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Could Romney Beat Obama by Changing His Stance on Marijuana?
When you've been arguing as long as I have that politicians are missing an opportunity by ignoring supporters of marijuana reform, it's fun to see the Washington Post join the conversation.

Here’s a radical proposal for Mitt Romney: If he wants to pick up the much-coveted support of Ron Paul’s energized and organized “army,” the best way to their hearts might be through marijuana.

Pot legalizers note that he could couch his support in terms of a 10th amendment argument — essentially saying it should simply be up to states to decide for themselves. That would allow him to maintain his own opposition to legalization while also giving a shout-out to social conservatives, who love a good nod to state’s rights. [Washington Post]

At first glance this strikes me as a bit too ingenious to actually happen in real life. But nothing is impossible when it comes to the possibility of Mitt Romney changing his position on controversial issues in the hopes of getting himself elected.

I don't see any reason that the instinctive anti-pot posturing we've come to expect from him couldn't get tweaked just enough to open an interesting new angle for the Romney campaign. The real challenge would be conveying the actual facts of the matter to Romney's team in such a way that they recognize the opportunity that exists and the limited scope of the measures required to take advantage of the situation.

Unfortunately, I doubt anyone they'd listen to is actually trying to sell them this storyline, but if someone did, they might begin by introducing the following:

A. Support for medical marijuana is around 80% nationally.

B. Support for marijuana legalization is around 50% nationally.

C. Obama's pledge to respect state medical marijuana laws generated positive media attention and widespread public support.

D. Obama's violation of that pledge drew negative media attention and widespread public disapproval.

E. Obama's recent assault against medical marijuana is very unpopular in Colorado, a key swing state.

F. Romney has no other plausible plan for appealing to Ron Paul's vigorous support base.

A simple nod to state's rights on this issue would ignite a hard-to-reach constituency, while creating virtually zero political risk. Romney would basically be adopting the same medical marijuana position that Obama used successfully in '08. It's a perfect flanking maneuver that would more or less render the candidates indistinguishable on marijuana policy, a comparison that primarily hurts Obama because his supporters expect him to be better.

Would anyone from the right or the left criticize the Romney campaign for doing this? Would any republicans get upset about Romney's state's rights position on medical marijuana and opt instead to support Obama and his incoherent, contradictory position that nobody even understands? No, they wouldn't. It's probably only a slight exaggeration to say that Romney would literally lose zero votes by doing this, while picking up a potential windfall of libertarian-leaning republicans just waiting for Romney to give them a reason to get on board.

Unfortunately, at present, the chances of something like this working are much higher than the chances of it actually happening, because politicians and their handlers remain convinced that no one in America supports any change in our marijuana policy, despite the abundance of very clear evidence to the contrary.

(This article was published by's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

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Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Excellent piece, Scott. Let's

Excellent piece, Scott. Let's hope someone with someone important's ear reads this, or simply comes to these basic conclusions independently.

Follow the money trail.  His

Follow the money trail.  His big supporters are themselves (or are in league with) big pharmaceutical companies.  That is why he keeps that position, not because of the people.  Sad, since it's supposed to be a government for the people, not for exploitative business practices and corrupt corporate profits and monopolies.  Ron Paul has a lot more than this issue going for him for people in the center or to the left on libertarian social issues.  I don't think any of the Republican's have a chance without some new scandal which seems highly unlikely.


I wish it were as easy as him listening to Americans.  But then again, I'm a progressive Democrat.

The states' rights position

The states' rights position was supported by both Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman, and it doesn't seem that they lost much support on the right because of that.  

Mormons are against drugs

This hypothetical question points out how desperate we are for change. Mitt Romney has already said publicly that he would crack down on medical cannabis and escalate the war on drugs. If that isn't enough, he has also proposed drug testing for any government aid.

This election is going to be judgment day for marijuana or drug law reform  and I recommend anyone involved in this movement get educated and get active in our political system. . 


Exactly.  Romney has made his stance very clear on drugs and cannabis, and he is definitely NOT for the right of adults to be able to choose what substances they put into their bodies.  Romney would be a terrible choice for those interested in reform of the drug laws.

2012 election

I know Romney is trying hard to get elected , but it`s all for naught . Ron Paul voters will not vote for any other Republican on the ticket . To do so would exhibit blatant hypocrisy . Paul will either win the popular vote in the general election amongst the repubs. or come in a close second to Romney . A broken up repub vote will hand Obama the election . Paul is in it to win it . He will not cast his support behind anyone else . The first black President in U.S.A. history can not come out of the gate in support of " legalization ". Imagine the gossip . Obama`s second term will allow him room to flip-flop on this issue .

Mitt Romney Must Embrace Personal Choice and Privacy

One-third of all Americans, or roughly 100-million people, have used marijuana.  Marijuana is a big part of the elephant in the room.  Whether Romney or Obama wins the White House, it’s still going to be a big angry bull elephant after the election.

Future presidents will make it much easier for themselves if they publicly acknowledge the criticality of the threat prohibition poses to public safety and social well-being.  This is isn’t something that can wait for political expediency or the right moment.  The Bad Ship Prohibition is sinking, and anyone tied to it is going down with it. 

Every single hour the tally of drug war victims mounts.  More and more persecuted people are driven to the only options left open to them: retaliation and making their tormenters pay politically and socially for their crimes against humanity, with interest added, of course.

Mitt Romney and every other prohibitionist politician can avoid a most certain fate if they change their tune about drug reform today.  Other politicians have done it, and it’s worked to their political advantage every time.  In fact, if Pat Robertson can do it, any politician or religious figure can.


Devil's promise

Would you even believe for a second that Romney would follow through on such a promise?

He might flip for some votes but he'll flop right back after elected.

At the best, it would be such a low priority that it would never get done.

Romney will not win the presidency in any case.  Obama will take it if it's a battle between them.

Romney is a Right Wing Defender of His In-Group

And he is duplicitous, as Pendragonrise notes below.  The tongue-in-cheek question Scott infers with his article is ‘would Mitt Romney be duplicitous enough to pay lip service to some type of drug law reform to get votes?’  Such a thing would be good for drug law reform from a PR standpoint.  I think the answer is no. 

As an extremist right winger, Romney cares about his particular in-group while caring much less about the general welfare of everyone else, the evil out-groups in this case.  He’s really only worried that Mormon children, or maybe the kids of wealthy families like his own, might come into contact with drugs.  This has generally been the case for the right winger.  Drug use itself was never the big deal it is now until drugs were seen as moving out of minority neighborhoods and into white neighborhoods during the 60s and 70s.  For a paternalist like Romney, it’s okay that other people’s kids go to jail, or even die in botched drug raids, if that’s what it takes to keep drugs away from Mormons, or in this case from Romney’s immediate family members and chosen in-groups.

Drug use violates Mormon canon law.  Rules about drug use are laid out in the multi-volume Encyclopedia of Mormonism.  Specifically, on page 429, it is noted:

In the October 1974 General Conference, President Spencer W. Kimball stated, “We hope our people will eliminate from their lives all kinds of drugs so far as possible…Certainly numerous young people have been damaged or destroyed by the use of marijuana and other deadly drugs.  We deplore such. (Ensign 4 [Nov. 1974]:6).”

Romney’s Mormon base influences and in some cases dominates the legislatures and judiciaries of five under-populated western states, ones that include Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming and Arizona.  Romney will do nothing that is contrary to his religion, nor will he act to politically alienate his base, a base whose Mormon members are noted for their hatred of drug users.

My thoughts exactly

Obama & Bush have made it very clear, you don't have to mean what you say, or do what you promise. If Obama wins, we might as well kiss what is left of our liberty good-bye. I know he is a symbol of victory to the black community but a vote just because of skin color, is a predigest vote, I pray people can look past the color of his skin and see the truth. He is not a victory for anyone, especially not this country, or what is left of it. FYI, anyone else aware Arnold Schwarzenegger is the son of SS? We need to vote outside of this bloodline, these past votes even Obama, they all are related. Vote outside of skull & bones & this bloodline.

Feed the Duplicity

Don't give slime-ball Romney any more ideas of how he can dupe the masses. He is not interested in them, but only in his Wall Street cronies.

My take is this. Assuming

My take is this. Assuming Romney does change his position on medical marijuana, and is elected president, he'll do exactly what Obama did after becoming president, raid medical marijuana clinics and use the IRS to harass them.

Romney, Obama and Johnson

Romney will win the nomination, and he will continue to be an aggressive Prohibitionist.  If reelected, Obama too will probably continue to be a Prohibitionist.  His record shows that he has made his political calculation; any hope for a post-election, second-term switch is probably just wishful thinking.  

The best hope at the Presidential level for a rational drug policy is going to be Gary Johnson, the Libertarian, who may be the most credible third-party candidate we have ever had.  

Many people like the Republicans' economic policies (lower taxes and less government spending, less overregulation, more economic freedom), but they are revolted by the Republicans' social policies  (anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-gay, Prohibitionist, authoritarian).  Many people like the Democrats' more liberal and tolerant social policies, but fear that the Democrats will lead us down the path to economic ruin by turning us into a bankrupt welfare state.  Both those groups should turn to Gary Johnson, who is very conservative on fiscal and economic matters and very liberal on social issues.  He advocates both economic freedom and personal freedom.  

If he can get the message out, he should inherit Ron Paul's supporters and then add significant additional support from both Republicans and Democrats, not to mention Independents.  The icing on the cake -- or maybe the heart of the matter -- is this:  While people may at first be drawn to him by his libertarian positions on issues, when they do the homework on him as a person, they will see that, unlike most pols, he is a person of integrity, sincerity and ability with a very successful record both as a businessman and as a two-term Governor.  

The fact that he has climbed Mt. Everest also tells you something about his character.

Larry Scott, 1960 Mr. America Mr. Universe a MORMON used steroid

Why do the Mormons think it's okay to use androgenic anabolic steroids which causes a guy's testes to shrink to the size of jellybeans, grows breasts and liver failure, but yet they're opposed to cannabis for medicinal herbal homeopathic use for AIDS patients?

The Mormons must have been hypnotically brainwashed by the U.S. gov't in some type of MK-Ultra COINTELPRO program to support prohibition.....those guys even want alcohol to be illegal.

The oil-men of the Republican party seem to want American to become like Saudi Arabia...dry, dry, dry, without women being allowed to have free will or freedom of movement at all.


That's why I vote LIBERTARIAN!

smokingspirit's picture

nature against machine- our religion

nature against machine
Is it not mans natural state to be drunk or stoned or at least buzzed? look through out history, the cave men are no different from the amazon tribes today who sit around and do exotic plants- wasn't the christian bible written on wine, some times written drunk other times buzzed? through out history it wasn't Goats or cows milk- it wasn't coconut milk but it was wine, beer, saki, whiskey, rum and smoking. History just mentions about sweet tobacco- and incense.  was the snuff they snorted any different from today? Or generation is introduced to technology and these gods in white coats suddenly claim we are nothing more than chemical reactions and electronic pulses- As they deny us the right that is not only natural, historical neurological , ancestral but also holy to us - Holy ! Yes, that illogical that does not fit into a computer- that fine line man must master between use and abuse- that holy spirit that holy smoke, these are some of the joys God has given man and the monks of Carmina Burana wrote of during an illiterate time in history, but now we know it took drugs and courage to settle the old west anyone would be a fool to believe that the future would be any different the only difference is are we going to hand over our freedom as well as our  nature for this new world controlled by computers? read more in the books


Thanks for posting this article. . .everyone must read this. . .very interesting and impormative.

Mormons & Drugs

Mormons will treat drugs like they do homosexuality.

Which reminds me that I have to get "8: the Mormon Proposition".

Maybe a voice will come from the sky and say pot is OK, since the Mormons had that other miracle in recent history.

The fact remains that

The fact remains that cannabists comprise the single largest minority voting bloc in the US, crossing nearly every demographic there is. But since the banking industry is so dependent upon dirty drug money to survive, and the banking system pretty much runs the country, the idea that any 'mainstream' pol will openly embrace re-legalization is, pardon me, a 'pipe dream'.

It comes down to profits over numbers. And until the scores of millions of regular cannabis users decide they've had enough of being second-class citizens and really make an effort to get the laws repealed, we will not see much movement on this.

Just vote for Ron Paul and

Just vote for Ron Paul and there won't be any problem. No big business republican, or big government democrat in the white house, liberty and justice for all.


This write-up makes perfect sense. I can't agree more with you. We need a leader that will regulate the use of Marijuana.

Nicole D. Alvarez

Iami's picture

Try this.


Freedom of Religion.

by Bob Moore (Iami), April 11, 2012, 10:19pm

I fail to understand why freedom of religion has not been used.  In the predominate faiths of America, the Holy Bible is the centerpiece of faith.  In the New Testament, God's Son is referenced as saying that there is nothing that enters into a person that defiles him; but what comes forth from a {convoluted} heart.  

In the Old Testament, in the very first Book, and in the very first Chapter, and in some books, upon the very first page from God Almighty's lawgiver Moses, it is demonstrated that God did with foresight and without malice, herein premeditate, plan, plant, and bless continually grass, the herb bearing seed which is in the face of all the Earth.

I don't recall any sort of basis for prohibition, or taxing of Scripturally Authorized Standard Substances. 

Freedom of Religion is a defensive offense from which there is viable or sustainable defense.

God is a Spirit, and where He is. there is understanding, freedom, liberty, justice, wisdom, mercy... I could go on.  I really don't think God our Father likes His sons and daughters locked up, fined, and made to suffer forfeiture and often family dismemberment over grass that a cow, rabbit, deer, and quite a few other animals eat with no effects worse than winding up making more critters.  Remember:  God is not a book or religion!

I love God, and I appreciate His finer grasses, and I'm not ashamed to tell anyone about Christmas and Easter.  And if you confess to Him and ask Him this thing that He is able to perform, don't go worship the herb.  That would be like thinking more of the new car than of your daddy that gave it to you.  Get real.

Be sure to worship the Living Lord this weekend at any one of the fine worship centers now opening up everywhere inside your eternally flaming heart.

All Yall, PEACE, Yall All.

Thank You.

P.S.  I know how loony us God and Jesus folk sound to those who aren't yet.  

So...  How's your efforts going so far without Him?  Giggle, Chortle, and Snort.

Iami's picture


Pleas reconsider my first post to read:

Freedom of Religion is a defensive offense from which there is NO viable or sustainable defense.

Thank You.

Iami's picture



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