Post: Marijuana on the Governor’s Ballot; Legalize it?

Polls have indicated that two-thirds of the Americans support legalization of marijuana. In a bind to garner more votes more and more politicians have joined the race. More than 21 gubernatorial nominees this year have embraced the legalization of marijuana, Marijuana Movement indicates. This is humongous as compared to the previous years’ election cycle. Some of the candidates support this law reform more than others. Meanwhile, some of the candidates have decided to go slow on the issue.


Besides, gubernatorial candidates who seek the end of cannabis prohibition, a significant number of them support medical marijuana. Two sitting Republican governors have already signed Cannabis legalization bill into a law. That is a kind gesture that Democrats are more likely to support the reform than would the Republicans. Here is a list of the gubernatorial candidates who have cleared the air on marijuana and who have made marijuana legalization a campaign tool. However, this analysis does not comprehensively examine each contender in the 39 gubernatorial races in the U.S states.


Gubernatorial Aspirants who support Marijuana Legalization:


Gavin Newsom (D) – California

Newsom was the first mainstream Democrats Governor to embraces Marijuana legalization in 2012, and he was quoted by the New York Times saying that the prohibition law didn’t make sense anymore. In 2016, Gavin Newsom chaired the expert commission which posted recommendations for policymakers to consider before legalization. He has since then, been in the front line of this campaign. In many occasions, he has engaged Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s rescission and vowed to fight for legalization policy to the end. Gavin Newsom has in umpteen times been on the social media to campaign for Marijuana Legalization.


Jared Polis (D) – Colorado

Polis since 2009, has been on the lead sponsoring dozens of bills related to the legalization of cannabis in Capitol Hill. Amendments such as fair taxation, access to medical cannabis and banking access are good examples of the bills sponsored. It is worth noting that Jared Polis did not publicly campaign for Marijuana legalization in 2011 prior its passage in 2012, but since then he has wholeheartedly joined the campaign. He was excited in 2012, upon the enactment of the bill, he posted on social media saying that drug war had failed and that it was time to be reasonable. He has toured several Marijuana businesses in Colorado to congratulate the researchers.


Ralph Torres (R) – Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

In September 2018, Torres, a sitting governor signed into a law, marijuana legalization bill. With the governor’s signature, adults over 21 years old can now legally possess Marijuana. Regulators shall issue licenses to marijuana testing facilities, retailers and producers. Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands emerged the first state to launch commercial Marijuana legalization by the act of Lawmakers. The state is also the first to move from having cannabis illegal to allow recreational use without medical cannabis program.


Ned Lamont (D) – Connecticut

Lamont, a Previous U.S Senate Candidate, says that time to responsibly legalize marijuana has come. He also added that marijuana was not a gateway drug as compared to Opioids. He promised to use tax revenues to fund treatment programs.


Andrew Gillum (D) – Florida

Andrew said that he was proud to be the first candidate to support Marijuana legalization. He proposed to use the tax revenue acquired from the legalization of marijuana to raise the salary of the teachers. He said during his campaign that after legalization, cannabis would be taxed and the money used to develop schools in Florida.


Stacey Abrams (D) – Georgia

Stacey Abrams, who is the former majority leader, State House of Representative, commended people for showing pragmatic approach to Marijuana legalization. She said that she took part in the campaign. Stacey supports Marijuana decriminalization and recreation. She promised to build substance abuse centers if elected governor in Georgia.


Paulette Jordan (D) – Idaho

Jordan, a tribal council member, and a former state legislator has put more emphasis on medical cannabis and decriminalization during her campaign for Marijuana legalization. She said that there was nothing wrong with Legalization of cannabis during her democratic debate. She noted that several neighboring states had benefited from legalization and that Idaho should move that direction. In a Facebook live interview, Paulette said that many educational centers had benefited from legalization.


J.B Pritzker (D) – Illinois

Pritzker, a billionaire capitalist, has been firm on Marijuana legalization during the primary gubernatorial campaign he vowed to front the issue amidst his election battle with Governor Bruce Rauner. He asked his supporters to allow legalization and regulate Marijuana. In the beginning of this year (2018) he held a press conference to criticize anti-marijuana signals uttered by Trump administration. He promised to modernize drug laws.


Janet Mills (d) – Maine

Mills, the current state attorney general, said with proper implementation, Marijuana legalization will create thousands of jobs and grow the economy of Maine. Janet Mills has asked the Congress to consider allowing banks licensed marijuana businesses without penalty to end cash-based showed economy which ails most of the states.


Ben Jealous (D) – Maryland

Ben Jealous, the former NAACP says that he was first convinced by comedian Dave Chappelle to support Marijuana legalization. Jealous says if elected he would use tax revenue acquired from cannabis to fund pre-kindergarten. He said with Marijuana legalization children will have a golden educational opportunity to better their lives.


Tim Walz (D) – Minnesota

Tim Walz, the sitting congressman, wants to replace the current purportedly failed state with one that will be able to create jobs, build opportunities and let adults be adults when it comes to their personal choice and freedom. Tim strongly criticized AG Jeff Sessions for failing to accept the fact that the Americans have legalized cannabis.


Kate Brown (D) -Oregon

The incumbent governor has sharply criticized the federal government for trying to interfere with the Legalization of Marijuana as approved in her state in 2014. She says that the legalization has boosted the growth of the state’s economy. She said that the state had implemented policies which keeps marijuana off the black market to keep children safe. She said that when the reports that AG wanted to roll back federal Marijuana policy reached her desk.


Phil Scott (R) – Vermont

Although Phil Scott isn’t an enthusiastic Marijuana Policy Crusader, at the beginning of this year, he signed Legalization bill into a law. The law allows Vermonters to possess and use cannabis legally. Phil is opposed to commercial legalization of marijuana. He is unlike the other governors in the U.S who have legalized cannabis through the ballot measures.


Gretchen Whitmer (D) – Michigan

Gretchen, the former lawmaker, says she will vote for the legalization of Cannabis in Michigan. She also claims that she supported the medical Cannabis measures in 2008 so that it could be used as an exit drug away from Opioids. Whitmer says that once elected governor; she shall use tax revenue from the Cannabis legalization to waive health bills to boost health care.


Mike Parson – Missouri

Mike in an interview, he said he does not support legalization of marijuana for recreational purpose but said he supports medical cannabis. In Missouri, there is a veteran group that is pushing for the legalization of medical Marijuana. Parson said that he doesn’t have much problem with it. He says one can use the tax revenue obtained from the marijuana Legalization to support medical research. Parson says he is will to give the veterans and the government a chance to Legalize marijuana through the ballot.


Gary Herbert – Utah

Gov. Herbert is working closely with key legislators to come up with a Medical Marijuana bill. They intend to pass the bill irrespective of how the Tuesday’s vote turned out. Libertas Institute, a non-profit organization, has equally endorsed Utah’s medical Cannabis Proposition II. Libertas has been involved in Medical Marijuana reform.


It is now crystal clear that next year America will have more governors campaigning for legalization. The legislator will invest more time in drafting and voting on Legalization of Marijuana bills to send them to governors’ desks.


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