Indicative of Bernie Sanders surpassing Hillary Clinton in the latest polls of the 2016 Presidential race, progressives from generation Y are wising up, and seeing through the facade of T.V. smiles and well-spoken, politically correct jargon, to a broken, crony capitalistic political system, wrought with sold-out politicians, empty promises, and a disregard for the middle class.
As far as marijuana goes, candidates from both parties, for the most part, have steered clear of the topic, despite it being among the most significant economic and social issues of our time, especially among young voters.
Politicians Have Been Slow To Tackle "Core" Marijuana Issues
Filling the shoes of an administration that has already allowed 4 states to "experiment" with legalization under it's watch is no simple feat, and the next president should at least keep the rotation going, or face the core issues concerning marijuana businesses in legalized states. Marijuana business still face a litany of obstacles in their horizon including marijuana's current classification as a schedule 1 drug, lack of access to a legitimate banking system, and worries that the next administration will hinder or cease marijuana from continuing on it's current path towards further state legalization.
Not including out-liars such as Rand Paul who has proposed a bill to decriminalize marijuana, Republican support for marijuana has been null and void, with candidates such as Chris Christie who has even gone as far as to promise the dismantling of current marijuana legalization in legalized states, once appointed to office.
On the other side of the eagle, the Democrats haven't been that much more responsive, tending to choose neutrality in instances where their support is needed most. Bernie Sanders has told sources that he would have voted "no" if he lived in a state where marijuana legalization was on the ballot, but on the flip-side, has introduced a bill to ban private prisons, a major contributing factor to the War on Drugs.
Hillary Clinton's stance of being "Ted Cruz-lite" on the issue of marijuana, as stated by the director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project should be an immediate red flag to voters in support of marijuana who are expecting Hillary to be gung-ho on marijuana legalization. Being compared to Ted Cruz, in any light, should be an embarrassment to any legitimate candidate, let alone the once considered democratic favorite, and the fact that the comparison came from such a prominent member of the cannabis community, spells imminent danger for Clinton getting the marijuana vote.
From Clinton's doubts regarding the legitimacy of medical marijuana, to turning down donations from the National Cannabis Industry Association earlier in the year, Clinton's campaign has been slow to catch on to the needs of the fastest growing industry in America.
The Politician Doesn't Fall Far From the Special Interest Lobbyist
To make matters worse for Clinton supporters also in favor of marijuana reform, it was recently revealed via the Intercept, that one of Clinton's top campaign contributors
, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, is also the largest private prison company in America. This should come as a concern to Clinton supporters hoping for a candidate that won't be swayed by big money interest, and the appeal of catering to the industrial prison complex, a position counter-intuitive to Bernie Sanders's proposal to end private prison monopolies.
As presented to their investors, the Geo Group, one of the firms associated with private prison lobbying, told sources
that their business could be "adversely affected by changes in existing criminal or immigration laws, crime rates in jurisdictions in which we operate, the relaxation of criminal or immigration enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction, sentencing or deportation practices, and the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by criminal laws or loosening of immigration laws."
If Hillary is loyal to her contributors, like politicians of past, the "decriminalization of certain activities" like marijuana for instance, most definitely will not coincide with efforts of marijuana advocates who wish to make the drug a legal commodity. If voters can take away anything from Clinton's support from private prison interest and her campaign's willingness to accept these funds, it's that the politician doesn't stray far from the agenda of special interest lobbyist. Profiting from keeping people behind bars in a system of incarceration where there is no hope for rehabilitation is unacceptable, and presents yet another division between the two democratic candidates most likely to take office.