President Trump on Monday urged Republicans not to place marijuana legalization initiatives on state ballots out of concern that it will increase Democratic turnout in elections.
The president, who has rarely weighed in on cannabis policy without being prompted, said in extemporaneous remarks at a campaign event that he blames marijuana legalization efforts on former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) defeat in the 2018 election.
Legalization was not on the statewide ballot in Wisconsin in 2018—though there were several local, non-binding measures on reform proposals that passed that year.
“The next time you run please don’t put marijuana on the ballot at the same time you’re running,” Trump said, directing his advice to Walker, who was in the crowd. “You brought out like a million people that nobody ever knew were coming out.”
Watch Trump discuss marijuana legalization and the election below:
It should also be noted that Walker didn’t place these local initiatives on the ballot as Trump indicated. They were placed before voters by elected officials in each individual jurisdiction.
Walker, who has previously described cannabis as a gateway drug, lost to current Gov. Tony Evers (D). Evers has expressed openness to adult-use legalization and said he supports both decriminalizing marijuana and allowing its medical use.
Given Trump’s historic silence on cannabis policy, this statement is particularly surprising. It could be the case that he’s been made aware of studies indicating that, when legalization is on the ballot, Democratic turnout is strengthened. That said, evidence is mixed on that relationship.
It’s possible that Trump has been advised about potential marijuana-related challenges for his own reelection bid this November, as swing state Arizona will be voting on a cannabis legalization measure that will appear on the same ballot as his name.
Also of note is Trump’s framing of the state-level marijuana reform movement. He didn’t voice opposition to the policy change; rather, he focused on potential political ramifications for Republican candidates. (Read Full Article on MarijuanaMoment.net)