Rumors are abound that Obama wants the cannabis vote and that he may try to do something to appease the group. He should be concerned, because he needs that voting bloc if he wants to be re-elected. From where I stand though, he has done more to push us away than bring us into his administration.
Considering that raids on medical dispensaries and shakedowns of state officials and dispensary landlords are just as prevalent as during the Bush administration, questions about the topic have been laughed off as non-serious by administration officials and Obama himself, and that the drug raids rage on, often targeting innocent people, it is a wonder that he would think he could count on our vote.
Yes, cannabis is just one issue and we should also be concerned with the bigger picture too. For Obama that is looking pretty bleak as well considering his signing of NDAA, private kill list, hiring of lobbyists to his administration, a drone program that is killing far more innocent civilians than terrorists, and an economy that while not entirely his own as congress shares this with him, is not doing well considering the rate of unemployment and under-employment.
So what could Obama do to try and attract the cannabis voting bloc? It would have to be a major shift in policy, rhetoric and minor changes aren’t going to work.
First he would need to sign an executive order moving cannabis from a schedule one drug to a schedule five so that it could legally have a value for medical use. Then he would need to guarantee that federal resources used in the drug war will be directed entirely away from anything related to cannabis that isn’t coming through the borders, at the very least those who are in compliance with their state law.
These two things would be sufficient enough to regain trust on the issue of cannabis, but it is very unlikely that the administration will do this. Luckily we do have a candidate in former two-term governor of New Mexico, Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson this year, who toured a Denver medical marijuana dispensary the other day and is willing to make these policy changes.