Republicans on Legalization: Can We Talk About Something Else?
The Republican presidential candidates debated each other on Wednesday in Colorado, the first state to have legal recreational cannabis sales and the state most associated with the legalization movement. Because many states will consider join legalizing cannabis for adults just like the Centennial State on election day, lots of people were interested to see what sort of cannabis discussions came up among 15 of the 19 candidates competing to be the next U.S. president.
Unfortunately, there was almost none.
At the primetime debate, there was exactly one question on cannabis. It was asked by moderator Carl Quintanilla and went to Ohio Governor John Kasich. Here is that exchange in its entirety:
QUINTANILLA: Governor Kasich, let’s talk about marijuana. We’re broadcasting from Colorado which has seen $150 million in new revenue for the state since legalizing last year. Governor Hickenlooper is not a big fan of legalization, but he’s said the people who used to be smoking it are still smoking it, they’re just now paying taxes. Given the budget pressures in Ohio, and other states, is this a revenue stream you’d like to have?
KASICH: Well, first of all, we’re running a $2 billion dollar surplus, we’re not having a revenue problem right now. And, sending mixed signals to kids about drugs is a disaster. Drugs is one of the greatest scourge in this country, and I spent five years of my administration working with my team to do a whole sort of things to try to reign in the problem of overdoses, and it goes on and on. We could do a whole show on that.
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