Weekly Wrapup: President’s Medical Marijuana Comments Further Cloud November Election
Medical marijuana professionals will face a difficult decision this fall that could affect their very livelihoods: Obama or a Republican presidential candidate (most likely Mitt Romney)?
In the past, choosing between a Democratic and Republican president was a no-brainer for the MMJ crowd. Democrats in general have more favorable views toward medical cannabis, and Republicans typically oppose it.
It’s a bit more complicated this time around.
The medical marijuana industry is up in arms over the Obama administration’s crackdown on cannabis businesses, and they fear this is just the start of a larger campaign. Some MMJ professionals are now threatening to boycott Obama in the upcoming election. Romney – who appears headed for the GOP nomination – can’t be much worse, even though he has publicly said he opposes medical marijuana legalization.
With that as the backdrop, Obama attempted to explain – and defend – the crackdown on the medical cannabis industry in an interview that was published in Rolling Stone last week. The president said his hands are tied because he “can’t nullify congressional law.” Obama also insinuated that he is concerned primarily with the larger, for-profit operations that are selling to recreational users.
As we noted last week, the industry doesn’t seem to be buying it, with some observers accusing the president of lying and others calling his explanation “nonsense.”
While this further complicates the presidential election for MMJ professionals, voting for Romney could backfire in a big way. The current crackdown has been brutal, but it’s worth noting that the medical cannabis industry is much bigger under the Obama administration than it’s ever been. If the president is trying to rein in an industry that many casual observers believe had gotten out of control, that’s much better than a president trying to stamp out the industry entirely. While Romney probably wouldn’t dismantle the industry – the genie is out the bottle, after all – having a president who is against the very idea of medical marijuana might not be the wisest choice.
Part of the problem is that both Obama and Romney have been so vague on the issue. Perhaps that will change in the months to come as the election season heats up, but we doubt it. Of course, the clear-cut choice for MMJ professionals is Ron Paul, who is an ardent supporter of medical cannabis legalization. But Paul is trailing Romney badly in the delegate count, and the chances he’ll win the GOP nomination are slim.
Other top news in MMJ Business Daily last week:
Ready, set, go! Entrepreneurs can now apply for medical cannabis business licenses in New York, [click to continue...]
In an unusual legal settlement, a Colorado company has issued a video statement about its [click to continue...]
Washington State’s MMJ program will officially be rolled into its recreational market after Gov. Jay [click to continue...]
The two companies selected to grow and dispense medical cannabis in Minnesota have raised a [click to continue...]
Medical marijuana businesses in Vancouver, British Columbia, may soon be in the city’s crosshairs. The [click to continue...]
An increasing number of states are requiring cannabis companies to track every plant from seed [click to continue...]
The agency in charge of overseeing Oregon’s recreational marijuana industry is planning to add a [click to continue...]
Cannabis business owners harassed by federal prosecutors despite operating legally in their respective states would [click to continue...]
An attempt to legalize medical marijuana in Florida this year via the state Legislature is [click to continue...]
An Ohio organization pushing for medical marijuana legalization in the state says a stronger, more [click to continue...]
A dispensary run by the president of the California Cannabis Industry Association has come under [click to continue...]
Oregon officials in charge of regulating the state’s up-and-coming recreational marijuana industry expect roughly 2,000 [click to continue...]
One of the first commercial cannabis testing labs in the United States is seeking $5 [click to continue...]
The head of the Drug Enforcement Agency will resign next month, prompting cheers from cannabis [click to continue...]