With five months to go until the election, President Obama and Republican opponent Mitt Romney are virtually tied in the latest polls.
As Stephen Colbert observed on Thursday night, it’s a situation very similar to the 2004 election. That year, anti-gay-marriage initiatives on the ballot in 11 states helped drive conservative turnout and clinch victory for George W. Bush.
This time around, Democrats are optimistic that marijuana-legalization initiatives in states such as Colorado, Michigan and Ohio will motivate young voters and tip the election in Obama’s favor.
"Marijuana support is at a record high, just like its supporters," Colbert joked. "This is the ultimate grassroots campaign."
So could the stoners of America decide the 2012 election? It’s an amusing idea, but Colbert was not entirely convinced. "We all know pot smokers are highly motivated, organized and punctual," he said facetiously. "There is nothing they would love more than getting off the couch, putting on pants, and going to gyms packed with judgmental old people."
Romney’s only hope come Nov. 6, according to Colbert: a "Planet Earth" marathon on the Discovery Channel.
Mitt Romney doesn’t like marijuana or medical marijuana, and he doesn’t want to hear your insignificant questions about the subject, either. At least, that’s what he told CBS4’s Shaun Boyd in an interview yesterday.
As you can see in the video below (starting at around 33 seconds), the reporter asks the presidential candidate a viewer’s question about medical marijuana after discussing gay marriage, a hot-button issue for Romney.
Medical cannabis is a big issue here and in sixteen other states, but Romney doesn’t seem to think so. Nor did he like the question: He chastises the reporter like a father lecturing a mouthy high schooler for asking him about something he clearly finds trivial.
"Aren’t there issues of significance that you’d like to talk about?" Romney asks. "The economy, the economy, the economy. The growth of jobs. The need to put people back to work. The challenges of Iran. We’ve got enormous issues that we face, but you want talk about — go ahead — you want to talk about marijuana?"
Then he dodges the issue of state-legal medical marijuana by equating it and it’s users with illegal drugs: "I think marijuana should not be legal in this country. I believe it is a gateway drug to other drug violations. The use of illegal drugs in this country is leading to terrible consequences in places like Mexico — and actually in our country."
Then the reporter drops the issue, moving on to Romney’s official talking points about the economy.
Never mind the fact that medical marijuana is an economic issue in this state, a legal industry that brings in millions of dollars in tax revenue and also creates hundreds of jobs. Apparently an economic reality in 34 percent of the states in this country isn’t big enough for Romney to consider. CONTINUE READING….
More from our marijuana archives: "THC driving bill killed in plot that snuffed out civil unions measure"; "Stoner MacGyver marijuana review: High Times cannabis cookbook"