As the November midterms approach, both Democrats and Republicans are making promises to voters to entice support for their parties. And it appears both parties want to be seen as the champions of marijuana legalization.
Members from both the Democratic and Republican parties are trying to brand themselves as the Marijuana Party heading into next month's midterms. In one interview, Republican Dana Rohrabacher said that the Trump administration would unveil its plans for marijuana reform shortly after the midterms, and that he expects a bill to be passed in early 2019. In a separate interview, Democrat Earl Blumenauer said if his party retakes majorities in Congress, there will be several pro-marijuana bills that will be passed in the first six months that Republicans have refused to allow votes on.
Considering a recent Pew Poll found that 62 percent of Americans support marijuana legalization, it's not surprising that both parties would make appeals to pro-marijuana voters. The question is which of these efforts is actually legitimate and which is just lip service.
It's definitely easy to be skeptical of Republicans and Rohrabacher. They've controlled Congress and the White House since 2016, and yet they've passed virtually no bills in favor of marijuana legalization. The party's leadership has refused to allow votes on cannabis bills. So why should we suddenly expect them to change their tune if they win again in November?
And while Democrats have taken more steps towards legalization, and several prominent members of the party's leadership have endorsed legalization efforts, it's not necessarily a guarantee they'll follow through. They may be saying all the right things about marijuana to attract votes, but then push the issue down their list of priorities when they actually take control.
But honestly, it seems like it's a better bet to take a shot with the Democrats than to expect Republicans to make a whole 360 on the issue.
(h/t Marijuana Moment)