Sen. McCain: "Maybe We Should Legalize" Marijuana

At a town hall meeting in Tucson Thursday, Sen. John McCain (R) signaled that he could be receptive to legalizing marijuana. His comments came just a week after the Obama administration said it would not interfere with taxed and regulated marijuana distribution in Colorado and Washington, whose voters legalized it last November.

"Maybe we should legalize," McCain said, according to a tweet from Arizona Star columnist Tim Steller. "We're certainly moving that way as far as marijuana is concerned. I respect the will of the people."

The will of the people in Arizona certainly appears to be in favor of marijuana law reform. A May Behavior Research Center poll found that 56% favored legalization "of small amounts for personal use," with only 37% opposed. While strong majorities of independents (72%) and Democrats (61%) favored decriminalization, so did a sizeable minority (41%) of McCain's fellow Republicans.

That same poll also showed majority support for gay marriage, leading the Behavior Research Center to comment on the vagaries of shifting public opinion.

"It is perhaps ironic that as support for same-sex marriage and defelonization of marijuana have long been albatrosses which conservative candidates could hang around the necks of some of their moderate or liberal challengers, it now appears that hard opposition to gay marriage and perhaps even to marijuana liberalization could become issues moderates and liberals can use against their conservative opponents," the polling firm said.

And plans are afoot to put the issue before voters next year. Activists organized as Safer Arizona in June filed a constitutional amendment initiative with the secretary of state's office. Signature-gathering is underway, and organizers must come up with 259,213 valid voter signatures by July 3, 2014 to qualify for the November 2014 ballot.

A smart politician who wants to get reelected listens to the will of the people. Whatever one thinks of John McCain's views on various issues, the senator is no dummy.

Tucson, AZ
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Didn't see this one coming

Just wow! Momentum is a powerful force
borden's picture

We didn't see this one coming

We didn't see this one coming either.

Man Bites Dog

Glad to see this, it's definitely noteworthy, but just remember this: It makes the headlines when a Republican comes out in support of legalization, because, in news terms, that's 'Man Bites Dog.'

You've probably heard the summation of what's news and what isn't: 'When it's 'Dog Bites Man,' that's not news. But when it's 'Man Bites Dog,' that's news.'

 

When a leftist says 'Legalize pot,' that's 'Dog Bites Man.' When a rightist says 'Legalize pot,' that's 'Man Bites Dog.'

 

Even when the rightist just says "Maybe we should."

 

To be clear, I applaud McCain for this. Sometimes, we get to see a little bit of that old McCain we remember.


 _________
 

The War On Drugs Is Worse Than Drugs

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