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Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?

 
CE1
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06/17/2012 01:45 AM

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Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
Jun 13, 2012

In 2004 George W. Bush's re-election campaign worked to put anti-gay marriage ballot initiatives up for vote in several swing states in order to turn out more hard-core conservatives to the polls. This year the question is whether marijuana legalization measures will turn out young voters for Obama.

Bush's plan to use gay marriage bans -- in states that did not actually allow gay marriage -- as a turnout booster led to signs featuring icky public restroom symbols proliferated and liberal panic that the Christian right had taken over. The press obsessed over "values voters." One of Bush's aides, Ken Mehlman, who later came out as gay himself, has apologized for the strategy, two others say it didn't work.

This year there's another incumbent president with modest approval ratings who could turn out his base with controversial ballot measures. But this time, the issue features no biblical or scatological imagery. In 2012, voters in swing states will decide whether they'll allow their fellow citizens to bear joints. Unlike the gay marriage votes, there's no indication that Obama's re-election team is behind any of the pot legalization initiatives, but there are Democrats who are hoping that it will boost turnout among weed's biggest fans: young people.

Getting more young people to vote has long been a Democratic fantasy, since they tend to vote so heavily Democratic. But past attempts to bong the vote have been disappointing, in part because stoners aren't the group anyone would most count on to bother filling out a ballot. Ahead of the 2010 midterms, The Wall Street Journal ran the story, "Democrats Look to Cultivate Pot Vote in 2012," noting that California's pot-legalizing Proposition 19 was being studied to see if similar measures "could energize young, liberal voters in swing states for the 2012 presidential election." But exit polls that year showed no spike in young voter turnout, and marijuana legalization was the top issue for just 1 in 10 voters, the Los Angeles Times reported. (Also: Californians ended up voting down Prop. 19.) Still, there were hopeful signs: 64 percent of voters 18-to-24 supported it, and 52 percent of voters 25-to-29 did. In March, the pro-legalization site Just Say Now suggested that the presidential election will draw more young people to the polls, and they'll vote for pot legalization while they're there.

That being said, several have argued that this could be the year for pro-marijuana turnout. After all, 2011 was the first year more young people smoked pot than cigarettes, the CDC says. There is a marijuana initiative on the ballot in Washington, and there might be one in Nebraska and Massachusetts, but those states are pretty solid for one party or the other. Here's our guide to whether pot politics could make an impact in the swing states considering new marijuana rules:

State: Colorado

Initiative: Amendment 64 would make it legal for adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana or six plants for cultivating. The state has allowed medical marijuana since 2000. Pro-legalization groups have raised $2 million to campaign for the amendment, the Denver Post reports.

Chances of passage: In December, the left-leaning Public Policy Polling found that 49 percent of voters supported the amendment. But this month, the right-leaning Rasmussen found that 61 percent of likely Colorado voters support it.

Chances it'll affect Obama's standing in the state: The president is averaging a very slim lead in the state, less than 2 percentage points over Mitt Romney. The Associated Press points out that though a marijuana measure failed in 2006, that year Coloradans elected a Democratic governor after eight years of Republican rule.

State: Ohio

Initiative: Supporters are collecting the 400,000 signatures required to get two amendments on the ballot: the Medical Cannabis Amendment and the Alternative Treatment Amendment. The first would allow medical marijuana, the second would set up a commission to regulate it. They were approved by the state attorney general several months ago, and the signature deadline is July 4.

Chances of passage: The initiatives aren't on the ballot yet. But in 2009 and 2010, separate polls found that 73 percent of Ohioans supported allowing medical marijuana.

Chances it'll affect Obama's standing in the state: Obama is averaging a small lead over Romney in Ohio. In 2002, Ohioans rejected a proposal to give treatment instead of jail time as punishment for some drug offenses. But maybe it's more important to think about how ballot initiatives influence voters. In 2004, a gay marriage ban passed overwhelmingly in Ohio, but some ague that the initiative didn't bring more Republican voters to the polls. Instead it got a smaller segment of voters "to think about the issues in ways that drove them into the Bush camp," The Hill wrote. The gay marriage ban didn't make evangelicals vote more, it made non-evangelicals vote more Republican. Both Romney and Obama oppose legalization, so it's tough to see how the measure would drive pro-pot independents into the Obama camp.

State: Michigan

Initiative: A municipal measure in Detroit would allow possession of less than an ounce of marijuana on private property for those aged 21 and up. That vote takes place in August. Statewide, supporters have till July to get enough signatures to put a marijuana question on the state ballot in November.

Chances of passage: An EPIC-MRA poll of likely Michigan voters in January found that 45 percent supported legalization of marijuana while 50 percent opposed it. But a Rasmussen poll of likely voters in May found that 56 percent supported legalizing and regulating marijuana similar to alcohol.

Obama's standing: Obama is averaging a 6-point lead in Michigan, but a recent EPIC-MRA poll found Romney 1 point ahead. Michigan voters approved medical marijuana by 63 percent to 37 percent in 2008. But this might be a case where Obama helped marijuana more than marijuana helped Obama. Young voters made a huge shift toward Democrats. Voters 18 to 29 voted for Obama by 68 percent to McCain's 29 percent; in 2004, 55 percent voted for John Kerry and 43 percent voted for Bush. But young people were roughly the same percentage of the electorate both years.




[link to www.theatlanticwire.com]
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 01:54 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
It should be. What has he got to lose?
Scuba7

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06/17/2012 01:58 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
It should be. What has he got to lose?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 18073113


Nothing.

He can always retract the promise once elected.
Do not take memories of what happened yesterday, into what might happen today.

When love is your greatest weakness, you will be the strongest person in the world.
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 02:00 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
Now THIS is interesting!

This would explain why George Soros has been putting $ behind pro-marijuana legalization for measures for many years now.

Guys like Soros don't put $ into political issues because they thing "it's the right thing to do." I've always wondered what his angle was...maybe this was it.
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 02:02 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
yes,alright, i can dig it, groovy, keen, swell, i hopeth so
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 02:04 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
I don't think so ! Until he starts creating jobs for Americans and not illegals, his ass is sucking hind tit when it comes to re-electability !
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 02:04 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
Yeah just like during his last campaign when he said he wouldn't conduct federal raids in states with medical marijuana.
LiT

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06/17/2012 02:05 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
Doesn't matter, anymore. I quit smoking.
ExpertOfSound

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06/17/2012 02:10 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
Doesn't matter, anymore. I quit smoking.
 Quoting: LiT


Good for you hf
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Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 02:11 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
Decriminalization maybe, outright legalization? Not happening.

For it to be legalized, it has to be regulated.

That regulation will require an infrastructure.

Regulation doesn't come cheap, despite pro-legal arguements to the contrary, legalizing would actually cost more than could be earned via taxes for at least the first few years, while the regulations and policies are set it place.

Decriminlization, would make it legal to possess specific amounts, but you'd still be dependant on the black market.

Personally, I don't expect either.

Obama has nothing to worry about once America gets a long good look at the 1% running against him.
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 02:12 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
One of his campaign promises that he fucked us on.
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 02:13 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
The Cartels would not stand by and watch their profits cut!
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 02:16 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
No.

If he does, the youth in this nation, the vote he is trying to get with that kind of legislation, would tell him to fuck off. Why wouldn't he do it 3 years ago, only to wait until he needed to get reelected?

The youth will tell him to go fuck himself.

At the same time, he will alienate all the older voters who have been brainwashed into thinking marijuana is bad for you and should be illegal.

It will double backfire in his face.

It's what he deserves, the fucking crook.

He deserves to be impeached and held in jail for treason for signing the NDAA.
patdeez84

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06/17/2012 02:21 AM

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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
I really hope colorado passes Amendment 64, I'm getting ready to buy some land up there.

Last Edited by patdeez84 on 06/17/2012 02:24 AM
:sigjosh:

:ronswansontax:

“We have allowed our nation to be over taxed and over regulated and overrun by bureaucrats, the founders would be ashamed of us for what we're putting up with.” Ron Paul
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“My idea of a perfect government is one guy who sits in a small room at a desk, and the only thing he’s allowed to decide is who to nuke. The man is chosen based on some kind of IQ test, and maybe also a physical tournament, like a decathlon. And women are brought to him, maybe ... when he desires them.” Ron Swanson
LiT

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06/17/2012 02:26 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
Doesn't matter, anymore. I quit smoking.
 Quoting: LiT


Good for you hf
 Quoting: ExpertOfSound


Hm... thank you. I didn't mean to come off as arrogant or that I feel I'm better than anyone else, though. =P
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 02:34 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
Awh shit I sure hope so! That would be swell! Or at the very least, make it medicinal on a federal level so our troops with PTSD can get a prescription!
TreeOfLife.
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06/17/2012 02:37 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
eh the ptb don't have much of a choice but to legalize it.
Ironforged773

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06/17/2012 02:47 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
Doesn't matter, anymore. I quit smoking.
 Quoting: LiT


Good for you hf
 Quoting: ExpertOfSound


Nobody likes a quitter.
XBOX GT- Ironforged773
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 02:53 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
Legalization for possessing small amounts is probably going to be on the ballot in Montana, and the vote on the medical marijuana law changes will for sure be, as they have already gathered enough signatures to make it happen, and are working hard on the legalization initiative.
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 02:56 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
Going to take more than another weak ass campaign promise
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 02:57 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
his bosses wont let him.
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 02:59 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
For it to be legalized, it has to be regulated.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 7314441


Yeah, we need big daddy government to tell us how to grow and smoke a fucking WEED!

Arrrrrrrgh!
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 03:00 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
Do you think that the Mexican drug cartels that smuggle tons of the stuff over the border every year with millions of dollars of profit are gonna let Obama legalize it ?

Not without at threat they aren't !
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 03:01 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
his bosses wont let him.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 5073178


Soros IS his boss!
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 03:03 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
Albeit Kaneh Bos should be legalized even if he cannot be...


I am not so easily bought as some it would appear....


It will become
egal with or without him, for he is not ome but many...one could call him legion...
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 03:04 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
and you people think the president makes choices...........SERIOUSLY?
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 03:05 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
Do you think that the Mexican drug cartels that smuggle tons of the stuff over the border every year with millions of dollars of profit are gonna let Obama legalize it ?

Not without at threat they aren't !
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 11581280


Mexican drug cartels = contractors for the CIA

They'll do what they're told or they'll end up hanging out with Manuel Noriega
LiT

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06/17/2012 03:08 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
Doesn't matter, anymore. I quit smoking.
 Quoting: LiT


Good for you hf
 Quoting: ExpertOfSound


Nobody likes a quitter.
 Quoting: Ironforged773


Fine with me. Most people like things that disgust me, so I side with nobody on this one.
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 03:10 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
and you people think the president makes choices...........SERIOUSLY?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 15756560


Of course not, but their bosses do. I don't think this election is already pre-decided like the last couple of elections. I think we're going to witness a real power struggle between two elite factions. Call it Soros, et al VS. LDS, et al
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 03:23 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
could u imagine if he executive ordered this yesterday instead of his bullshit immigration crap, the people would be cheering in the streets, weed stores would open up around the nation,create millions of jobs and the economy would start booming, america could start producing hemp(the strongest natural fiber in the world)instead of repressing it,tech,research/development,manufacturing,consumer speeding/income would all skyrocket.
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 03:42 AM
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Re: Is Legalizing Weed Obama's Secret Weapon?
Stoners are stereotypically forgetful, but I don't think they will easily forget the last three years of crackdowns after promising to make it the doj's lowest priority.

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