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March 28, 2015

Marijuana Legalization Moves From Cheech and Chong Jokes to Substantive Debate

Paul Waldman believes that marijuana legalization will become a “much bigger” political issue, “moving into the electoral arena around the country and forcing itself into national debates in a way it hasn’t been before, much as same-sex marriage did over the last few years.”

“Opponents of legalization realize that moralistic arguments against marijuana are going to be political losers, what with the fact that a majority of Americans now support legalization, plus the fact that most Americans have used it at some point in their lives.”

“But if you’re a legalization advocate, you actually shouldn’t want to have an initiative on the ballot this year. In state after state, advocates have decided to wait until 2016, when they know more of Democrats and young people will be going to the polls to vote for president, to put the question to the voters.”

“With half a dozen or more states deciding legalization at the polls in 2016, it will be impossible for any politician to ignore. And after years of fruitful hippie-bashing, Republicans will find themselves increasingly on the defensive.”

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