Why Marijuana Legalization Is A Winning Political Issue In Ohio
Updated: Oct 18, 2018
This will be the first entry in a series this 2018 election season that detail the different political candidates running for office throughout Ohio, and what their stance is on medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. For this first edition, though, we will be taking a look at why marijuana legalization should be a key issue for any candidate wishing to win a seat in government.
Please note: Ohio Marijuana Card does not endorse any political candidate at this time. This series serves to offer history of who is for or against marijuana in Ohio, why they may have that stance, and why it is important to come out in support of legalization efforts.
Polling For Votes
According to a new 2018 poll conducted by Pew Research Center, a whopping 62% of Americans are now in full support of legalizing marijuana. And that's not just medicinally, but full legalization!
At current, there are nine states (and the District of Columbia) that have legalized marijuana for recreational use. And over half the country (31 states) have some form of medical marijuana laws in their books.
This marks a staggering shift in viewpoint about marijuana overall among Americans. Adding more heat, our neighbors up north in Canada will be legalizing marijuana for recreational use starting on October 17, 2018. Canada is the largest country to attempt such an endeavor, and if it succeeds pressure will likely mount from Americans seeking the same legalization standards as our Canadian border pals.
This is why the 2018 election season could very well be determined not by the usual political tricks, fear tactics, tomfoolery and divisiveness, but by candidates who fully support marijuana legalization.
How Can Marijuana Help A Candidate Win An Election?
Most elections are won by only a few thousand or hundred-thousand votes, depending on the size, scale and title of the job. Some elections have even been determined by a handful of votes! Unless there's some kind of huge political blowout, a candidate runs unopposed, or some explosive story lands a few days before an election, most candidates usually win by a razor thin margin.
The reason for this phenomena is tragically cynical. Both dominating parties, Republican and Democrat, have developed tribal mindsets among their supporters. Most Republicans vote Republican. Most Democrats vote Democrat. While local races tend to have more diversity of thought, this rule generally applies across the board.
There are roughly 60 million voters who are registered Democrats, and about 60 million registered Republicans. But there are over 100 million American voters who simply don't vote. This is why marijuana legalization is so paramount to the political arena. Those who confidently support broad legalization measures may have an edge over other political ideologies.
It's About Math
Elections tend to boil down to one major factor: mathematics. The candidate who wins is ALWAYS the one who can get enough potential voters who don't normally vote (or vote dispassionately) to suddenly vote with passion.
As the two parties vote on party lines, it is up to the "independent" voter to determine each election based on whatever theoretically "outside" political opinion strikes a chord. As over half of all Americans now support legalization of cannabis, this "fringe" opinion may actually be a powder keg of potential voters.
Take this example, controversial as it may be considered. In the 2016 Presidential Election, Donald J. Trump spent most of his time in the midwest. Amidst his ranting, he often spoke about bringing jobs back, boosting the economy and pushing for more aggressive immigration measures. The ideas seemed to deeply connect with some independent voters worried about the changing cultural climate. Though Trump did not win the popular vote, his fringe campaign promises yielded just enough passion from his base that their votes ultimately accounted for Trump's surprise electoral college victory. In the end, he narrowly won by roughly 80,000 votes. Like or hate him, Trump's team knew how to play the numbers game during that election season.
And again, with 62% of Americans in support of marijuana, that's enough of a number to dramatically alter any election result. This is why any candidate who fully, confidently and genuinely supports legalization of marijuana will win an election.
Period. Full stop.
Not Just A Campaign Issue, A Promise
Marijuana legalization needs to be not only a campaign issue, but a real promise for change. Naturally, it shouldn't be number one on the priorities list, but definitively in the top five. A candidate who comes out in support of marijuana will bridge a political divide, too, and gain that extra 1-5% needed to win an election. After all, both Republicans and Democrats are known partake in cannabis, and many (especially libertarians) are quietly passionate about it, too.
There's a lot of angry vitriol out there this 2018 election season. Some of it is very justified, some of it is outlandish or even dangerous. But marijuana is a bridge issue. It's an independent issue. A libertarian issue. A democrat issue. A socialist issue. A republican issue.
It's also a veterans issue. It's a mental health issue. It's a potential solution to the opioid crisis. It's a family issue, especially those with children suffering seizures. It's a medical issue for doctors wishing to prescribe safer alternatives. A prison reform issue. A science issue as new studies reveal the benefits of cannabis. Marijuana brings jobs back to the U.S.. It takes money out of drug cartels. It fuels the economy with taxes and revenue, and inspires thousands of new businesses across the country.
Simply put, cannabis delivers "The American Dream," and promising positive change on marijuana is promising equally positive change in the world.
Who Supports Marijuana Legalization In Ohio?
Next, we'll dive into the second chapter of this new series and take a look at the Ohio Gubernatorial race, examining who is pro-marijuana, and who opposes.
We'll be taking a look at the records of Republican Mike DeWine and his running mate, Jon A. Husted, as well as his opponent, Democrat Richard Cordray and his running mate, Betty Sutton. You can read that chapter by clicking here.
Also, if you would like to contact your local representatives and tell them that you support medical marijuana, CBD legalization or full marijuana legalization, we've written up this handy resource which walks you through the process.
In the meantime, if you are an Ohioan suffering from one of these 21 medical conditions you may be eligible to treat your ailment with medical marijuana. Click here to learn more about what Ohio Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at 1-866-457-5559 and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process, and set you up with an appointment.