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As More Conservatives Embrace Cannabis, is Red the New Green?

Ashley Priest

by Ashley Priest

December 2, 2020 02:00 pm ET Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
As More Conservatives Embrace Cannabis, is Red the New Green?

Cannabis saw great success in the 2020 election. Five states in total added legal access to cannabis in the form of medical and/or retail cannabis. Mississippi, New Jersey, Montana, Arizona, and South Dakota all saw successful cannabis reform measures pass. This is great news for cannabis legalization in general. Three of these states, Arizona, South Dakota, and Montana, are considered red states. This means they have a majority of Republican support. Conservatives have not liked the idea of cannabis legalization and have long stood against it.

Is Red the New Green?

Times are changing, though. More and more conservative-leaning people are coming out in support of cannabis legalization and positive cannabis reform laws. This was made evident at the 2020 elections in the above-mentioned states. Before the presidential election, Donald Trump asked Republicans to avoid adding cannabis reform laws to ballots.

He was basically voicing his concern that Republicans would lose elections by bringing up cannabis legalization. Trump was even quoted telling former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, “The next time you run please don’t put marijuana on the ballot at the same time you’re running. You brought out like a million people that nobody ever knew were coming out.” Some people might say this remark was all in fun and made in a joking manner.

More Open Talks Could Occur with a New Administration

On the opposite side of that argument bringing a million new voters to the polls shouldn’t be something politicians try to steer away from. Now that the presidential election is over and the United States of America is getting prepared to welcome a new commander-in-chief, we could see more open talks among Republicans supporting positive cannabis reform.

When someone talks about cannabis legalization these days, it isn’t far-fetched. Before the vote came up to legalize recreational cannabis in the state of New Jersey, a law firm conducted a survey of 500 registered New Jersey voters asking their viewpoint on cannabis legalization. The survey returned a two to one result in favor of cannabis legalization. According to this survey, Democrats still favored cannabis legalization more than Republicans with 75% Democratic support and 52% Republican support.

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Positive Signs for a Greener Future

Growing Republican support of cannabis legalization and positive cannabis reform laws shows great hope that the failed federal War on Drugs may actually come to an end. The federal government could make everybody happy and just remove cannabis from the Controlled Substance Act altogether, but that is likely not going to happen in the immediate future. Many people believe cannabis will be legalized in the form of being rescheduled on the tiers of the Controlled Substance Act. This still allows the federal government authority in many different instances and circumstances but also gives the people a taste of freedom at the same time. Historically, conservative viewpoints have been in strong favor of the War on Drugs.

A Sea of Conservatives Embrace Green

From Nixon to Reagan and countless other Republicans in between, their support for the continued demonizing and criminalizing of the cannabis plant has led to the destruction of an untold number of lives. Thankfully we’re living in a time and era where these wicked ways of the past are finally coming to an end. People are beginning to understand that cannabis prohibition was born out of racism and greed and that the aftermath effects are more than unsavory.

They are starting to see a picture being painted of a government criminalizing a plant as a tactic to gain unprecedented control over society. Due to the facilitation of the War on Drugs, countless People Of Color have been negatively affected by it and its continued outdated support by lawmakers. Ten years ago, many people could not have dreamed that our government would one day be voting on a bill such as the MORE Act this December.

One Upside of the Economic Downfall Known as COVID-19

COVID-19 is in no way, shape, or form a good thing. It could, however, induce widespread federal rescheduling or legalization of cannabis. The economic impact of COVID-19 has touched communities across the nation and around the world. America experienced a massive amount of job loss during the initial shutdown from the pandemic. Many people predict curfews and even possibly more shelter in place orders to come in the future. This only spells more economic disaster for the job market. Cannabis could stand to help not only increase revenue for states in this much-needed time but could also help increase employment rates. The legal cannabis sector does more than just employ people to grow and sell cannabis. There’s a vast amount of industry professionals required for the cannabis industry to run the way that it does.

If cannabis were to be legalized across the entire United States, a new door would open to a bountiful and flourishing job market. Talk of cannabis legalization no longer is something that is considered a divisive issue because as the times are changing even conservatives are even getting on board with cannabis legalization!

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