TRENDING: ALL 2016 CANDIDATES SUPPORTERS LEGAL WEED (SORT OF)
Now that Marco Rubio is out of the race, for the first time in U.S. political history, every presidential candidate, of both parties, supports at least states’ rights to do as they please with regard to marijuana legalization.
With more Americans than ever (58 percent) believing marijuana should be legalized, many are considering the issue when heading to the ballot box. But it remains unclear whether the candidates’ support of this issue, which ranges from full-throated to tepid, will be enough to effectively influence federal policy. Ultimately Congressional leadership will determine whether marijuana-related legislation can arrive at a vote, while the incoming attorney general will direct law enforcement and the Department of Justice.
While the actions of Congress and the AG could undermine what the next president is saying today about marijuana policy, the conflict between state and federal law is becoming less tolerable: A whopping 72 percent of Americans believe marijuana law enforcement costs more than it’s worth, and 60 percent say federal prohibition laws shouldn’t apply in states where cannabis is legal. “Candidates from both political parties recognize that advocating for marijuana law reform is a political opportunity, not a political liability,” Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, tells Rolling Stone. Rubio was an outlier in the 2016 field, favoring the enforcement of federal law in legal-marijuana states.