The Republican Party has embarrassed itself again! This time, they have rejected common sense language in favor of medical marijuana for their party platform.
A Huffington Post article elaborates on these unsurprising but disappointing developments that have unfolded in Cleveland:
"A member from Utah claimed scientists have a “long way to go with research” on marijuana and argued that studies, which she did not provide, showed a link between it and mental health issues.
Another delegate absurdly claimed that people who commit mass murders are “young boys from divorced families, and they’re all smoking pot.” Yet another delegate claimed marijuana triggered schizophrenia, and is funded nationally by Democrat and New York financier George Soros. “Let’s think a little bit what happens with Percocet, with OxyContin,” claimed a third delegate, who drew a connection between the ongoing heroin epidemic and teenagers smoking marijuana."
This level of weapons-grade stupidity unfortunately prevailed over against the reasonable individuals who want to bring the Republican Party into the 21st Century. Although the Democratic Party has been responsible for many prohibitionist policies as well, certain aspects of the Republican Party have argubly been the most belligerent opponents of cannabis freedom of them all. They cling to Reefer Madness propaganda as if it is canon, and seem to jettison their 'small government' principles as soon as the devil weed is brought up.
Republicans would be wise to understand that they will lose again and again if they don't modernize their position on marijuana. They need to live up to their free market rhetoric on this issue especially. Obviously, the free market is a big fan of marijuana. The demand is there, and it cannot be denied. Big daddy government has been powerless to stop it. The crop is proliferating, and there isn't mass death or mass degeneracy. It's time for Republicans to take a deep breath and re-evaluate.
In fact, there is a great Republican argument against marijuana prohibition regardless of where you fall on the conservative spectrum.
For Christian conservatives, marijuana was put here by God for a reason. God did not make an error when He gave us marijuana. It is a great healer, and it is a cash crop that can bring prosperity to thousands if not millions of Americans. We can re-build the manufacturing base of the country on industrial hemp on marijuana alone. That doesn't mean there aren't harms related to overuse of the substance, but federal prohibition has undoubtedly caused more harm than the proliferation of marijuana ever could.
For Constitutional conservatives, the federal drug war is one of the most heinous violations imaginable. It has led to abuses that would have had the Founding Fathers likely fomenting a revolution. It has turned police officers from guardians of the public safety into militarized federal force operating with no accountability. It has led to abuses like civil asset forfeiture, no knock raids, illegal checkpoints, and other abridgments to private property rights that should shake any Republican to their core.
For Trumpian conservatives, marijuana will help make America great again by providing sustainable jobs and medicine while saving taxpayers money!
You see, it's not about dope smoking. There is a multitude of abuses related to the drug war that should be offensive for Republicans. The good news is that not every Republican is drinking the prohibitionist kool aid. State Sen. Eric Brakey (R-Maine) introduced the pro-medical marijuana language that was ultimately voted down by the platform committee. “I don’t believe that when God made marijuana, he made a mistake that government needs to fix,” State Rep. David Simpson (R-Texas) said last year when he introduced a bill to end prohibition in his home state.
So there are leaders out there in the Republican Party who are sane and reasonable on the issue of marijuana. Republicans would be wise to follow these folks, rather than the crazed prohibitionists, if they want to maintain electoral relevance in the years to come.