Bill Barr | Marijuana Getty Images/Salon
According to a report at the Daily Beast, Donald Trump has added the American public’s desire to legalize marijuana to the list of topics that could cripple his chances at re-election.
At issue are states that are crucial to his electoral hopes including initiatives to allow recreational use of weed on the ballot — which will drive up Democratic participation.
As the Beast notes, “The president and some of his team, already obsessed with the potential drop-off of various demographic groups that make up his battered coalition, have begun openly worrying that the drive to legalize or decriminalize marijuana might hurt him and fellow Republicans at the ballot box,” adding, “According to two GOP strategists who’ve independently discussed the topic with Trump this year, the president believes that inclusion of marijuana initiatives on state ballots could supercharge turnout for voters who lean toward Democratic candidates and causes.”
Two of those states have normally been Republican strongholds, and with the president looking at razor-thin margins to stay in office, turnout over weed could help hand the presidency to former Vice President Joe Biden.
“If Trump’s theory is borne out in 2020, it could have significant consequences for him and other Republicans in tight races in November,” the Beast reports. “Two of the four states where recreational cannabis legalization will likely make the ballot in November are Arizona and Montana. Both those states are hosts to critical U.S. Senate contests where Republican incumbents are facing tough re-election fights.”
According to one avid supporter of Donald Trump, the Republican Party is behind the times on weed.
That would be Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).
“Marijuana politics have more multitudes in 2020 than 2018,” he explained. “[T]he political opportunity is there for either party in 2020 on marijuana policy. And there are many marijuana voters… Hell [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez], and I have even sponsored legislation together to democratize access to marijuana research. We get it. The establishment in both parties doesn’t.”
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