Today's Washington Post has an article talking about 2016 Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush's opposition to Florida's upcoming Medical Marijuana legalization vote:
The legalization of medical marijuana has broad support from the American public. But Republican presidential contenders aren't so high on the idea.Polls show fewer than 43% of Floridians oppose Marijuana legalization, but that isn't stopping Jeb and the Chamber of Commerce types from standing up against overwhelming public sentiment supporting marijuana legalization:
Former governor Jeb Bush just came out against amending the Florida constitution to legalize medical marijuana. In a Thursday statement, the Republican said the move could reduce the number of tourists and businesses that come to the state.
“Florida leaders and citizens have worked for years to make the Sunshine State a world-class location to start or run a business, a family-friendly destination for tourism and a desirable place to raise a family or retire,” Bush said. “Allowing large-scale, marijuana operations to take root across Florida, under the guise of using it for medicinal purposes, runs counter to all of these efforts."
You'd expect presidential candidates to be on board with an idea that's literally more popular than apple pie. So why isn't the crop of potential GOP White House hopefuls -- including Bush -- on the same page as the rest of the public (and really, the rest of their party)?What does this mean for the Democratic Party's 2016 potential candidates?
One answer is that candidates can be pretty slow to shift their position on social issues. Another is, well: the money. Medical marijuana has encountered opposition from the business community, which is a very influential donor pool for Republican candidates. The Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida and the Florida Trucking Association are each, along with Bush, part of the coalition opposing Amendment 2.
Do they support medical and recreational cannabis, or do they fall in with reactionaries like Jeb Bush and Chris Christie in opposition to legal weed?