Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) has turned a new leaf - one with five serrated leaflets familiar to our readers. During the 2016 Republican primaries, Governor Kasich rallied opposition to marijuana legalization, but his cannabis policy has since had a facelift.
"My only concern about the marijuana issue is, I don't want to tell kids, 'Don't do drugs. But then, you can do this drug.' So that is the point," Kasich told Bill Maher on last Friday's episode of Real Time.
That statement is a far cry from what he's said about cannabis in the past. Governor Kasich used to openly oppose medical marijuana. And when asked about his stance on recreational use back in April 2015, Kasich said, "I'm totally opposed to it...if I happened to be president, I would lead a significant campaign down at the grassroots level to stomp these drugs out of our country. We’re doing it in Ohio in a variety of ways through education, prosecution, and it’s an unbelievably serious problem."
So he was about one step away from suggesting we turn those hellhounds from 'Ghostbusters' (1984) into drug-sniffing dogs.
But since then, Kasich has softened his tone on prosecuting cannabis offences. He has signed a bill legalizing medical marijuana in Ohio. And now he seems open to legalizing recreational use if we could figure out a way to keep cannabis away from kids. That's a tremendous sign of progress for the legalization movement, but Maher couldn't help wondering if the 'keep the kids safe' argument is nothing but more prohibitionist rhetoric.
"Why do we have to bring kids into it?" Maher asked Kasich. "Liquor is legal, and we don't tell kids, 'You can have liquor.' I don't know why that has to always enter the debate. I don't know why an entire nation of adults has to be deputized into the fight for parents to keep their kids away from drugs. Or guns. Or their sex toys. You know what? You're the adults. You're supposed to be smarter than your kids."
Check out his response in this clip.
Banner image: Photo - Gage Skidmore (wikipedia.org)