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Should Voters Trust 2020 Democrats’ Newfound Support Of Marijuana?

Now that there seems to be increased support on Capitol Hill for marijuana reform, namely among those Democratic lawmakers taking a shot at the presidency in 2020, some cannabis advocates are splitting hairs over which of them supported cannabis reforms in the past and those who have recently jumped on the bandwagon.

Senators Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota are part of this conversation. Both lawmakers were once opposed to progressive pot policies, but over the past few years have evolved.

But this shift in opinion could be an illusion, some advocates say. Although many states have legalized the leaf for recreational use and more presidential candidates are onboard with legalizing at the national level doesn’t mean it’s a done deal. If history has told us anything, it’s that the path can be reversed.

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“A lot of people who were around in the ‘70s told me we went through this before,” Douglas Hiatt, a marijuana reform activist and attorney, told the Washington Examiner. “We had a big wave of decriminalization. Lots of states you wouldn’t expect were decriminalizing and things were looking good … then, boom, the whole thing got turned around in four years and Reagan restarted the war on drugs. Everyone thought it was over.”

This attitude appears to be one of those deeply rooted in old-timey conspiracy theories and sheer paranoia. Even if it wanted to, it unlikely that the United States could launch back into another full-fledged drug war scenario. There has been too much truth spread about these “failed” tactics to ever get Congress behind it, and the citizens would surely revolt against any rekindling of these hammer fisted ways.

Even Joe Biden, who has supported some questionable drug-related policies in the past, has said that his support on those matters was “a big mistake.” Biden is another potential contender for the Democratic nomination for 2020.

Other marijuana advocates are not at all concerned about the anti-pot records of Harris and Klobuchar. What’s past is past, in their opinion. But most still agree that Biden is too much of a political dinosaur ever to win the support of the cannabis community.

RELATED: Why Intelligent Cannabis Reform Is Good Politics For 2020

“No way, absolutely not, I would not support Biden,” said Adam Eidinger, a pot advocate who was instrumental in legalizing in the District of Columbia. “Until he sits down with me and begs for my support, I wouldn’t support him. I don’t trust him at all — he’s someone who could have done something in the vice president’s office, and they wouldn’t touch it.”

There are plenty of Democratic presidential candidates that have been consistently in the cannabis corner. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, have all stood in support of ending prohibition. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, too, has been a vocal supporter for marijuana legalization.

There is even speculation that President Trump will up the ante by embracing federal legalization to win another term. Democrats have said for months that they expect Trump will use this tactic if Congress doesn’t use 2019 to pass far-reaching pot reforms.



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