Republicans now more progressive on pot legalization than Democrats
It's getting harder and harder to determine which is the conservative party and which is the liberal party. The latest example is the shift on marijuana policy.
President Trump has confirmed a deal with Colorado Senator Cory Gardner to let Colorado make its own cannabis legalization decisions in exchange for the Senator not holding up Department of Justice nominations. John Boehner joined the advisory board of a marijuana company, despite being anti-legalization when he was in the Speaker of the House in Congress. Pennsylvania recently said it will allow university hospitals to participate in clinical trials of cannabis.
Marijuana industry entrepreneurs are hoping they are on the cusp of a significant national transformation. These are “major breakthroughs” said Acreage Holdings chief executive Kevin Murphy. Acreage is the company Boehner joined, and it has ownership of marijuana growing, processing and retail facilities in eleven states.
Trump’s agreement to let Colorado, and presumably other states, decide on their own cannabis laws, goes directly against the actions of his attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Trump has "promised to support legislation protecting the marijuana industry" in states where it is now legal.
It doesn't end there.
Mitch McConnell, of all people, has introduced a bill to legalize hemp. Granted, that's not recreational or medical marijuana, but it's still an amazingly progressive stand for someone that is the exact opposite of cool and hip.
So where are the Democrats on this? Nowhere.
When asked, Democratic senators were cagey about how they felt about getting behind full legalization for recreational purposes, even in states that have taken the plunge.
Both California and Nevada voted in 2016 to legalize marijuana. But the two senators elected from those states that year sound less enthusiastic than the voters.
..California’s senior senator, Dianne Feinstein, who opposed the state’s efforts to legalize marijuana in 2016, dodged the question when asked about Sessions’ move to ramp up federal prosecution.
“It’s all unclear to me, and it’d be helpful to have some clarity so we know exactly what the situation is,” she said.
Even when the Democrat is right on legalization they are weak and incompetent.
A good example of how pathetic Democrats are on this issue is in New Jersey.
Murphy’s inauguration raised the expectations of many cannabis advocates to new heights. The Democrat campaigned hard on marijuana reform. On the trail, Murphy said he hoped to legalize recreational cannabis in New Jersey within his first 100 days in office.
Those 100 days expire on April 26, 2018, and it’s looking like cannabis advocates may have raised their expectations a little too high. Because something predictable happened on the way to Trenton: Opposition hardened, the Democrats splintered, the GOP went backwards, and the short-term odds for legalization dimmed.
...Scutari’s bill hasn’t received the fast-track reception Scutari and others hoped for, though. And it’s the party in power—the Democrats—who seem to be the main obstacle.
It’s an open secret that Trenton’s top legislator, Senate President Steve Sweeney, is gunning for Murphy’s seat in 2021—even though they’re both Democrats.
Marijuana legalization is just the latest issue where the Democrats have shifted so far to the right that Republicans can become the party of "the left" simply by standing still.
On neoliberalism, neoconservatism, even prison reform, the Republicans look a whole lot more moderate than Democrats these days.
I heard the following from the office of a House Democrat on foreign affairs comm three days ago: congressional Democrats have no plan or intention to challenge Trump bombing Syria. They have assented, if not openly endorsed.
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) April 14, 2018