Republican, Democrat, Independent, Green Party, Libertarian. The type of party you belong to usually influences how you vote on the issues. But does your party’s vote reflect how you feel?
The Democratic Party and Marijuana
According to Reference.com: “The Democratic Party operates according to a philosophy that emphasizes positive rights and the notion that people are entitled to certain things and that government is obliged to create the conditions in which people can achieve these things. Thus, Democrats tend to favor the expansion of government and its involvement in most areas of human activity.”
So, let’s break that down. People are entitled to medical care. This is America, we should all be entitled to the best medical care possible. If the use of cannabis can cure or relieve symptoms from ailments ranging from cancer to glaucoma to PTSD to Multiple Sclerosis is that not something American people have the right to have?
The Democratic party wants to create the conditions for its citizens to achieve wellness. It stands to reason that the legalization of medical marijuana would achieve this. And yet the Federal government continues its opposition to the plant.
In June of last year, Politico claimed that the majority of voters are in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical use and recreational use. Almost every voter is favor of those suffering from PTSD being granted the right to use the drug. (side note: PTSD does not just affect soldiers and legislation should not be worded as such).
The Republican Party and Marijuana
Politico’s polls also showed that the majority of Democrats are for the legalization and the majority of Republicans are not. People tend to think that makes sense, but does it?
Republican beliefs begin with these two:
“1.A Belief in Smaller Government: To preserve the sanctity of liberty of the individual, it is our belief that government must necessarily be limited. Otherwise, the paternalism of the few would restrict the freedom of the many to decide what is best for themselves.”
“2.Support of the Federalist System of Government: To bring power closer to the people, it is imperative we restrict the growth of a centralized federal government … States ought to have the power to determine which programs and measures would be most appropriate and fitting for them.”
Here, we can see that the Republican party’s beliefs do not line up with how the party votes on the marijuana issue. If the first belief was true, they would allow individuals to choose for themselves. The majority of voters are in favor of legalizing marijuana, but the Republican party does not wish to allow this.
Many states have legalized marijuana in some form. Even more have decriminalized it. (second side note: why decriminalize? Legalize!) This brings us to issue two.
Why is the Republican party not allowing the states to “determine which measures are most appropriate and fitting for them?” In the words of a cold Disney Princess, “Let it go!” Most states make the decision and there is no federal recourse, but the threat is always there.
Forward-Thinking on Marijuana from the Green Party
Now, you may not agree with the Green party on many issues. On second thoughts, it seems fair to say that you may not know anything about the Green party. When it comes to the legalization of marijuana, however, they have the right idea.
Jill Stein, activist, physician, and leader of the Green Party, was quoted as saying, “Marijuana is far less of a threat to personal and public health than alcohol and nicotine.” Whatever party best represents your views, it’s worth considering those words very carefully. Every party should recognize the essential truth of Ms. Stein’s words.
If we take a brief trip down memory lane, say, to Prohibition, we’ll recall that people went crazy. There was mayhem until alcohol was legalized again. Can you imagine what it might be like if nicotine was criminalized?
For years, however, marijuana users have been discriminated against. Slowly and steadily the legalization of marijuana is becoming a reality.
Your views on marijuana may or may not line up with your party’s views. Some would say that this doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you vote on the issue whenever you have an opportunity. If you are for the legalization of marijuana, as more and more people in the US are, then you have the chance to vote for individuals who are in favor of legalizing marijuana.
Remember the words of Jill Stein and encourage debate and voting without histrionics. The states that have already legalized marijuana must be a good example to the rest of the US. Eventually, the rest of the country will get to legalization too.