Is Pot The New Gay Marriage For The GOP?

Marijuana is shaping up to be the new gay marriage of GOP politics — most Republicans would rather not talk about it, except to punt to the states.

But when it comes to the 2016 presidential race, a series of legalization ballot initiatives — and a certain outspoken Kentucky senator — could make it harder for the Republican field to avoid the conversation.

When asked to articulate their positions on recreational marijuana, several potential GOP 2016 candidates have tried to strike a tricky balance: stress the downsides of pot use and the upsides of states’ rights. Some have indicated their openness to decriminalizing pot, at least in their state, but none favors outright legalization.

Strategists argue that Paul’s reluctance to embrace full legalization and insistence on warning about the dangers of marijuana use indicate he doesn’t want to anger a key segment of the GOP base.

“Part of the reason why Paul finds himself in this conundrum is the amount of older voters we have in the Republican primary,” said GOP strategist Ford O’Connell, noting that Paul’s libertarian-leaning foreign policy stances already have Republican voters over 50 eying him warily.

Read more from Jonathan Topaz at Politico

Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment


Analysis & Political Strategy