anything short of a neo-con, I invite you to explain in the comments below. If given the chance, Newt would personally stab a medical marijuana patient in the back if it got him one vote.

It’s Ron Paul or bust in the 2012 Election. I don’t personally see him getting the GOP nomination, but then again, it’s still early and the lack of solidarity just might help him pull of a miracle. However, if Ron Paul doesn’t get the GOP nod, chances are he will be the representative for Americans Elect, which will put him on every state ballot in America. I’m in the works on an Americans Elect article right now, so I will save my thoughts about that topic until later.

There was a great article on the Huffington Post site that I will copy and paste below. It has great quotes from medical marijuana community members and their thoughts about the 2012 Election:

By Lucia Graves for the Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — Medical marijuana activists have a message for President Obama: Defend us from the federal government’s crackdown, or else.

Steve DeAngelo, the pigtailed co-founder and executive director of Harborside Health Center in Oakland, Calif., said that for him, it’s a simple question of who will get his vote for president.

“I will be voting in the Republican primary in California, and I will be voting for one of the candidates who supports our position on medical cannabis. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of other medical cannabis patients join me,” he told The Huffington Post. “There’s a real opening here for Republicans.”

Presidential hopefuls who’ve voiced their support for state-regulated medical marijuana could exploit medical marijuana advocates’ anger at President Obama.

The president as a candidate promised to maintain a hands-off approach toward pot clinics adhering to state law. At a 2007 town hall meeting in Manchester, N.H., Obama said raiding patients who use marijuana for medicinal purposes “makes no sense.” At another town hall in Nashua, N.H., he said the Justice Department’s prosecution of medical marijuana users was “not a good use of our resources.” Yet the number of Justice Department raids on marijuana dispensaries has continued to rise.

In an interview with HuffPost about the debut of the show “Weed Wars,” which documents the daily struggles of running the largest medical marijuana dispensary on the West Coast, Steve DeAngelo and his brother Andrew discussed how their experiences at Harborside will influence what they do at the polls.

“Look, we are one-issue voters,” Steve DeAngelo said. “I’m not going to vote for anyone who thinks I’m a criminal and wants to put me in prison. I will vote for any one of the presidential candidates who will defend the rights of medical cannabis patients. If that person ends up being a Republican, I will vote for them. If they end up being a Democrat, I will vote for them.”

Hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries were forced to close their doors after U.S. attorneys announced a crackdown on the medical cannabis industry in the Golden State. The IRS, meanwhile, has declared California pot clinics can no longer deduct salaries, rent or other operating expenses on their tax returns, rendering business unviable for many dispensaries. Now those clinics are looking for a candidate who can help them at the federal level.

In June, Republican presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) teamed up with Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) to introduce legislation removing marijuana from the list of federally regulated substances. But with Paul currently polling in third place and both members retiring from the House of Representatives, the federal bill faces an uncertain path forward.

“We will vote for whoever is going to defend us,” said Steve DeAngelo. “I don’t know how serious the Republicans are about this issue yet,” he cautioned. “We’re not going to be naïve about this, but there are millions of medical cannabis patients who are looking for the right place to put their vote … The president ignores us at his own peril.”

Andrew DeAngelo says he’d like to take it a step farther, mobilizing patients to “vote Republican, if that’s what it takes to get movement on our issue, to get the Feds off our back and to stop raiding places to stop doing these crazy things. We can’t get a bank account to pay our employes or our taxes with,” he said. “Can you imagine going to the bank and having them say, ‘I’m sorry, we can’t do business with you because you’re a cannabis patient’? That’s outrageous.”

Fifty percent of Americans favor legalizing marijuana, according to a recent Gallup poll, with support for legalization among Americans under the age of 30 as high as 62 percent. Gallup has found that Americans are especially likely to favor legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes, and 70 percent favor making it legal for doctors to prescribe marijuana to reduce pain and suffering, according to a survey last year. Those numbers suggest state and national marijuana policy could hold significant sway in swing states, like Colorado, that value their medical marijuana.

“Obama risks many people, in California especially, sitting on their hands in the election,” said David Goldman, a core leadership group member with the San Francisco chapter of Americans for Safe Access. “But I would never vote for a Republican,” he added. “The Republican party is beyond hopeless.”

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10 Comments

  1. I have been prosecuted several times for marijuana and has cost me a lot of money and time and grieve. I am supporting Ron Paul. I can tell you he is no racist because he wants to end the worst racist tool ever… the drug war. Minority’s are arrested a prosecuted 10 times more than whites even though they have the same amount of arrests. These lies were implanted by the machine to discredit him. I disagree with both parties and am voting for the man…not the party. He is our last hope at sanity. Obama has done everything opposite to what he ran on in 2008. He is an establishment, war monger who is anti MJ. Don’t be fooled again. Ron Paul is for real.

  2. We all must remember that Ron Paul is running to bring back the thing that makes us free. It’s the constitution! And your voice means nothing without the bite to back it up! Your gun rights! When are you guys going to wake up?

  3. Alright, all you “Cannabis reform” folks-HERE is where the rubber meets the road. I’m talking about the “white elephant” in this political discussion.The lack of any SOLIDARITY OF VOICE of the Cannabis community.
    As a lifetime activist and self styled “Cannaphile” I am appalled in the LACK OF A CLEAR MESSAGE FROM “US”…
    The media spends all its time attempting to “frame the picture” just so….Thanx foxnews.THEY create a 2 person race and make it seem as if it’sPerry VS Romney…Really? With the same credulity they present with antics like “Ca;lling the election” of “W” the dumbass, their responsibility is to itself…TMZ on steroids………News?. I think not.
    Our Civil Rights have been abolished in place of a Police state. Why else would an “entire” country resent the Cannabis industry with such reckless abandon?

    WHY ARE WE NOT RAISING A VOICE OF OUTRAGE!~

  4. Katherine says Ron paul is racist.
    This is simply not true. I would urge you to look at this issue from different sources. This is what the propaganda machine wants you to believe and I would argue that RP is the least racist of them all, including Obama.
    I would say the biggest argument against RP, is that every president that has stood up to the money masters in our countries history, has been assassinated. The latest one being Pres. Kennedy.

    Ron Paul is our best hope all the way around. If we can keep him alive.

  5. A vote for Ron Paul is a vote for non-interventionist policies (domestic and foreign.) It’s time to put our government in its place and let the establishment know who is really in charge. I’m sick and tired of out of date and out of touch politicians telling me and everyone else how to live our lives while adventuring overseas in order to police the world. If people really wanted to live in a free and open society, they must accept the responsibilities that come with it.

  6. Gary Johnson is all for legalizing cannabis and ending the drug war by decriminalizing drug use.
    If Ron Paul does not win the Republican Nomination the cannabis community had better get behind Gary Johnson. He is a fabulous job as Governor, wants to legalize cannabis and running third party. One does not need to vote Democrat or Republican now –

    http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/

    This is not a message from the Johnson campaign. I just do not see Paul winning and grateful we have an option, who may actually be a better choice than Ron Paul.

  7. It is not “Ron Paul or Bust”

    Vote Jill Stein of the American Green Party.

    She is a physician, and The Green New Deal includes full legalization of cannabis and hemp, and as well as measures which Ron Paul supports, such as bringing the troops home, ending corporate subsidies, shrinking the bloated parts of the US government, and more.

    And the bonus is, you aren’t supporting the same puppet party, as we all know Democrats and Republicans are the same thing!!

  8. “It’s Ron Paul or bust in the 2012 election.”

    Really?

    I would never vote for Obama again, but I see no alternatives on the Republican side of the spectrum. I’m fully aware of Ron Paul’s stance with respect to medical marijuana as well as the drug war on the whole; however, I find his views on Civil Rights appalling (no pun intended). This man publicly stated that he would repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He also believes that segregation in the commercial realm warrants First Amendment Freedom of Speech protections. I find the First Amendment position especially odd considering his self-proclaimed adherence to “strict Constitutionalism”. The Bill of Rights didn’t apply to the individual states until the 20th century, so I’d like to know where his interpretation stems from. Of course, Ron Paul is a proponent of economic liberalism, which means he does not believe in regulations of ANY KIND. He would simply “let the market decide” everything! That’s the kind of thinking that propelled the current fiscal crisis.

    I understand the medical marijuana community’s attraction to Ron Paul, but let’s not fall into the “single issue voter” trap.

  9. Its too bad that most potheads I know would never ever motivate themselves to go to the poll and vote for anyone, much less Mitt Romney. If we could get the potheads, and the poor and the stupid to vote, ill bet I could be voted president. There is an epidemic of “My vote doesn’t count” syndrome. Unfortunately I cannot figure out how to get these idiots to the polling booth, and even if I did they wouldn’t know who to vote for.

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