Marijuana Legalization: Obama’s Key to the Youth Vote

 
 

Marijuana Legalization: Obama’s Key to the Youth Vote

President Obama has proven over his presidency to be very smart; he knows who his base is and he knows what they want and most importantly, he knows how to give it to them.

He has come out for Gay Marriage and by doing so not only secured the gay vote, which he already had, but he also motivated gay people. Gays will be very motivated in November for the first president who has openly endorsed same-sex marriage.  We’re very motivated when we understand the potential for gay marriage to become legal federally with an Obama second term.

Then most recently, he announced that his administration would no longer deport young Hispanics under the age of thirty who came here with their parents when they were too young to make their own decisions. Hispanics know now that he will also do what he can in a second term to pass the American Dream Act that he was unable to in his first term, thanks to Republicans in Congress who has blocked that bill from becoming law.

In 2008 Barack Obama won the presidential election thanks to a large turnout of the youth vote.  Even though he still overwhelmingly holds the vote of the young in this country, the young aren’t as motivated as they were in 2008.

Young people in large numbers support the legalization of marijuana. In fact, the possibility of the legalization of pot in the near future has a great deal of potential to motivate young voters to get out and vote this November.

I have no idea if Obama has any plans to make a campaign promise when it comes to marijuana legalization but I do think that he should strongly consider it. If he succeeds, once he’s won a second term, it will depend a great deal on the makeup of the new congress he’s going to have to work with to get a marijuana legalization bill passed.

When it comes to the question if marijuana should be legalized, or at least decriminalized, personally I think the time has come.  Currently, 17 states and DC have medical marijuana laws. That number will surely grow over time.

One of the myths about marijuana – about it leading to stronger more dangerous drugs – has never proven to be true. And, with an economy struggling to recover, the complete legalization of marijuana – not just decriminalization – would lead to a boondoggle of new, very much needed tax dollars for municipalities, states and the federal government.

Not only could the legalization of marijuana bring in new tax dollars but it would also save billions of dollars for all levels of government, as no longer would the cost of arrest, prosecution and incarceration of marijuana possession offenders be costing government entities billions of dollars annually, as it does now.

I’m not advocating the legalization of all drugs, as there are drugs which are highly addictive and deadly. Marijuana is safer than alcohol which is legal. In fact, the government should handle marijuana much like they do alcohol when it comes to taxation and law enforcement.

There’s much talk that Obama may have an October Surprise up his sleeve and that surprise could be him coming out in favor of the legalization of marijuana. He would have a good reason to with the possibility of the tax dollars it could bring in to help local, state and the federal government with their fiscal difficulties.

I don’t know if Obama will take that plunge and commit himself to the very liberal standing of support for the legalization of marijuana but he seriously does need young adults to pour out to the polls this November and the single problem holding back the youth is motivation.

Obama also becomes a much more viable choice for Libertarians who generally support the legalization of marijuana. Mitt Romney is not a great choice for Libertarians, now with their own candidate, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex) off the ballot.

I realize that there’s some political risk involved with Obama supporting marijuana legalization as some independents voters who otherwise might support the president, may feel he’s just too liberal. But like his coming out for gay marriage, the political reward could well be worth the risk of alienation of a few voters.

Besides, Republicans already call him too liberal when in fact, many of his policies, especially foreign policies, have been anything but liberal. He might as well live up to some of the GOP’s accusations, especially if it will help him secure yet another four years in the White House.

I do believe that there is nothing that could stir up and send young voters out to the polls in huge numbers more than the prospect of legalizing pot. Obama should consider it well.

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