Pot Politics: How Democrats Politicize the Recreational Marijuana Issue to Win Midterm Elections

One of the reasons the Democrats lost the November 2016 election was low voter turnout.  As the 2018 midterms approach, Democrats have politicized the recreational marijuana issue as a means of increasing voter turnout, knowing that many in their voter base want the recreational use of marijuana to be legalized.  They put the recreational marijuana issue to a vote in the 2016 California election. 

The recreational marijuana use law in California went into effect on January 1, 2018 – just by coincidence, a midterm election year.  And just as the Democrats had hoped, Jeff Sessions, the attorney general of the United States, announced that he has reversed the Obama-era Holder-Lynch policy, called the Cole Memorandum, which generally stated that the federal government will not enforce parts of the Controlled Substances Act.  Sessions has asked U.S. attorneys to begin prosecution of recreational marijuana use.

Democrat hopes that Jeff Sessions would take the bait were realized.  They can use the public attention over the Sessions war on the legalization of marijuana in California as an issue to exploit in the fall to 1) bring out voters of all ages and 2) simultaneously portray Jeff Sessions and the Republican Party as the bad guys who are all against recreational marijuana use and should be voted out of office.

That this was a planned strategy can be seen by the media hype being given to anti-Sessions politicians in marijuana-friendly states.  For example, Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington, has come out against the Sessions announcement, promising to fight Sessions.  This portrays the governor as someone with admirable qualities – ready to "resist," in the language of the DNC, the efforts of stodgy, stiff, fun-hating conservatives to outlaw their access to marijuana.  And if the resistance to the Sessions mandate spills over and attaches to President Trump, all the better.  All of these Democrat politicians are merely actors in the politics of pot charade.

That this is part of a multi-year plan can be easily seen when Obama's actions are reviewed.  President Obama's memo to the U.S. attorneys was not a formal executive order, but a guideline not to enforce the federal ban on marijuana sales in all states.  (The president does not have any legal authority to pick and choose which federal laws will, and will not, be enforced, but he can prioritize.)

If the Democrats truly wanted to help pot-smokers they could have easily, in 2009 or 2010, when they controlled the entire Congress and had president Obama on their side, removed recreational marijuana from the list of controlled substances.  But they didn't.  And why they didn't should be a lesson in the politics of pot for those who support recreational marijuana use.

Barack Obama stated in his book Dreams from My Father that he tried marijuana in his younger years.  So pro-pot voters thought that in Obama, they had a true believer: someone who would be their representative in the White House, who would not fight the legalization of marijuana's recreational use. 

But Obama turned out to be a closet opponent of the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana – he followed his party's carefully designed strategy of not federally legalizing marijuana nationwide.  This left the state-by-state battles open, to be used by the DNC to mobilize pot-friendly voters in upcoming elections.  And Democrats think that if voters will turn out for state elections, they will not ignore the federal offices on the ballot.

Democrats have framed recreational marijuana legalization as a state issue – that when states vote to legalize recreational use, that legalization is sufficient.  But it's not.  All states must obey federal controlled substances laws.  Democrats want to portray Sessions and Trump as the bad guys who are taking rights away from people who live in states that have pseudo-legalized recreational marijuana use.  In reality, states have no authority to defy federal laws, and Democrats know it.

For many election cycles, political observers have pointed out that Democrats always put the legalization of pot on the ballot in order to boost voter turnout.  But what is different is that now the spotlight is on Sessions and the federal law that bans recreational marijuana use.

In the past twenty years, of the two political parties, only Democrats had the congressional power needed to decriminalize pot at the federal level.  One can argue that they are solely responsible for the fact that it is still a federal crime to possess marijuana.  But they have cleverly blamed the federal criminalization of marijuana use on Sessions and Trump.  It's part of their perpetual strategy to increase President Trump's negatives.

Marijuana-supporters should remember this: there would be no battle over the legalization of pot if Democrats didn't enable one.  So the Democratic Party puts its own political power over the legalization of recreational marijuana.  Knowledge of this scam should turn marijuana-smokers against Democrats.

Pro-legalization voters are pawns in the national DNC strategy to increase voter turnout.  Their real strategy is to manipulate their voters with promises; the DNC chooses politics over pot.  The last thing they want to do is permanently legalize recreational marijuana use, at the federal level, in all fifty states. 

One of the reasons the Democrats lost the November 2016 election was low voter turnout.  As the 2018 midterms approach, Democrats have politicized the recreational marijuana issue as a means of increasing voter turnout, knowing that many in their voter base want the recreational use of marijuana to be legalized.  They put the recreational marijuana issue to a vote in the 2016 California election. 

The recreational marijuana use law in California went into effect on January 1, 2018 – just by coincidence, a midterm election year.  And just as the Democrats had hoped, Jeff Sessions, the attorney general of the United States, announced that he has reversed the Obama-era Holder-Lynch policy, called the Cole Memorandum, which generally stated that the federal government will not enforce parts of the Controlled Substances Act.  Sessions has asked U.S. attorneys to begin prosecution of recreational marijuana use.

Democrat hopes that Jeff Sessions would take the bait were realized.  They can use the public attention over the Sessions war on the legalization of marijuana in California as an issue to exploit in the fall to 1) bring out voters of all ages and 2) simultaneously portray Jeff Sessions and the Republican Party as the bad guys who are all against recreational marijuana use and should be voted out of office.

That this was a planned strategy can be seen by the media hype being given to anti-Sessions politicians in marijuana-friendly states.  For example, Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington, has come out against the Sessions announcement, promising to fight Sessions.  This portrays the governor as someone with admirable qualities – ready to "resist," in the language of the DNC, the efforts of stodgy, stiff, fun-hating conservatives to outlaw their access to marijuana.  And if the resistance to the Sessions mandate spills over and attaches to President Trump, all the better.  All of these Democrat politicians are merely actors in the politics of pot charade.

That this is part of a multi-year plan can be easily seen when Obama's actions are reviewed.  President Obama's memo to the U.S. attorneys was not a formal executive order, but a guideline not to enforce the federal ban on marijuana sales in all states.  (The president does not have any legal authority to pick and choose which federal laws will, and will not, be enforced, but he can prioritize.)

If the Democrats truly wanted to help pot-smokers they could have easily, in 2009 or 2010, when they controlled the entire Congress and had president Obama on their side, removed recreational marijuana from the list of controlled substances.  But they didn't.  And why they didn't should be a lesson in the politics of pot for those who support recreational marijuana use.

Barack Obama stated in his book Dreams from My Father that he tried marijuana in his younger years.  So pro-pot voters thought that in Obama, they had a true believer: someone who would be their representative in the White House, who would not fight the legalization of marijuana's recreational use. 

But Obama turned out to be a closet opponent of the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana – he followed his party's carefully designed strategy of not federally legalizing marijuana nationwide.  This left the state-by-state battles open, to be used by the DNC to mobilize pot-friendly voters in upcoming elections.  And Democrats think that if voters will turn out for state elections, they will not ignore the federal offices on the ballot.

Democrats have framed recreational marijuana legalization as a state issue – that when states vote to legalize recreational use, that legalization is sufficient.  But it's not.  All states must obey federal controlled substances laws.  Democrats want to portray Sessions and Trump as the bad guys who are taking rights away from people who live in states that have pseudo-legalized recreational marijuana use.  In reality, states have no authority to defy federal laws, and Democrats know it.

For many election cycles, political observers have pointed out that Democrats always put the legalization of pot on the ballot in order to boost voter turnout.  But what is different is that now the spotlight is on Sessions and the federal law that bans recreational marijuana use.

In the past twenty years, of the two political parties, only Democrats had the congressional power needed to decriminalize pot at the federal level.  One can argue that they are solely responsible for the fact that it is still a federal crime to possess marijuana.  But they have cleverly blamed the federal criminalization of marijuana use on Sessions and Trump.  It's part of their perpetual strategy to increase President Trump's negatives.

Marijuana-supporters should remember this: there would be no battle over the legalization of pot if Democrats didn't enable one.  So the Democratic Party puts its own political power over the legalization of recreational marijuana.  Knowledge of this scam should turn marijuana-smokers against Democrats.

Pro-legalization voters are pawns in the national DNC strategy to increase voter turnout.  Their real strategy is to manipulate their voters with promises; the DNC chooses politics over pot.  The last thing they want to do is permanently legalize recreational marijuana use, at the federal level, in all fifty states.