Caucus for Cannabis | Where the 2016 Election Candidates Stand on Weed

By Guest Blogger Hersh Rephun

Hersh Rephun is a writer and comedian, whose latest venture is YES, BRAND, an ad agency that continues the brand-consumer conversation through comedy. If you approve this message, you can reach Follow Hersh @HRkills and @YESBRANDcre8iv.

There’s been a lot of showmanship this election season, a lot of TALK, but where do the leading candidates stand on WEED?

According to Donald Trump, “We’re losing badly the War on Drugs. You have to legalize drugs to win that war. You have to take the profit away from these drug czars.” YES! A Republican candidate who gets it. Wait. That was in 1990...when Trump was a Democrat. These days, Donald and the mini-Trumps are pretty much on the same anti-pot page including his newest minion, Chris Christie, who tosses in a little extra bluster: “See if you want to live in a major city in Colorado where there’s head shops popping up on every corner and people flying into your airport just to come and get high. To me, it’s just not the quality of life we want to have here in the state of New Jersey.” Lofty words from a shamelessly opportunistic politician whose claim to fame is being the least attractive person ever to stop traffic.

The most hackneyed and disproven right-wing view in this race actually comes from a doctor, Ben Carson, who says, “marijuana is what’s known as a gateway drug...and I don’t think this is something that we really want for our society.” The problem here, of course, is that it’s hard to dis cannabis when you sound like Chris Walken on morphine and are unable to speak with your eyes open. By the way, if the 2016 Presidential race were a low budget B-film, rather the high-budget B-film it is, one of the most colorful characters would be the perpetually stoned Dr. Ben Carson, aka “The Spaceman”.

Among the leading Democrats, Hillary Clinton’s views on marijuana have evolved year to year, from inconclusive to uncertain, landing firmly on indecisive in 2016. Senator Bernie Sanders’ views on legalizing marijuana, however, make him the most pro-pot candidate and are in line with his overall platform. As he stated in a recent debate, “We have a criminal justice system that lets CEOs on Wall Street walk away, and yet we are imprisoning or giving jail sentences to young people who are smoking marijuana.”

Throwing a wrench into the political works is Billionaire Michael Bloomberg (“The BMB”), poised to run as an independent in the event of a Trump/Sanders contest. New York’s former mayor calls the legalization of pot in Colorado, “one of the stupider things that’s happening across our country.” He believes marijuana contributes to lower IQ scores in our nation’s children. What, now? Can Dr. Spaceman Carson verify this?


Washington Post, October 29, 2015
International Business Times, July 25, 2014
Fox News Channel, January 2, 2014
Huffington Post Hillary Clinton, November 7, 2015
2016 Democratic Presidential Debate, October 13, 2015
NY Daily News, February 8, 2015