Voters in this presidential battleground state won't just decide whether to go red or blue this fall but also green -- as in marijuana.
Whether to legalize marijuana will be on the Colorado ballot in November. President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney have identical stances on pot legalization -- they oppose it. And neither is comfortable talking about it.
Yet Obama and Romney find themselves unwittingly ensnared in the legalization debate -- and both may want to take it more seriously if their race in Colorado is close. [FOXNews]
It's really rather remarkable that one of the hottest debates in American politics right now is something neither major party candidate even dares to discuss. As accustomed as we are to having these issues ignored by people in positions of political power, there really is a point at which you just can't ignore it anymore and I think that might be exactly where we're finding ourselves at this very moment.
After all, if the President himself can't explain our marijuana laws to us in a way that makes sense, what does that say about our marijuana laws? A lot of people are seriously pissed off about this, and the longer Obama fails to defend it, the worse he looks. There is no excuse for a leader's failure to discuss public policy with the public. There just isn't.
And now we have a major swing state in which a legalization measure is polarizing the electorate around this exact issue. Obama and Romney will approach that situation how? By standing there like fools and saying nothing at all? By saying it isn't important, even though the voters think it is? Neither look is particularly flattering.
Saying something even slightly sympathetic about fixing our marijuana laws in some way would probably pick up a not-insignificant number of votes for whoever dared to do it. However loud we must make ourselves to get that point across, it is apparently at least a little louder than this, but that's okay because we're getting steadily better at making noise.
Update: Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is yet another factor here. Unfortunately, Obama and Romney are so similarly disappointing on this issue that we can't even be sure who will be more affected by Johnson's candidacy.
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