When politicians support marijuana, they usually do so for reasons such as increased tax revenue or criminal justice reform. But Michigan Republicans are considering legalizing cannabis for one reason: to win elections.
The state of Michigan is set to vote on a ballot initiative this November that would legalize recreational marijuana. Most polls show the initiative is likely to pass, which is worrying Republicans in the state so much that experts believe they're considering passing legislation to legalize cannabis before the initiative can even come up for a vote.
The reason for Republicans worries are supporters of marijuana legalization are more likely to come out to vote this November since the initiative is on the ballot. And most people who support legalization tend to be more liberal, meaning they'd also be more likely to vote for Democratic candidates in November. By legalizing marijuana before it can reach the ballot, they might be able to dissuade some liberal voters from going to the polls, thus ensuring fewer votes for Democratic candidates.
From a purely strategic point-of-view, it makes sense. Many believe this fall's elections will bring large numbers of liberal and Democratic voters who want to express their anti-Trump outrage. So Republicans are already somewhat at a disadvantage, and adding a popular ballot initiative that will also attract liberal supporters could only make things worse.
Maybe other states will adopt this policy soon enough.
(h/t Click on Detroit)