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What Do Republicans Think About Marijuana?

Tagged under: Research USA Politics War On Drugs
By Expeal on October 26, 2015.

An image of the White House overlaid with marijuana leaves.

With the 2016 Presidential campaign in full swing, both parties about to hold their primaries. There are quite a few more Republicans running than Democrats. As of now, there are 15 Republicans versus only 3 Democrats currently running for their party's candidacy. Comparing the top 5 Republicans (using the Real Clear Politics average as of October 23), we get a very interesting idea about what a future presidency under each candidate would mean for marijuana laws. In case you don't remember from our previous post, marijuana is the cause of just about half of all drug arrests. We post the latest quotes from each of the candidates below. Reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter and tell us what you think about your favorite candidate's position!

The Top 5 Republicans

An image of Donald Trump.

1. Donald Trump, 27.2%.

Stance: Trump's stance has changed over time. In 1990, he told the Miami Herald that he thought all drugs should be legalized. He has now stated that he only supports medical marijuana and is absolutely opposed to legalization.
Latest: On February 27, 2015, Donald Trump spoke at CPAC and said: "I’d say [regulating marijuana] is bad. Medical marijuana is another thing, but I think it’s bad and I feel strongly about that."
Contact: Let Trump's campaign know what you think about his position on marijuana laws and the expungment of old pot charges.

An image of Ben Carson.

2. Ben Carson, 21.4%.

Stance: Carson is completely against marijuana use. He has stated that he could see it used in some medical situations, but not the way it is used now. In fact, back in January 2, 2014, Carson repeated the long-debunked myth that marijuana is a gateway drug.
Latest: On October 21, 2015, Carson was asked would he legalize marijuana? His response was "I disagree with it." This was right after saying he would intensify the War on Drugs.
Contact: Let Carson's campaign know what you think about his position on marijuana laws. Ask him for his thoughts on expunging charges as well.

An image of Marco Rubio.

3. Marco Rubio, 9.2%.

Stance: Rubio has been clearly anti-legalization. On July 30, 2014, he told reporters that the only way he would support medicinal use would be if the psychoactive elements were removed so that it does not create the high. On February 27, 2015, he made sure everyone understood his position by saying clearly "I'm against the legalization of marijuana."
Latest: In perhaps the strongest statements put out by any candidate, on August 9, 2015, Rubio told Meet The Press that if he were president, he would "enforce federal law" and go after people and companies in the states that have already legalized marijuana.
Contact: Send Rubio's campaign an email to tell them what you think about his stance on marijuana and expungement of possession charges.

An image of Ted Cruz.

4. Ted Cruz, 7.8%.

Stance: Cruz has a clear personal stance against the legalization of marijuana, but his political stance on states' rights means that he has repeatedly said "it is up to the states." When he spoke to CPAC on February 26, 2015, Cruz said "If the citizens of Colorado decide they want to go down that road, that’s their prerogative. I don’t agree with it, but that’s their right."
Latest: When speaking on the Hugh Hewitt Show on April 16, 2015, he made clear that he would not enforce federal marijuana legislation upon Washington, Colorado, or other states. He wants to see Washington and Colorado as "laboratories of democracy" and to measure whether or not metrics like teen drug use, crime rates, and others will increase or not.
Contact: Make sure Cruz knows retroactive expungement should be permitted in any legislation or executive orders on the subject.

An image of Jeb Bush.

5. Jeb Bush, 7.2%.

Stance: As an advisor to the Drug Free America Foundation, along with his wife, it is hard to believe Jeb Bush would be anything but tough on marijuana. The Drug Free America Foundation is probably the biggest anti-marijuana lobbyist group and has a history of opposing legalization for any purpose, including medical purposes.
Latest: When he spoke to CPAC on February 27, 2015 he said that he would have voted no to legalizing marijuana if he lived in Colorado, but that he believed the federal government should allow states to make their own decisions.
Contact: Let Jeb's campaign know states should also be encouraged to allow people to expunge their charges if the state legalizes or decriminalizes marijuana.

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