Here's How Hillary Clinton Could Ride The Marijuana Vote To The White House

The marijuana vote could help Hillary Clinton become president, according to the politics beat writers at Bloomberg. They note that Clinton has "a runaway lead over Donald Trump among young voters," who are notoriously unreliable when it comes to casting ballots. Except, that is, when an issue strikes a cord with them. And few causes are as popular among young Americans as marijuana legalization.

In fact, the cannabis issue has proven even more popular than presidential candidates themselves, says Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of the National Organization of Reforming Marijuana Laws (NORML).

"In the [2012] election, marijuana legalization ballot measures in Colorado and Washington proved to be more popular at the polls than either of the major party's Presidential candidates," Armentano told Civilized in a conversation earlier this year.

And the marijuana issue also gets voters motivated to cast ballots. "If you look around the country, one of the biggest factors in turnout is having marijuana on the ballot," Nevada State Senator RIchard "Tick" Segerblom (D-Las Vegas) told the Reno Gazette-Journal in 2014.

Cannabis is a big issue in battleground states

Nevada just so happens to be voting on recreational marijuana this November, and it's a battleground state according to CNN. So the chance to vote on legalization could bring in enough young voters to put Clinton over the top.

A similar situation is developing in Arizona, which hasn't voted Democrat in a presidential election since supporting Bill Clinton in 1996. But recent polls suggest Trump only holds a slight edge over Hillary in the Grand Canyon State, according to Bloomberg. So getting out the green vote could help Clinton paint Arizona blue.

Of course, one slight hitch might be Clinton's stance on cannabis. Like Trump, Clinton supports medical cannabis. And like Trump, Clinton has pledged to respect states that legalize recreational marijuana.

So cannabis might bring out more voters, but there's no guarantee that they'll support one candidate over another. They could even surprise us by voting for Libertarian Gary Johnson, who is far more progressive on the cannabis issue.

However, a recent poll of industry executives and investors in the cannabis industry showed strong support for Clinton. She can only hope that reflects the views of the broader population that supports legalization.

Of course, she could also adopt policy policy reforms, which could shore up that support as well.

Banner image: Hillary Clinton attends the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting at The Shertaon New York Hotel on September 26, 2013 in New York City. (Stone / 

h/t Bloomberg, Reno Gazette-Journal, Marijuana Business Daily.


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