Pages tagged "texas"

  • Democratic Party grassroots break with Obama on cannabis

    In a sign that the Obama Administration’s tough line on state medical cannabis laws is out of touch with his grassroots support, local Democratic Party organizations are formally endorsing medical marijuana laws - and even legalization.

    The North Carolina Democratic Party is formally in support of a compassionate use law in this key swing state. At the state’s June 16th convention, party officials adopted a resolution (PDF) titled, In Support of Legalizing Medical Marijuana in North Carolina. The state party also adopted a resolution in favor of industrial hemp growing.

    In California, the Democratic Central Committees of San Francisco and Alameda Counties, whose combined population is over two million, passed resolutions condemning federal government raids on local dispensaries. In addition to these statements from Democratic organizations in favor of medical cannabis, the Texas, Colorado, and Washington State Democratic Parties have adopted marijuana decriminalization or legalization resolutions.

    With the American electorate almost evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, President Obama needs the full support of Democratics to win reelection. Will grassroots opposition to the administration policy toward medical cannabis split the party? As national Democrats prepare to convene in September, we will watch for new developments.

    Jonathan Bair is ASA's Social Media Coordinator, as well as an officer of his local Democratic Club.
  • Another Signal to Washington - Opposing Safe Access is a Losing Strategy

    Voters in El Paso, TX sent a strong message to Washington yesterday by electing safe access supporter Beto O'Rourke as the Democratic nominee to the state's 16th District Congressional seat by a substantial 6-point margin - ousting an eight-term, anti-cannabis incumbent. This result should put both Congress and the White House on notice: supporting safe access = win; belittling cannabis support = defeat.

    O'Rourke's opponent, Silvestre Reyes, provided a clear contrast on safe access. Backed by both President Obama and former President Clinton, Reyes denounced the very idea of reform as something beneath the intellect of a child. Not only did Reyes grossly misjudge his constituency, he apparently insulted them (or more accurately, O'Rourke's message inspired them) such that voter turnout was nearly 50% higher than in 2010.

    Opposing Safe Access is Bad Politics

    While safe access may once have been a so-called "3rd rail" issue, that is no longer the case in many parts of the country, a trend is only going to continue to grow. Last week, Oregonians chose safe access supporter Ellen Rosenblum over former US Attorney and warrior against safe access, Dwight Holton. In 2010, ASA made news by leading the charge in the successful defeat of medical cannabis hater Steve Cooley with our "Not Cooley" campaign. In fact, President Obama himself ran as a supporter of safe access during the 2008 race, and was elected to the highest office in the land! Still a 3rd rail issue? Only if you have a time machine or a have no backbone.

    Supporting Safe Access is Wise Even in Key Battleground States

    Why is campaigning against safe access bad campaign strategy, particular for Obama in 2012? Take Ohio for example, quite possibly the most important battleground state in any recent presidential election. In 2009 (the most recent state poll available), medical cannabis polled very favorably, with 72% of registered voters supporting safe access. While seniors were least likely to favor safe access, nearly two-thirds (64%) were in favor of medical cannabis access.

    With poll numbers like that, and a growing track record of elections decided on the issue of medical marijuana, a politician would be foolish not to embrace a safe access platform.

    Mike Liszewski is ASA's Policy Director. If you are a resident of the El Paso area, be sure to follow Beto O'Rourke on Facebook and Twitter.