Will A Republican Government Deliver Legalization?
Seen as we appear to have just hopped into an all-Republican presidential term, it’s going to be useful for anyone on the side of arguing for (or against) marijuana to know what the general take on the drug might be for the coming government.
Given that keeping track of Donald Trump on marijuana is very difficult, it’s useful to know what the rest of the Republican Party is potentially thinking.
According to Business Insider in November, Trump is “in favour of medical marijuana 100%”. He did support the state’s right to choose if and how to legalize. Recently he went further and told CNN that he will legalize marijuana in all 50 states. Given his complete U-turn on so many topics so far, though, holding your breath waiting for a definitive answer might be more dangerous than any supposed effects of the drug itself.
Already, the US is in a rather polarized position with some states legalizing and others failing to do so. States like Alaska, Oregon and Washington have all put through legalization and medical marijuana is beginning to be sold in more than half the states of the US now. However, Republicans tend to be pretty much against the idea of legalizing cannabis – which might become a bit of a problem for anyone hoping that Trump would bring about a new era of freedom on cannabis.
The Republican view, according to Republicanviews.org, is mostly against legalization. It’s the lowest in southern and Midwestern states, which are mostly Red states. The main argument put forward on the site comes from Kevin Sabet, President of the Smart Approaches to Marijuana anti-legalization group. He claims that legalization is dropping after people have seen what legalization actually means in some states (despite the fact that support for legalization was dropping before the first stores opened in some locations) and also that parents resent legalization.
The argument that children and communities will be hurt by having marijuana dispensaries in the same areas as schools is a common argument on the site, and other locations, too. However, what about bars and pubs? Is it OK for one drug to be on sale near schools but not another?
Should we make sure that alcohol and cigarettes are as far away from any children as possible, too?
An Old-School Approach to Cannabis
Like most Republican stances, they want more significant federal control and management over the drug thanks to “rampant state legalizations” and it “finding ways into the brains of teens”.
Apparently, it’s dangerous and addictive, according to Republican John Fleming, of Louisiana. The Republican view then seems to be utterly conservative, without any real approach on modernity regarding the topic.
It’s fine to oppose – but many of the arguments put across feel rather dated. The idea that all parents will be irresponsible enough to just mix up the “magic brownies” with the ones for the kids seems a little fanciful. Each of the criticisms used are anecdotal stories that are avoided through safe management and regulation.
Again, where’s the argument about keeping the liquor cupboard locked at all times? About padlocking shut decks of cigarettes?
The Republican view on marijuana is what you expect – and for those hoping to see an era of legalization under Donald Trump, you might be disappointed.